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If You Must Forecast, Forecast Often

            Pass-through is the economic term for how higher (or lower) prices in a chain wind up effecting prices up-chain, say at retail. All outcomes are possible for a price rise such as we have experienced in the corn market due to the government transfer payments for corn producers. Input price increases can lead to complete pass through up chain, more than complete pass through or something less than complete pass through.

Part of the problem in the meat case at retail is there is so much special pricing, loss leader pricing and the like that it is hard to tell exactly what happens for every input price change down the chain. In addition, price changes at retail for products made from agricultural products tend to be very small compared to the change at the production level. This is due in part to all of the value added as the chain progresses (i.e., a few cents worth of wheat in a $4.00 box of wheat breakfast cereal.) Small changes are sometimes unnoticed by consumers as they are lost in the noise of other price changes, the hassles of shopping and plain inattention.

With Hu You Get Egg Roll (But the One Made from Pork is Getting More Expensive)

You’ve no doubt heard the ethanol policy slogan, “Food or Fuel” to describe the tradeoff between using traditional feedstuffs for energy production vs. feed for livestock and the hundreds of other food products made from corn. In China, we now have the first major world economy deciding that containing food prices is more important than creating fuel from corn. The restriction recently put in place prohibits additional expansion of ethanol production from corn but allows it from grasses, corn stalks and other agricultural products which would not affect the price of food. Existing plants using corn are currently grandfathered in.

WPX2007: Dr. Tom Gillespie discusses PRRS management and its impact on porcine PCVAD.

Dr. Tom Gillespie, veterinarian with Rensselaer Swine Services in Rensselaer, Ind., and past president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, discusses porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRS) management and its impact on porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD).

WPX2007: Dr. Dennis DiPietre outlook on production costs and prioritization of various input costs for profit maintenance.

Dr. Dennis DiPietre, economist, provides an outlook on production costs and how producers can prioritize various input costs in order to maintain profit levels.

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WPX2007: John Kolb, DVM talks the Monitoring Assignment for Global Insight of Circovirus (MAGIC) study

According to John Kolb, DVM, professional services veterinarian for BIVI, the Monitoring Assignment for Global Insight of Circovirus (MAGIC) study provided a unique opportunity to extensively examine the gross clinical effects of PCVAD on pigs during the periods of peak mortality within the participating production system. “More importantly, the clinical animals with concurrent disease infections generally had more PCV2 antigen and lesions associated with concurrent disease process than those with non-concurrent infections.”