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Articles from 2010 In January

National Hog Farmer

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health receives European approval for a single-shot dosage scheme of PORCILIS PCV

porcilis-pcv-packshot-for-office.JPGBOXMEER (Netherlands), January 26, 2010 – Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health today announces that it has received marketing authorization from the European Commission on January 12, 2010 for a single-shot vaccination schedule of its PORCILIS® PCV vaccine against porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infections.

The new approval allows to vaccinate with 1 dose of 2 mL in pigs from an age of 3 weeks onwards (known as the 1 – 2 – 3 approach) in case of low to medium levels of maternal antibodies against PCV2 and also to include reduction of mortality as additional indication. This new single-shot application for PORCILIS PCV will add flexibility in use to the currently available dosage scheme of this vaccine that has been available in Europe since April 2009.

Based on the original and complementary data presented the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) adopted a positive opinion after it had concluded that the quality, safety and efficacy of PORCILIS PCV for the addition of a single shot administration and the inclusion of the indication for reduction of mortality were considered to be in accordance with the requirements of Council Directive 2001/82/EC, as amended, and that the benefit-risk balance was favorable.

Major characteristics of PORCILIS PCV are that: (1) it contains the Cap-2 subunit antigen coded by ORF2 and therefore induces strong immunity against PCV2 infection; (2) it is combined with XSolve, an adjuvant offering immunity until the end of the finishing period; and (3) is able to break through of all levels of maternally-derived antibodies in piglets depending on the vaccination schedule used.

It has been demonstrated that one single dose of PORCILIS PCV induced both humoral and cell-mediated responses against PCV2, despite the presence of low to medium levels of maternal antibodies. According to a recent study published in Vaccine, the immunity induced by a single dose of the vaccine resulted in reductions of viremia, viral shedding and viral load in tissues in vaccinated pigs as compared to controls.* Moreover, field trials have demonstrated that vaccination of pigs at 3 weeks of age or older reduces the presence of virus load in the blood and reduces weight loss associated with PCV2 infection during the fattening period.

Infection with PCV2 is known to cause a variety of syndromes in pigs, together known as Porcine Circo Virus Disease (PCVD). Symptoms may include clinical signs such as weight loss or failure to grow, enlarged lymph nodes, difficulty in breathing, pale skin and jaundice.

For full prescribing information please consult the Summary of Product Characteristics.

* Fort M, Sibila M, Perez-Martin E, Nofrarias M, Mateu E, Segales J. One dose of a porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) sub-unit vaccine administered to 3-week-old conventional piglets elicits cell-mediated immunity and significantly reduces PCV2 viremia in an experimental model. Vaccine 2009;27:4031-4037

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About the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health PCV vaccines

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health markets two vaccines against PCV2 infection. CIRCUMVENT PCV is produced in the USA and is intended for markets in North-, Central- and South-America, Asia (excl. Japan) and Oceania. CIRCUMVENT PCV was the first PCV2 vaccine receiving a USDA conditional license in 2005 and was launched with a full license in the USA in 2007. PORCILIS PCV is produced in Europe and is intended for the whole of Europe and Japan. PORCILIS PCV, originally developed as a two-shot vaccine, was approval Europe in 2009 and the one-shot version received European approval in January 2010. It contains Xsolve, an adjuvant that contains light liquid paraffin and dl-α-tocopheryl acetate.

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, based in Boxmeer, the Netherlands, is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative animal Health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is a fully owned business unit of Merck & Co., Inc., which is based in Whitehouse Station NJ, USA. For more information, visit

About Merck

Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching programs that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. Merck. Be Well. For more information, visit


PORCILIS® PCV is a trademark owned by Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. © 2010 Intervet International B.V. All rights reserved.

This press release contains information on veterinary products based on international registration dossiers and may refer to products that are either not available in your country or are marketed under a different trade name. In addition, the approved indications as well as safety and efficacy data for a specific product may be different depending on local regulations and approvals. For more information, read the product labeling that applies to your country or contact your local Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health representative.

Paul Geurts

Media Relations Animal Health

Global Communications

T: +31 485 58 7893

M: +31 6 205 73420

F: +31 485 58 5392

Intervet International B.V.

Wim de Körverstraat 35

PO Box 31, 5830AA Boxmeer

The Netherlands

National Hog Farmer

Newsham Choice Genetics and Groupe Grimaud further their commitment to become a global leader as a pig genetics provider

The current ownership group of Newsham Choice Genetics has agreed to an arrangement whereby their current European joint venture partner, Groupe Grimaud, will obtain 100% ownership of the company. Presently, Newsham Choice Genetics has three ownership entities: Bucolica, the Netherlands based group which includes partner Groupe Grimaud of France; the Mitchell family; and some Newsham management personnel. The timetable for the change is February.

“As a global leader in multi-species animal genetics, Groupe Grimaud understands the future growth opportunities in swine genetics,” says Frederic Grimaud, president of Groupe Grimaud. “Newsham Choice Genetics continues to utilize leading technologies to grow their market. This ownership change indicates our dedication and support for the Newsham Choice Genetics business and their ability to create genetic change at an unprecedented rate to meet the demands of the swine industry. We also see a real opportunity to extend Newsham business worldwide through the global network of our group as well as a larger cooperative emphasis in R&D innovation and development.”

Brent Mitchell, Co-CEO of Newsham Choice Genetics states, “This decision is an important progression to our dedication to meet the future needs of our industry. This step will provide very positive support to our goal of becoming a global leader in swine genetics technology.”

Groupe Grimaud, inclusive of Newsham Choice Genetics, employs approximately 1,500 people and forecasts about 290 million USD in 2010 revenue, doing business in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Mark Weaver, DVM, Co-CEO of Newsham Choice Genetics says, “Profitability in today’s pork production industry is intimately tied to breeding stock choices and genetics. Technologically, Newsham Choice Genetics leads the industry in proprietary marker-assisted selection that provides for accelerated genetic improvement to pork producers. Groupe Grimaud currently utilizes this same technology in broiler selection and is committed to Newsham Choice Genetics’ continued growth in technology and products.”

Newsham Choice Genetics’ current management team will continue serving in their current roles. “We are excited about the synergies and benefits that our combined management group will provide to the ongoing business, especially at the customer support and service level,” says Brent Mitchell.

Newsham Choice Genetics ( in West Des Moines, Iowa, is the second largest swine genetics supplier in North America. The company is the leader for marker-assisted-selection in pigs; using 6,000 SNPs in discovery and selection, and offers a variety of high-performance maternal and terminal products to the swine industry.

Groupe Grimaud, located in Roussay, France, is a global leader in the life sciences applied to animal genetics and biopharmacy. It is the second largest multi-species animal genetic company in the world, comprising Hubbard in broiler chickens, Novogen in layers, Grimaud Frères in ducks and small species. Groupe Grimaud ( is also developing innovative technologies for biopharmaceutical uses through Vivalis, its Euronext listed subsidiary.

West Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Roussay, France

January 25, 2010

National Hog Farmer

Kemin announces new sales director and marketing manager for Agrifoods North America

DES MOINES, Iowa – January 25, 2010 – Kemin announces the promotion of Doug Macklin to sales director and Haley Stomp to senior marketing manager for Kemin Agrifoods North America.

“I look forward to the continued success of our sales and marketing teams under their new leadership,” said Jeff Murphy, president of Kemin Agrifoods North America. “Doug and Haley bring years of experience and leadership to these roles that will guide the successful growth and development of their teams.”

As sales director, Macklin is responsible for managing the sales and customer service teams. Macklin began his career at Kemin in 2000 as a key account manager. He most recently served as the East region sales manager where he was responsible for seven key account managers in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. Macklin holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College and an Associate of Arts in agriculture from The Ohio State University.

As marketing manager, Stomp is responsible for overseeing the marketing team and driving product strategies for continued growth and development. Stomp began her career at Kemin in 2003 as a chemical engineer for Kemin Health. She has also served as the Agrifoods global enzyme product manager and North American Agrifoods product manager. Stomp holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Kemin – Inspired Molecular Solutions™

Founded in 1961, the Kemin group of companies ( provide health and nutritional solutions to the agrifood, food ingredient, pet food, human health and pharmaceutical industries. Kemin operates in more than 60 countries with manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

The Agrifoods businesses of Kemin focus on Total Nutrition™ to help customers achieve a highly effective, consistent system of profitable animal production. The essential combination of Kemin products with good nutrition and solid animal husbandry ensures that customers around the globe maintain profitability while enhancing the health and well being of animals.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Kemin Industries, Erin Hockman, 515-559-5349,

Year-End Meat Inventories Down

Friday’s Cold Storage report was not wildly bullish, but was certainly good news regarding the status of frozen meat and poultry inventories. Stocks for every species were well below year-ago levels and lower than the already-low levels reported in the December report. Data for all meat and poultry species appears in Table 1 and the monthly species totals are shown in Figure 1 to provide a historical perspective.

Total meat and poultry in freezers on Dec. 31 amounted to 1.813 billion pounds, 19.1% lower than one year ago and 1.2% lower than last month. That remains the lowest monthly inventory since November 2003. Stocks of pork and beef are about the same as at that time, but chicken inventories are 100 million pounds lower and turkey inventories are almost exactly 100 million pounds higher now than in November 2003.

Turkey Totals
The big driver of the year-over-year decline in total meat protein stocks is turkey, whose stocks were nearly 146 million pounds (36.8%) lower than last year. They were 6.7% higher than stocks at the end of November 2009, but they are still not back to the levels held at the year-end of 2005 and 2006.

Turkey inventories are in far better shape heading into 2010 than they were last year, when I pointed out that they could easily become problematic. The reduction in stocks, of course, was driven by a sharp drop in turkey production. While monthly data for December (and thus 2009 as a whole) are not yet available, weekly production data indicate that 2009 turkey production was 6.9% lower than 2008.

Pork Belly, Rib Supplies Up
The reduction in pork tonnage in freezers was led in percentage terms by ham stocks (down 32.8%, 24.334 million pounds) and in tonnage terms by “other” pork (down 24.711 million pounds, 23.4%). Only bellies and ribs inventories were higher than one year ago on Dec. 31 at +12.3% and +15%, respectively.

The ham category showed the largest reduction during December. Stocks fell by over 33 million pounds or 40.2% from November levels, a draw-down that fits with anecdotal reports of very good ham exports at year’s end.

Chicken Supplies Generally Down
Chicken inventories continued to decline in December and their status will be quite important in 2010. The situation with Russia will be key to that status and the news, so far, has not been positive. I don’t know how much Mr. Putin actually knows about chicken and chlorine, but the fact that he saw fit to comment on the topic in such a forceful manner last week is, to me, not a very good sign.

The only chicken product for which freezer inventories were higher on Dec. 31 was thigh meat at +44.1%. But note that this category accounts for less than 4% of the total, while “other” chicken accounts for over half and breast meat accounts for about 20%.

It is probably better to consider all of the dark meat chicken products (drumsticks, leg quarters, legs, thighs and thigh quarters, and thigh meats) together since their supplies are directly linked and prices will adjust to demands for the specific pieces and parts. Stocks of chicken hind-quarter products on Dec. 31 were 110.8 million pounds, 30.6% lower than last year but 6.1% higher than on Nov. 30. This category may be quite important as the Russian saga plays out.

Beef Supplies Mostly Steady
Finally, beef stocks exhibited an unusually large year-on-year decline in December, primarily due to the lack of a normal seasonal increase in 2009. As can be seen in Figure 1, beef stocks normally grow through year’s end. The seasonal pattern applies to both beef cuts and boneless beef, but due to the relative size of the boneless category, is primarily driven by the latter. The USDA data indicate that boneless beef inventories have simply not grown this year.

All in all, this report was a positive for meat and poultry supplies heading into the new year.

Click to view graphs.

Steve R. Meyer, Ph.D.
Paragon Economics, Inc.

Nice Start to a New Year

We have had an amazing run in swine prices in December and January. Cash prices are running close to $70/cwt. carcass, an unusual occurrence for this time of year. While attending the Minnesota Pork Congress this past week, I noticed many producers had smiles on their faces for the first time in almost two years. In talking with many producers, I found mixed emotions. Some feel that they might actually have a month where they have a chance at being profitable. The other thought is a concern about what could cause the market to turn down. The consensus that I heard was that they still have not gone a month in almost two years where they actually made money, “so let’s not get too excited. We have a long ways to go to get back to where we were in 2007." This is a nice start and a welcome change.

Cut out – Attached you will find a historical chart on pork carcass cutout. Notice that as of Jan. 21, we are at the highest value that we have been in the last nine years for this time period. The last time we had this kind of run was in 2005. There are two drivers here – demand has been very good across the board for all cuts of pork and hog supply numbers are running below a year ago. Higher demand coupled with reduced supply generally results in higher prices.

Click to view graphs.

Positive Margins for 2010 – If you look at current Chicago Board of Trade, prices for lean hogs average above $73/cwt. carcass. The breakeven levels in most pork production systems is about $67/cwt. carcass, on average. There are other items to consider, but it looks like there are profits of about $10-$15/head.

Many producers ask what they should do – lock up some positive margins or play the odds on the open market since we are on the upswing. First, I remind them, this is their business and their decision. I understand that producers have lost a lot of money and they want to capture as much profit as possible when the market improves. Still, we have seen more volatility in the markets over the last two years. If volatility is going to be the norm, working on margin management might be more important than ever. Locking up some profits on a portion of your production can also help you sleep better at night, as well as allow you to focus on other items that can positively affect your business. You can also use options, which can allow you to capture more upside if you are positive on the market. These decisions are never easy, but you’ll never go broke locking in a profit.

Be a Student of Your Business – The past two years we have seen some producers do a better job of managing through these tough economic times than others. The successful producers are constantly working and learning about what is happening in the marketplace. You need to be aware of good and bad things that are happening. For example, do you look at the pork cutout report ( every day? You should. It gives you a trend reference on the meat side – whether it is good or bad. The “Pork Carcass Composite” chart referenced above also provides a seasonal tendency over the past nine years, including cutout trends.

We recently held a webinar featuring Brett Stuart from Global Agritrends, who gave an update on exports of all proteins and he addressed the ban of poultry imports by Russia. We all know that exports are very important to the success of the pork sector. The graph below shows what happened to pork prices when poultry was banned in 2002. To date, this poultry export matter has not been resolved with Russia, but it reinforces the importance of being a student of your business, being aware of factors that can affect the economics of your marketplace. Let’s hope the positive market continues. It has been a pleasure to once again write a column that talks of profits for a change.

Click to view graphs.

Mark Greenwood
Swine Industry Consultant
Contact Greenwood at

Food Safety Review Sought

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chairwoman of the House Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee, has called for an independent science board to review USDA’s meat and poultry inspection system in reaction to the recent recall of approximately 864,000 lb. of beef contaminated with E. coli. DeLauro said, “Contaminated meat products continue to enter our food supply at a disturbing rate. And, as recalls like this attest, it is time for the meat and poultry inspection system at USDA to be subject to a comprehensive review by an external, independent science board to ensure that the current system is adequately protecting the public health. Such a board would support and advise USDA, ensure that the inspection process is rigorous and scientifically robust, and recommend changes to any practices that are insufficiently protecting our food supply.”

Russian Trade Issues Mount — Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), ranking member of the committee, are urging President Barack Obama to use all of the administration’s resources to address Russia’s recent decision to restrict U.S. agricultural imports, especially pork, poultry and beef. The senators said in a letter to the president: “While the actions against our exports have taken different forms, they all erect non-scientific barriers to trade. First, if left unchallenged they would have the effect of keeping U.S. products almost entirely out of Russian markets. Second, while the Russian government’s varied justifications centered on sanitary measures, analyses or guidelines of international agencies, such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) or the Codex Alimentarius, do not support Russia’s conclusions.” A U.S. government delegation is scheduled to meet with Russian officials in Moscow in the near future.

CBS & Antibiotics — Next week, CBS Evening News is expected to present a story on antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production. CBS has been to Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Denmark for the story. The report will focus on antibiotic use in pork and poultry production. Following the story, congressional proponents to ban antibiotic use in livestock are likely to call on Congress to address the issue this year.

Fix Taiwan Beef Problem — The House Ways and Means Committee leadership expressed frustration with Taiwan’s recent decision to limit the U.S. beef products accepted in the country. The action reverses the agreement reached between the United States and Taiwan last October. In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the members said, “The Jan. 5, 2010 vote of Legislative Yuan will not only have a significant effect on exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Taiwan, it has broader implications for U.S.-Taiwan trade relations.” The members commended the administration for suspending talks with Taiwan under the U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and believe these talks should not move forward until the beef issue is resolved. Signing the letter were Congressmen Charlie Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the committee; Dave Camp (R-MI), ranking member of the committee, Sander Levin (D-MI), chairman of the trade subcommittee, and Kevin Brady (R-TX), ranking member of the trade subcommittee.

Massachusetts Shocker — Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race has sent shock waves through Washington, DC. Independent voters were key to Brown’s victory. Brown’s win now gives the Republicans 41 seats in the Senate, thus denying the Democrats the necessary 60 votes to stop filibusters. This has huge ramifications for the legislative agenda for this year, especially with health care reform and climate change. This Republican win will put more Senate seats in play for the November election.

State of the Union — President Barack Obama will give his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, Jan. 27. The address will outline the president’s priorities and goals for the coming year. After the results of the Massachusetts Senate election, there is real interest in what the president will present as his legislative agenda.

P. Scott Shearer
Vice President
Bockorny Group
Washington, D.C.

Animal Care & Handling Conference Set for March

Two pork tracks highlight events at the Animal Care and Handling Conference sponsored by the American Meat Institute March 25-26, 2010 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, MO.

The first Pork Track March 25 features talks on Gestation Stalls Review and Analysis; New Research: Group Size Impact; and Stunning Pigs and Determining Insensibility.

The second Pork Track March 26 includes discussions on Innovative Facility Design and Handling Techniques; “We Care” Update: the Producer/Community Interaction; and New Research on European Trailers.

The conference also covers The ABC’s of Pigs for Novices and First-Time Attendees, and Throwing the Barn Doors Open – Communicating the Truth.

Other sessions cover Lessons Learned in Video Auditing; State Issues: Ohio; and Systematic Approaches to Animal Handling.

For registration information, go to or contact Rosie Levine at (202) 587-4242 or

For hotel information, call the Westin at (888) 627-8538 or reserve a room online at

USDA Study Assures Pork’s Food Safety

A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) again confirms that meat and tissue from pigs exposed to two strains of the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus are free of the virus.

The study was conducted at the National Animal Disease Center, part of the USDA National Centers for Animal Health in Ames, IA.

“This research provides additional reassurance for consumers about the safety of pork,” says ARS Administrator Edward Knipling in a news release. “The information contained in the study will also benefit customers of U.S. pork products both here and abroad.”

In the study, scientists inoculated a group of 30, 5-week-old piglets with the virus to assess their susceptibility to the novel H1N1 virus. Five pigs that were not inoculated served as the control group. The pigs were monitored daily and then euthanized at three, five or seven days after inoculation.

Researchers tested tissue samples of the pigs’ lungs, liver, muscle, spleen and other vital organs to look for the presence of the virus. The results showed infected pigs had evidence of upper respiratory disease indicative of influenza, but the virus hadn’t spread to any other parts of the body.

The findings about the safety of pork products from pigs infected with the novel H1N1 virus support recommendations of the World Health Organization that pork from hogs infected with the virus is safe to handle or eat, provided basic food safety standards for handling meat are observed.

Go to to learn more.

Purdue Hosts Farm Together Workshop

Purdue University is hosting the 30th Annual Farming Together Workshop Jan. 29-30 on the university’s West Lafayette campus.

The workshop provides an opportunity for managers of farm operations to work with a son, daughter or partner to explore decisions about the operation’s future. Purdue University agricultural economists will present sessions on effective communication, strategy, developing a management succession plan and organization structure.

Following each presentation is a working session where participants from each operation work together to lay a strong foundation for farming together.

The workshop helps to cover the issues on how to begin farming together.

“We get an opportunity to share the many good ideas that we have picked up from working with other farm families in terms of how to bring new people into the operation, get them started right and, ultimately, transfer the farm business to the next generation,” says Alan Miller, Purdue farm business management specialist.

Workshop registration is $150. The brochure and registration form are available online at

For more information about registration, contact Marsha Slopsema at (765) 494-4310 or

Smithfield Plans Closure of Sioux City Packing Plant

In a surprise move to the citizens of Sioux City, IA, and pork industry analysts, Smithfield Foods has announced that it will permanently shutter the John Morrell & Co. hog processing and fresh meat fabrication plant effective April 20, 2010.

“We deeply regret having to close this facility,” says Joseph B. Sebring, president of John Morrell. “We recognize that layoffs and plant closings are difficult for everyone concerned. But at the same time, we believe this is a necessary business decision. The Sioux City plant is one of the oldest, most outdated and least efficient plants in the Smithfield system,” he continues.

There are approximately 1,450 hourly and salaried employees at the Sioux City plant that will be affected by the closure.

Three other Smithfield plants at Sioux Falls, SD; Denison, IA; and Crete, NE, have the capacity to partially absorb the number of hogs currently being processed at the Sioux City plant, according to Smithfield.

The company says the Sioux City plant, built in 1959, would have to undergo “significant capital expenditures to outfit it with the next generation of pork processing technology, and in this adverse business environment, those capital needs simply cannot be met.” The plant currently slaughters 14,000 hogs a day.

Market analyst Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics at Adel, IA, says he expects there will be a negligible price impact from the plant closing in the short term. But he suggested producers will need to continue reducing the national sow herd to keep hog supplies in line.