European pig prices

With carcass bids still languishing in the $53-54/cwt range in the US, I thought it would be fun to take a look at current market prices for slaughter pigs in Europe. The following data was compiled by Feedinfo News Service (www.feedinfo.com). I converted the price reported (Euros per kg carcass) to US values ($/cwt carcass) using yesterdays international conversion rate of 1 Euro = $1.268 USD. Read More...

I’m Thankful for Animal Agriculture

As I write this week’s comments, I am still basking in the glow of a Thanksgiving Day spent with family. Yesterday morning I began the holiday by attending church services. When I was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska, I started many Thanksgiving holidays by doing daily chores at the research farm so that the employees at the swine unit could have the day with their families and friends. Read More...

Risks and Advisors

I spent part of today working on a presentation I will be doing next month in Indianapolis. The topic is ‘The Next Generation of Production Systems’. As I worked on this topic, I thought about how the world of pork production has changed. Our parents witnessed a large change in pork production systems, and the associated rewards and risks that are associated with this enterprise. In the past 6 months, with the collapse of many in the financial markets, and the associated impacts on the world markets, the rate of change makes our parents look like someone walking behind a mule versus our plowing with 10 bottom plows. Read More...

Pit Foaming Problems

This week I have had calls and conversations with producers from several locations in the Midwest regarding pits foaming thru the slats. While I’ve had an occasional call or conversation with a producer regarding the phenomenon in past years, the large number in one week is causing me to think about possible causes and solutions. Read More...

Lessons from Canada

I have just returned from participation in the fall meeting of the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians. A great group of swine professionals who are very worried about the future of the swine industry in Ontario. Challenges in Ontario include access to markets with the largest slaughter plant in the province up for sale. Read More...