What Do Consumers Think? Jarrod Sutton, National Pork Board Assistant Vice President, Foodservice, Retail and Channel Marketing, provides insight on the business side of selling meat. Some of the factors that play into meat pricing is how consumers perceive products and how they feel about animal welfare plus agriculture sustainability efforts. Jarrod also shares some of the conversations he is involved with in and around the food retail companies, trying to understand their efforts to bring reliable and usable information to consumers.
Eliminating PRRS Dr. David Wright, DVM, Voluntary Regional PRRS Elimination Project Coordinator in Minnesota, shares updates on the ongoing efforts to control and eliminate PRRS. The project started in 2004 and now encompasses six counties north of HWY 212. Some of the challenges to the project include farm participation, communication, and regular surveillance testing.
Swine Management By Data Dr. Mike Brumm, Brumm Swine Consultancy, provides benchmarking tools and tips that he runs across in barns, especially around record keeping, that help improve the process of production. He suggests there will be an increase in barn construction; with this new construction there needs to be some planning to support record keeping! Dr. Brumm adds information on fuel and utility use and what some of the triggers are that need to be monitored.
What Are You Buying? Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management, Virginia Tech, offers a set of key ratios for financial management and planning. Actions that he recommends on a regular basis: Check on your credit score and your spouse's credit score. Dr. Kohl also reviews some of the quick reads and metrics to know as you do your business planning.
What is the PRRS "High Season" Dr. Scott Dee, DVM, Director of Swine Research for Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, looks at PRRS and what has happened in the past several years during the "high season". Dr. Dee suggests there is a new normal for PRRS, with filter farms doing well but infection of non-filtered farms in "isolated regions" with no physical connection are occurring more often. Take aways: The airborne risk of PRRSV continues to increase and collaboration is more important than ever.
It's All About The Rain Dr. Steve Meyer, President of Paragon Economics, on the economics of pork production? Rain, rain, and more rain will be the big question for 2013. When, where, and how much? His snappy statement? If it rains then corn will be $4. If it doesn't rain then it will be $8. Dr. Meyer also covers some longer term concerns and opportunities: consumer incomes and their related spending, farm policy and legislation, and changes in industry approaches to animal welfare.
Where Is Pork Trade Going? How are pork free trade agreements working and what are the opportunities for pork producers? Laurie Hueneke, Director, International Trade Policy, Sanitary and Technical Affairs, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), provides information about the pork exports and how global policies affect trade. Laurie details specific free trade agreements in place and some of the issues and successes in various parts of the world.
Refresh and Update The Minnesota Pork Congress and the Iowa Pork Congress are in a few weeks. Both events offer an opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues, learn about what the economics of 2013 might look like, and to learn some new information to help improve your farm operations.
Opportunity SwineCast.com ran a survey in November and December 2012, asking swine production managers, staff, and industry experts what some of the top issues are for 2013.
Top issues? Cost of inputs, animal health, and animal well-being.
Consumer Views on Animal Welfare Purdue's Dr. Candace Croney recently presented thoughts on sow housing and other welfare issues at the Midwest Pork Conference in Danville, IN. She shares highlights from her presentation and discusses those animal management areas which are overshadowed by the current debate [audio].