Slaughter weight thoughts

Much has been written about the new slaughter plants in Iowa and Michigan that are expected to begin slaughtering pigs within 1-2 months. Of concern to producers is the large increase in the kept for market inventory in the June 1 USDA report associated with the start of these plants. Any mis-step in the start-up chain of events will push a lot of pigs to current slaughter locations which has the potential to rapidly drive prices down. Read More...

What about space per pig?

There is renewed interest regarding the impact of space per pig on both pig performance and the financials associated with this performance. More than 25 years ago Dr Tim Powell and I published a paper examining the economics of space allocation in confinement facilities. Based on the data available at the time, we concluded while individual pig performance (daily gain and feed intake) declines as space per pig is decreased, the economic return to an overall facility increases. This was primarily due to the fact that the reductions in daily gain and feed intake did not result in a worsening of feed conversion. Read More...

Labor needs in production units

The 4th of July holiday is tomorrow. Many readers of this blog in the United States are taking today as a vacation day so market activities will be diminished somewhat. At the same time, life in production units continues as pigs don’t take holidays. Opponents of livestock production often fail to understand the dedication of those involved in the daily care of animals. When it is +90F outside and a national holiday, someone is still on-site doing all of the little things to assure animal comfort and welfare. Read More...

Monthly checklists

I’m often asked for checklists that can help employees and barn owners keep up on the little things that make a ventilation system successful in meeting the moisture and heat removal goals that the system was designed for. I ran across the following in my files today as an example of what a monthly list might contain. I’m sure each of you can add to this list to personalize it to your facilities. Read More...

Are there too many pig barns?

This weekend I drove from Mankato to eastern South Dakota. Lots of planters in the field and it appears that a majority of the corn in southern Minnesota is in the ground. It’s been wetter in eastern South Dakota so more evidence of corn still being planted. By the time of my return on Sunday afternoon quite a few corn fields were emerged enough to row the corn the majority of my trip home. Read More...