Iowa Pork Congress Report

Last week we attended the Iowa Pork Congress held annually in Des Moines Iowa.  Our report and observations: *The Iowa Pork Congress is the premier state event held in the winter months for the swine industry.  Iowa has about 20% of U.S. swine production and the size and scope of the Iowa Pork Congress attracts people not only from Iowa but from surrounding states. *Several thousand people attend while any significant company that does business in the swine industry had an exhibit.  The Iowa Convention Centre is new and first rate.  We also appreciate and thank the large numbers that attended our Genesus reception.  It was a good time. *At the PRRS, PRRS, PRRS!  Subject one was PRRS, subject two was PRRS, subject three was PRRS.  Maybe we only talked to people who had PRRS, knew of people with PRRS or were afraid of PRRS but never have we heard so many PRRS horror stories. *We understand in one production group that had ten PRRS prevention filtered sow barns.  8 of the 10 barns have broken out with PRRS.  This is not supposed to happen.  The company’s producers of filtered barns sell them as bastions against PRRS.  After you spend a cool million dollars to filter a sow barn and break 6 months later to say you would be peed off is an understatement.  We imagine the Attorney’s of the mid – west will get a bump in business. *Up to four filtered A.I. units have broken out with PRRS. *The PRRS breaks are hot.  Sow mortality, abortions, piglet mortalities, and several weeks of crappy piglets.  Dead pigs and fewer litters and dead offspring normally end up in the summer month’s market hog production. *It seems to be as many closed herds and non – closed herds that have broken out with PRRS.  The myth that closed herds keep out PRRS is just that – a myth.  Now maybe filtered barns keep out PRRS will be added to myths?  Location of barns, internal pig movement, trucking, and people are the main culprits. *Pig brokers we talked to attribute the strength of the U.S.D.A. cash early wean prices averaging $61.20(up to $69) and cash 40 pound feeder pigs averaging $77.92(up to $84) to the chasing of buyer to find pigs to fill holes caused by PRRS breaks.  Yet another sign of the PRRS carnage. *There is PRRS every year.  We have always been reluctant in the past to put much emphasis on the effects of disease on the U.S. pig flow and prices.  This winter has been mild, damp, and humid.  It has not been cold.  Conditions have been such that it appears to have magnified PRRS and its consequences. We talked to a swine record keeping group that their records show a greater effect from summer heat than normal.  Fewer litters mean fewer pigs. *Talking to builders and equipment people they are optimistic they will build new sow units this year.  When you drill in further few if any are under construction.  Some deals looking for investors to own units, some waiting for regular financing.  The bottom line: if they get financed, and if they get built, the timeline is 2013 market hogs at the earliest. *Finishers are getting built in the mid west.  Finishers can add tonnage but they don’t farrow pigs. *As a reflection of why there is no rush to add sows, is one production peer group.  This collection of producers recently analyzed their records over the last decades.  The average of the group was $1.00 per head profit over the last ten years.  No matter how you figure it, it doesn’t make you want to have more. *The stripping of oil from DDGS in Corn Ethanol production has producers wondering if DDGS are becoming anything more than fillers in feed rations.  Corn Ethanol is a classic case of government interference and subsidies distorting markets.  That is good for farm land values though, at least for now.


            $1.10 lean hogs to be hit this summer were mentioned to us, the scenario was continued strong pork exports, record high cattle prices will support hog prices, no expansion in hog production with PRRS and seasonal heat production issues lowering the hog numbers for the summer leading to market prices pushing up.  $1.10 might be a reach but we wouldn’t be surprised.


                Genesus is pleased to announce Glenn Kuhn is joining Genesus starting January 4, 2012. Employment History December 2001 – December 2011 PIC – Aurora Nucleus Site 1 and Site 2 Manager Kipling Saskatchewan Duties: responsible for day to day operations of the breeding, and farrowing departments of a 2800 Sow Nucleus.  He also acted as a liaison between Senior Management, the Technical and Development Manager and Department Heads in implementing and supporting the PIC Genetic Improvement Program.  He also oversee all aspects of production as well as staff recruitment, training and rotation. Glenn was responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of a 7,000 head Genetic Nucleus nursery as the production of a 4,000 head boar testing facility which included management of 84 FIRE (Feed Intake Recording Equipment) feeders manufactured by Osborne Industries.  Duties included gilt testing and selection for Genetic Nucleus replacement as domestic and export selection and sales. Glenn, his wife Teena, and their five children have moved to Portage La Prairie, MB. Glenn is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan.   Glenn also worked several months in Denmark in Swine Production with the International Agriculture Exchange Association. Glenn will report to Lambert Houwen and be based out of the Oakville office. Glenn will be involved in Nucleus, Daughter Nucleus, and technical support. It is a real positive for Genesus that a ten years manager of PIC’s primary nucleus for the world has joined Genesus. We welcome Glenn!

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