World issues

The Crystal Ball is Opaque

     Unfortunately, we are at a time not only in the meat industry but also in the general U.S. and world economy when what little anyone had to make a forecast for the future has largely disappeared into an opaque soup of uncertainty.  There is little doubt that demand for meat, both in the United States and worldwide, is tied to among other things, per-capita income and a behavioral variable related to perceived and actual wealth (although there is some controvery about the wealth effect).  Both are down with rising unemployment and plummeting asset values. 

Jerry Roell - Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World

Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World.

Jerry Roell, Sales Branch Manager, John Deere Columbus.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


     The price outlook to producers can be summarized as I have said before by observing "which falls faster, supply or demand".  It is clear that both are falling, nationally and domestically, and the price responses still seem to suggest demand is falling faster than supply but a slowing is beginning to take place.  There seems to be some traction developing and as everyone in this business knows, spring is the beginning of the annual reduction in supply as various biological factors begin working their way through the production complex and summer demand for certain cuts begins to increase, at least domestically.  We have experienced years when the season price pattern for spring does not develop so it is not a sure thing.

Phil Seng - The World's Changing Views of U.S. Livestock Agriculture

The World's Changing Views of U.S. Livestock Agriculture.

Jon Caspers (Chairman of the Board, United States Meat Export Federation) speaking on behalf of Phil Seng, United States Meat Export Federation Service.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

For full screen, click on player below.

Cooperatives - A Great Career Opportunity in Agriculture

Recently, many people have been asking my advice on where the greatest opportunity for jobs in the agriculture industry is. Over the next several weeks, I will attempt to break down several areas of the industry that are working hard to recruit top talent. In this economy, you might find it hard to believe that certain sectors of the industry are in high need, but believe it or not, its true. As we face many baby-boomers coming up for retirement, almost all sectors of agriculture will experience a shortage of well qualified workers. This week we’ll take a snap shot of the Cooperative system - where job openings seem to abound these days, and we’ll examine why.

SwineCast 0402, NIAA - Are They Getting The Right Message?

SwineCast 0402 Show Notes:

  • Registered Dietician Lisa Katic shared with attendees at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's annual meeting information on who has the ear of your legislators and Washington's policy wonks and the message being sent.  Full presentation here.

SwineCast 0397, Futurist Lowell Catlett shares thoughts on future consumer trends

SwineCast 0397 Show Notes:

  • University of New Mexico futurist Lowell Catlett talks with Trent Fredenburg about keeping today's economic events in perspective and future consumer trends that will change the way we do business

SwineCast 0384, South American Pork Production

SwineCast 0384 Show Notes:

  • From Pigski, a conversation with Dr Jose Piva, PICs Product Performance Director for the Americas on his presentation of South American pork powers Brazil, Chile and Argentina.  What opportunities and challenges the future may hold, and yes, Russia will continue to be an importer for the forseeable future

2009 IPC: Pork Industry Economic Update

Managing Inputs and Marketing: Where Do We Go From Here? Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Inc., from the 2009 Iowa Pork Congress, January 28 - 29, Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

Feed ingredient costs have fallen from record highs last summer but supplies remain tight and costs remain very volatile as we enter the 2008-2009 crop year. Surprisingly good hog prices were a big help to pork producers' bottom lines in 2008 but can those prices remain in the face of the economic slowdown? Steve's session will address these issues and present some ideas and tactics to help you weather another potential economic storm in 2009.

This is the presentation slide set without audio

Falling Exports Vs. Falling Supply: Which Will Win?

     The total demand for US Pork can be conveniently broken down into two components: domestic demand plus net exports.  Net exports is the excess of exports over imports of pork for the US.  We seem to know that US production of pork will be falling in 2009.  I say seem to know since this is based on projections by USDA (Hogs and Pigs Report).  What we do not know is if the projections are correct (what is their error variance) and what will happen to productivity increases to offset this decline in farrowing intentions from last fall.  We can surmise that the sows leaving the industry are the poorest performing ones (least productive) and that productivity gains from the remaining farms is likely to rise.

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