Not everyone appreciates snow storms

While I assume a large majority of the readers of this blog are US producers in the upper Midwest, I know of several frequent readers located in other countries of the world. For many of the readers of this blog, snow and snowstorms are not something they have any experiences to relate to. We had a major storm in the Midwest last week and this week another storm is rolling through the Ohio Valley region. Read More...

An unfortunate situation that could have been prevented

This week I had the unpleasant experience (once again) of talking with a contract grower who was faced with a bill for pig death loss due to a ventilation failure. It’s not a lot of fun talking thru the sequence of events and having to tell them that the evidence points to negligence on their part and my opinion is that they should pay the bill. Read More...

Our understanding of the pigs nutritional needs

When I ended my 2 year Army enlistment and began graduate school 38 years ago swine nutritionists were just beginning to talk about lysine as a critical nutrient in swine diets as opposed to crude protein. The 1974 version of the University of Nebraska Swine Diet Suggestions extension circular still talked about crude protein requirements assume a corn/soybean meal basal diet. Read More...

Slaughter weights

In the past few months I’ve been asked repeatedly to comment further on my prediction that barrow and gilt slaughter weights will increase to 290 pounds live weight by the year 2022. This prediction is based on a review of USDA federally inspected barrow and gilt carcass weight increases. In the 24 year period from 1988 through 2011, carcass weight has increased an average of 1.4 lb/year. The corresponding correlation coefficient for this rate of increase is 0.98, meaning there has been very little variation year to year in this annual increase. Read More...

Optimism and weights

Optimism is returning to the hog market. For the week ending September 28, 2012 the average spot market price as quoted by USDA for weaned pigs was $15.14 per pig delivered. This week’s average price was $43.76 per pig delivered. In 5 weeks the spot market value of weaned pigs increased $28.62 per pig. The lowest reported price paid per pig went from $9 per pig to $27 per pig. Read More...