Everyone is busy this time of year between keeping your hogs comfortable, doing field work, attending local fairs and, quite possibly, getting a little rest and recreation in before school and harvest begin.
With that in mind, here are three news and entertainment tidbits you may have missed.
1. Prestage moving forward
According to an article in this morning’s Des Moines Register, the Prestage Farms’ plan to bring a pork processing plant to Wright County, Iowa, is proceeding quite nicely. The article says that the Iowa Economic Development Authority board approved about $11.5 million in state incentives for the North Carolina-based company. The board approved the measure 8-1.
Monday’s Des Moines Register reported that to receive the tax package from the state, Prestage Farms would need to create 922 jobs, with 322 of them paying a minimum of $15.54 an hour, plus benefits. About $8.6 million of the state tax credits are based on new job creation and nearly $2.9 million would be a rebate of sales taxes and other fees the company paid during construction.
A spokesman of the IEDA said the state incentives are similar to those offered Prestage when it considered locating the project in Mason City, which was ultimately rejected by the city council there in May.
The Des Moines Register article also says Wright County is considering $8 million in local tax breaks, about 30% of Prestage’s $2.7 million annual property tax bill, officials there have said. The state incentives are contingent upon local approval of Wright County’s incentive package.
Just as in Mason City, opponents to the plan are lining up, mostly organized by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
2. Always wondering what’s going on in the hog industry north of the border?
Well, today’s Daily Livestock Report from the Steiner Consulting Group offers a glimpse. The report says hog supplies in Canada are slowly expanding, but the current industry size is dramatically smaller than it was a decade ago.
The Canadian breeding herd as of July 1 was estimated at 1.244 million head, this is about 2.5% higher than it was in 2013 but quite a ways from recovering the 26% drop from the 2005 inventory peak.
The combined U.S. and Canada summer breeding stock is now estimated at 7.222 million head, 62,000 head (+0.9%) larger than the previous year. The increase in the size of the breeding stock and continued improvements in productivity (more pigs per litter) set the stage for further expansion in North American hog supplies this fall and winter.
The inventory of all hogs and pigs in Canada as of July 1 was 13.450 million head, 1.6% larger than the previous quarter and 1.9% larger than the previous year. The pig crop in Canada for the January to June 2016 period was 14.399 million pigs, 2.2% larger than a year ago. Farrowings for this period were 1.272 million which implies a pig per litter level of 11.31, notably higher than the U.S. average. The pigs per litter declined only modestly in late-2013 and 2014 as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus impact was much smaller than in the United States.
The Daily Livestock Report says the bottom line is that expansion in the Canadian hog industry follows similar trends seen here in the United States, and will continue to bolster the supply of feeder pigs that enter the U.S. market in the next 12 months.
3. Gold Medal endorsement
The Pork Checkoff wants you to “Be Inspired,” and the National Pork Board couldn’t have asked for a better advertisement on Monday night when Clayton Murphy won the bronze medal in the 800-meter race at the Olympics in Rio.
Murphy grew up on his family’s farm in Ohio where they raised show pigs, and that fact was repeated numerous times by NBC’s Tom Hammond and Ato Boldan throughout the less than 2-minute race, as well as in the post-race commentary. The cherry on top would have been to cut from the action of a smiling Murphy draped in the red, white and blue to a commercial of the Pork Checkoff’s “Grill for It” campaign.
According to an article in the USA Today, Murphy’s time of 1:42.93 in the Olympic final was the third fastest time ever by an American. He picked the right time, and the right stage to better his previous personal record of 1:44.30. He became the first American to medal in the 800-meter race since the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Only 21-years-old, Murphy could have another Olympic games in his future. Who knows, this former Ohio pig farmer could just be so inspired.