Water fights are coming

It’s currently raining in southern Minnesota while it is beginning to snow in northern Minnesota, which means the snow piles are rapidly shrinking and we are finally losing some of the ice on our county roads. All of this before we get another 2-4” of snow in the next 2 days. The rain is also helping remove snow from rooftops, easing the stress on rafters from the very heavy loads accumulated in the past 6 weeks. Read More...

Thinking during a blizzard

As I write this week’s comments, blizzard warnings are in effect for this region. While it may be cold and miserable outside, the feeder pig market in the US is looking up. The highest reported price paid for weaned pigs in this week’s USDA report was $51.51/pig, the highest price reported since the last week of April. Given there is a 5 month period before pigs placed this week go to market, this means producers are increasingly optimistic about the late spring and summer markets. Read More...

What’s the future for the Australian Pork Industry?

The Australian pork industry is at a crossroads. In the next few weeks, delegates to Australian Pork Limited (their checkoff organization) will vote on whether the industry in general should move to no gestation stalls after 28d. This move is in response to the decision by Coles, one of the large supermarket chains, to no longer buy pork from farms that have gestation stalls for use in all Coles’ branded pork products. Earlier this week Coles further announced that this ban would also apply to imported pork. You may have seen an announcement from the Canadian Pork Producers questioning the science the behind this ban. Read More...

Ecoshelters versus tunnel ventilation in Australia

Much of the Australian pork industry the past 10-15 years has moved to Ecoshelters for nursery and grow-finish pig accommodations. Ecoshelters are hoop structures that use large amounts of bedding, similar in many respects to the hoops used by some in the US. They find it interesting that hoops have become primarily associated with the niche markets in the US while they are very mainstream in Australia’s industry. Read More...

High feed prices once again

With corn and soybean meal prices rising (and falling) as much as the CBT limit on any given day, producers are once again becoming worried about the impact of feed ingredient costs on their bottom line. It’s no fun trying to manage expenses when a single day’s move in the grain markets changes you break even up to $5 per pig. Risk management this year is a really big challenge for many. Read More...