Which Way Is Up? Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, says key issues in coming months will be input and production costs; demand; output levels for 2013 and 2014; and prices and margins. He reminded people that in 2012 he said if it rains we have $4 corn and if it doesn't we have $8 corn - and that everyone heard the first part and nobody heard the second part. In summary Dr. Meyer says that corn belt rains have been good, now we need some warm dry days.
Group Sow Housing Designs Dr. Don Levis, Levis Worldwide Swine Consultancy, in this first of three sow housing presentations, provides descriptions of the major group sow housing systems, presents the factors involved with deciding which group-housing system to use, and sets the stage for the following presentations to examine retrofitting barns.
Stall Space and Orientation Dr. Ron Bates, Michigan State University, in this third and final sow housing presentation, provides a walk through on the space and pen orientation changes needed to support converting to non-gated stalls. Dr. Bates details some of the space calculations that need to be made plus the sow rotation methods needed to supported the new configurations.
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Infection Chain Dr. Eduardo Fano, Swine Technical Manager Americas, Boehringer Ingelheim, details the mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection chain and what approaches to understanding it have been studied. Dr. Fano shares data from a series of correlation studies and looks at understanding the whole herd infection of the disease.
Pork Export Touch Points Various experts provide an update on the impacts of exports on pork producers. The speaker series includes Becca Hendricks, National Pork Board; Dr. Paul Sundberg, National Pork Board; Laurie Hueneke, National Pork Producers Council; and Dr. Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University. The US is the largest exporter of pork in the world, passing the EU as top exporter in 2012. With the US pork producers exporting 27% of their products, any policy shifts or regional changes can have a large affect on the US pork business. Of note are comments by Laurie Hueneke (NPPC) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Dr. Hayes' comments on the impact of trichinae restrictions.
Consumers Need Information Dr. Marcos Rostagno, USDA/ARS, provides an overview of food safety and food safety analysis. Food safety is a subject that needs to encompass food security, animal welfare, and environmental impact. The population is growing, more land is required, and demand for certain types of food vary by global regions. Dr. Rostagno's take aways: Broad consumer understanding of food safety is continuously feed by media that does not always provide facts but focus on stories that sell the media. Consumer education is urgently needed!
Does Being More Efficient Equal More Money? Dr. Joel DeRouchey, Kansas State University, shares research and practice around feed efficiency. He leads with the question he hears a lot "If I have a better feed efficiency do I make more money?". Dr. DeRouchey aims to address this stating that, with today's feed prices, it is not possible to have maximum feed efficiency and make money. Dr. DeRouchey presents information that looks at all the factors of making money by looking at group economics, by looking at feed make up, to market delivery, milling, supplements, and barn management.
Ag-Gag: Good or Bad? Many states are aiming to put in place "ag-gag" laws to stop undercover filming on farms and ranches. What is an "Ag Gag" law and how does it impact farmers, ranchers, and the public? This AgChat conversation looks at the issues. Are you in a state with Ag-Gag laws?