Canadian Live Pig Imports to US

The flow of feeder pigs from Canada continues to slow in reaction to MCOOL legislation and the terrible economics of pig production for many Canadian producers this past year. For the week ending October 12, 2013, 61,330 live pigs weighing less than 55 kg (110 lb) crossed the border from the Canada to the US. This is the lowest number of feeder pigs to cross since February of 2002 for any non-holiday week. Read More...

Labor estimates for production facilities

I was asked this morning for information on the labor needs of production facilities. While our facilities have become somewhat standardized (fully slatted, 1100-1250 hd/room), who provides the labor for daily pig care is not. Labor may be provided by the pig owner, the contract grower or a 3rd party in the case where the production facility is owned by an investment group or grain farmer. I know as I visit production sites in the upper Midwest there are a lot of people taking care of pigs in production facilities where they have no ownership stake in either the facility or the pigs. Read More...

I’m learning every day

This week I’m getting a lesson in ‘fear’ that many of you have had when a key employee left for another opportunity. The research coordinator for our research barns last day of employment was last Friday. Until we are successful in hiring and training a replacement, the overall coordination of pig flows and data that she did is being done by me. With an inventory of around 11,000 individually tagged and weighed wean-finish pigs currently in inventory I’m fearful of screwing up the data that seemed to flow from the barns with relative ease under her direction for the last 7 years.  Read More...