The European production challenge

The USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will be released at 2 pm this afternoon. Everyone is looking for a continued decrease in the US breeding herd and smaller numbers in all weight categories in the kept for market inventory. Assuming these expectations are met, Dr Ron Plain at the University of Missouri is predicting 2nd quarter hog prices in 2010 to be in the $67-70 range for carcass prices. While not wildly profitable, this price will stop the severe erosion of equity that has occurred the past 2 years for many producers. Read More...

Power failures and snow storms

Two weeks ago I spent 2 days in northeast Nebraska making site visits and doing producer meetings. My visit began the day after the ‘big storm’ and snow drifts were up to the eaves of the buildings on the 2 sites I stopped at. As I write this week’s blog, another storm is forming in the southwest, with the governor of South Dakota already declaring an emergency situation in advance of the storm. Read More...

Subtle messages to our youth

On Monday of this week I received an email from an 11 year old niece. In it she asked for my support of her efforts to help the less fortunate in the world. Included in the email was a link to a website that gave a list of 10 actions youth can take to help combat world hunger. While there were many worthwhile activities in the list of actions, number 1 on the list was ‘become a vegetarian’. Read More...