Dr. Bob Morrison, University of Minnesota, reviews presentations from 2010 International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS), with Dr Gordon Spronk, Pipestone System; Dr. Tom Wetzel & Dr. Jeff Husa, Boehringer Ingelheim; Robert Barsch, MN Pork Producer; and Allison Collins, Research Scientist, Australia's Animal Health Research Unit.
Crop prices are going higher, impacting the animal agriculture industries' feed costs. Also impacting feed costs is the price of oil. When oil is higher, the demand of corn for ethanol production increases, pushing up further the price of corn.
"Three weeks ago we assessed the rate of consumption of corn and soybeans and concluded that corn consumption was progressing too rapidly based on available supplies", writes Darrel Good, Agricultural Economist, University of Illinois.
Strong feed demand in the dairy and swine industries may cause supply problems as the year progresses. This may put some animal agriculture operations on the edge if there are any risks that come true and not hedged, mainly a bad planting season, poor weather, or further increases in commodity prices.
After grain prices surged in January, many growers are looking at any opportunity to plant. The prices surge, in reaction to the USDA cutting its outlook for global supplies, is also a cause for concern if too many growers jump in and plant more. The commodity markets may start to become over hedged and a crop bubble could burst.
Growers who decide to plant wheat in the San Joaquin Valley take a chance -- planting time for them comes when most farmers are taking a break from farming.
Also a risk is the weather: Winter wheat requires a good rainfall in California and that need must be factored into the crop hedging.
Many organizations are stating that by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on Earth and that agriculture must change to be able to produce enough food for this growing population.
Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century.
The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.