National Hog Farmer is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Articles from 2020 In October

This Week in Agribusiness, October 31, 2020

Part 1

Chad Colby checks in with grower, Jabob Wade about data from his field trials in 2020.

Max tours rural America facilities and agriculture entrepreneurs KSI and Landoll Inc.

Joe Camp, Commstock Investments joins Mike to talk markets.

Part 2

Joe Camp is back with more about wheat markets, grain exports, COVID and meat demand.

Chad Colby gives an update on the new Apple iPhone 12.

Part 3

Rita Frazer, RFD Radio Network and Tom Brand, NAFB joins Max to talk virtual FFA convention and connecting during this time.

Part 4

Denny Uphoff and Jim Brown from Beason, Illinois joins Max to talk about corn and soybean field trials.

Greg Soulje is in to share is weekly weather forecast.

Part 5

Greg is back with an extended weather outlook.

Part 6

Max’s Tractor Shed showcases a 2016 Fendt 740.

Mark Stock shares what's coming up on the auction block for Big Iron Auctions.

The FFA Chapter Tribute goes to Tupelo FFA, Tupelo, Oklahoma.

Orion adds a word (virtual) to the list that he shared last week Samuelson Sez.

Part 7

Mike shares the Case IH tiller demonstration from Farm Progress Virtual Experience.

FEEDSTUFFS PRECISION PORK: Special Report - Weather, molds and mycotoxins: What you need to know

The weather this year has been out of the ordinary, to put it mildly. That means the potential for molds and mycotoxins this fall in places like Iowa and Nebraska is quite real. As a feed manufacturer or livestock producer, what do you need to know and be on the look out for? Likewise, what can you do to manage the overall mycotoxin risk to your operation and your herd.

In this special episode of Feedstuffs Precision Pork, we talk with Don Geisting and Matt Wolfe about these important topics. Geisting is micronutrition innovation lead and Wolfe is strategic account manager – swine. Both are with Provimi, a Cargill company.  Take a listen.

Use this link to sign up for Provimi’s Mycotoxin Minutes:

Follow Feedstuffs Precision Pork each week on your favorite podcast platform or find it on and

Apple Podcast Icon  Google Podcast icon

FEEDSTUFFS PRECISION PORK Market Report – October 30

This has been a week of strong kills, logging another day on Tuesday at 492,000 head. Packers continue to have high hopes each day, aiming for those 2.7 million head weekly kills. Still, there are some feelings that COVID fears may be creating concerns to labor again, says Dave Bauer, senior market analyst with Provimi. This latest resurgence of COVID cases in rural America, even though more in the non-processing community, doesn't keep plant workers from being concerned about being around crowds.

Over the past three Fridays, kills have averaged 487,000 head and approximately 260,000 head over the past three Saturdays. With those kinds of numbers this week, we would have a chance at 2.7 million head killed. That is, of course, if Thursdays 492,000 head estimate stands and isn't adjusted lower. Weekly runs of 2.7 million head seem to be getting harder to achieve, says Bauer.

Producer weights have plateaued over the past couple of weeks, around 214 lb. and packer weights have backed off a pound or so.  There has been an abrupt correction to prices. Depending on how the cutout finishes, the week will dictate packer appetite for market hogs come Monday. Pork exports on Thursday, put net 2020 sales at 29,000 metric tons with 2021 new sales of 7,000 metric tons, for a combined 35,000 metric tons of new forward sales. Bauer says it been a great week, for sure, and all in the absence of China only taking 2,500 metric tons of pork. What can we expect from China in the near term? What’s ahead in terms of profitability for producers? Bauer gives his thoughts in this latest episode of Feedstuffs Precision Pork.

These are uncertain times and it will pay dividends to be well-prepared. If you have questions on this week’s recap or want to discuss something not covered, feel free to ASK DAVE at Plan today for tomorrow’s success.

Ask Dave_Revised.jpg

Follow Feedstuffs Precision Pork on your favorite podcast platform or find it on and

Apple Podcast Icon  Google Podcast icon

McDonald's takes McRib season nationwide in 2020

McDonald's nhf-mcdonalds-mcrib.jpg

The McRib is the sandwich fans anxiously await all year and this year, its highly-anticipated return is bigger than ever. McDonald's is not only bringing the McRib back in 2020, the fast-food chain is taking the fan-favorite nationwide for the first time since 2012 starting Dec. 2.

For a limited time, McRib regulars and "first-timers" across the country can soon get in on the McRib magic with seasoned boneless pork slathered in smoky, tangy barbecue sauce, topped with slivered onions and tart pickles. The company says the combination so tantalizing it has longtime enthusiasts declaring, "I need it," and the McRib-curious saying, "Why the heck not?"

"The McRib has been a beloved menu item at McDonald's since its inception nearly 40 years ago," says Vice President of Menu Innovation, Linda VanGosen. "There’s nothing quite like the taste of the McRib. To our customers, it's become more than a delicious, saucy moment … it's a season, and it's taking the internet by storm. That's why this year, we're proud to serve the McRib nationwide for everyone to enjoy."

The McRib made its national debut at McDonald's in 1982, and today it's one of the most anticipated, limited-time menu items offered around the world. Customers in Germany enjoy the sandwich year-round.

Source: McDonald's, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Counting the days to Election Day 2020

Getty Images Voting booths

The 2020 election is in four days with the latest polling showing Joe Biden favored to beat President Trump, the Senate is up for grabs and the Democrats are favored to maintain control of the House of Representatives. But everyone remembers 2016 when Hillary Clinton was favored, and Trump won. It is who wins the electoral college that counts, not the popular vote.

The key is the toss-up states in this year's presidential race. Those being Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

As we head into Tuesday's election, the Real Clear Politics' polls on voter attitude show:

Direction of the country — 31.3% believe the country is headed in the right direction versus 61.5% headed in the wrong direction.
• Trump — 41.6% favorable versus 55% non-favorable
• Biden — 50% percent favorable versus 44% percent non-favorable

• Trump — 44.4% approve versus 53.1% disapprove
• Congress — 17.7% approve versus 73% disapprove

This year has seen record levels of absentee and early voting with over 80 million ballots already cast as of yesterday. This represents 58% of the total votes cast in 2016. Some states are allowed to count these ballots before the polls close, while other states cannot begin counting them until the polls are closed. It could be days before various elections are determined.

Be sure to vote!

Key House ag committee races
There are a number of House Agriculture Committee members in close races.

The key race for agriculture is Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, who is in a very tight race. Peterson's district is the most Republican district represented by a Democrat. President Trump carried the district in 2016 by 31%. Peterson has served as either chairman or ranking member of the committee since 2007. He is being challenged by former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach.

Other key races include Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Anthony Brindini (D-NY), TJ Cox (D-CA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).

China's Phase One commitment update
U.S. Trade Representative and the USDA released an interim report last Friday on the progress China has made toward its commitments to the Phase One Agreement. China has met approximately 71% of its agricultural purchase commitment for 2020 according to the report. China has purchased $23.6 billion of U.S. farm products so far in 2020 and has implemented at least 50 of the 57 commitments it made to lower regulatory barriers for agricultural goods, according to the report.

The report includes actual sales and contracts for future delivery which have not been completed. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, actual exports through September for agricultural goods is $12.7 billion.

In a press release, the USDA and USTR highlight that U.S. pork exports to China reached a record in the first five months of 2020 at $1.5 billion. Beef exports through August are up 118% compared to the same period in 2019.

U.S. appeals WTO ruling on 301 tariffs
As expected, the United States appealed the World Trade Organization's September ruling in favor of China's case on U.S. Section 301 tariffs. No action is expected anytime soon because the WTO's appellate body does not have enough judges because the United States has refused to confirm any new judges.

U.S. Meat Export Federationnhf-usmef-wortham-bomer-joint-headshot.jpg

USMEF to honor Bomer Lauritsen and Wortham
The U.S. Meat Export Federation will be honoring two individuals who have contributed to the success of the USMEF mission to enhance red meat demand for exports and advance trade relations throughout the world.

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen will receive the Michael J. Mansfield Award that recognizes individuals who have advanced trade relations throughout the world. Bomer Lauritsen recently retired after 29 years of service in the federal government. Prior to retirement, she served as U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs and commodity policy where she led U.S. agriculture negotiations with Canada, China, European Union, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.

Richard Wortham will receive the USMEF Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual for leadership and lifetime contributions toward the achievement of USMEF's mission to enhance demand for U.S. red meat exports. Wortham has worked at the Texas Beef Council for 30 years, serving as executive vice president for the past 24 years.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.

America's hog farmers desperately need additional COVID relief

National Pork Board Hog farm with a line of feed bulk bins

If there is one thing farmers have never been afraid of, it's hard work. Every day, we do whatever it takes to grow our crops and raise our hogs, knowing that we are playing a vitally important role in feeding American families.

But our farmers are hurting right now.

What was supposed to be a bright year for hog farmers, following the successful resolution of various trade disputes, quickly turned bleak with the arrival of COVID-19.

The National Pork Producers Council estimates that our hog farmers will collectively lose $5 billion this year due to the pandemic. The widespread closings of schools and restaurants significantly reduced commercial demand for pork, while processing plant slowdowns and shutdowns left hog farmers with nowhere to send their animals. This was a double whammy that will continue to impact hog farmers well into next year.

The impact is being felt by farms, big and small, across the country. Many farms are losing money, and others are being forced to close altogether. That's why it is critical that Congress quickly move forward with a COVID-19 relief package that includes specific relief for our nation's livestock farmers.

The NPPC has identified several pressing needs: 1) compensation for euthanized and donated hogs; 2) additional funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories, which have appropriately assisted and shared resources with their public health partners; 3) modifications to the Commodity Credit Corp. charter so a pandemic-driven national emergency qualifies for funding; 4) additionally funds for direct payments to producers without restriction; and 5) extension of the Paycheck Protection Program with modifications that make it more accessible to more farmers.

These are critically important measures that Congress needs to enact to help save our family farms — and the rural communities that rely so heavily on agriculture to drive the local economy.

We are already seeing the pandemic's impact on our industry from the rural fields of eastern North Carolina to the Midwest communities in the heartland of America. If significant assistance is not provided, we will lose hog farms big and small, upsetting the healthy, dynamic and highly competitive pork production system that has served our farmers, the rural economy and consumers so well.

The North Carolina pork industry employs more than 45,000 people, and more than 80% of the hog farms are family owned. If Congress doesn't act soon, we could see consolidation, causing significant harm to our rural economy, while limiting consumer choice. No one benefits from that outcome.

We appreciate previous relief extended by the administration and Congress, but unfortunately it has not stabilized our farm sector. We need immediate action to offset the severe impact of COVID on a key element of the rural economy.

As we prepare to enter the ninth month of this pandemic, Congress must act with a greater sense of urgency to help hog farmers weather this crisis.

Source: Gene Nemechek, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.

2021 Keystone Pork Expo postponed to April

National Pork Board nhf-npb-hoffman-farm-pa.jpg

The Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, along with event co-host PennAg Industries Association, announced this week the decision to reschedule the popular Keystone Pork Expo from February to April 21. This move comes as a proactive measure to offer the best chance for the organizations to host the expo in-person in the new year.

This move also impacts Poultry Progress Day and the MidAtlantic Manure Summit, both held in conjunction with the Keystone Pork Expo. PennAg will likewise be postponing their annual banquet, held the same week as the expo, to April 20.

The expo has quickly become recognized as a leading animal agriculture event annually in the commonwealth, showcasing and bringing together the best of the best in Pennsylvania's growing pork, poultry and manure industries. The single-day event offers producers and industry professionals important opportunity for networking, education and access to innovative new products and services.

"Unfortunately, many similar events have been canceled or moved to a virtual format since the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from continued and evolving restrictions placed on larger gatherings across the state, especially those held indoor," says PPPC Executive Director Jessica Darr. "PPPC recognizes and appreciates that our pig farmers, processors and industry partners have been hard at work through the pandemic from the very beginning and that, regardless of the virus or restrictions, the business of agriculture does not rest. We also recognize that our producers and industry partners find great value in the expo each year and intend to do everything possible to prevent this event from experiencing a similar fate as those that have been canceled."

For these reasons and out of an abundance of caution, PPPC and PennAg have made the decision to proactively change the date for the 2021 expo, as well as the PennAg Annual Banquet, for those who enjoyed participation in both events.

Rescheduled 2021 Expo and Banquet Dates

PennAg Annual Banquet — April 20

Keystone Pork Expo — April 21

As in recent years, these two events will be held back-to-back and once again hosted at Spooky Nook Sports Complex, Manheim.

By migrating from the usual mid-February schedule, the hosts hope the additional time will allow for the state to see significant improvement in the coronavirus situation, offering increased opportunity to host both the expo and banquet as "normally" as possible in these unprecedented times. PPPC and PennAg also hope that this move will offer some relief to those making plans for the 2021 Keystone Pork Expo, either as attendees or as sponsors and exhibitors, by minimizing the need to repeatedly shuffle schedules, travel itinerary and even regular duties on the farm or in the office, resulting from continued postponements, corporate and government policy changes, and so on.

"We continue to communicate closely with the venue and will be monitoring the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19 to ensure that current guidance from local, state and federal levels are properly followed," Darr says. "Even more, the safety and well-being of our attendees and exhibitors is and will remain a top priority throughout the planning process for both the expo and banquet."

Details about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are expected to be released in early to mid-December. The expo will remain free to attendees, but an advanced registration option will be encouraged to better enable appropriate planning for the event, which often attracts more than 1,200 people.

Further information and updates will be offered through the events page, Facebook and email. Questions or concerns regarding the expo or banquet in general, as well as exhibit space and sponsorships, should be directed to Jessica Darr at 717-651-5920.

Source: Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Celebrate pork all year round

National Pork Board nhf-npb-nationalswinegrowersassociation.jpg
In 1914, the National Swine Growers Council met to discuss shared goals and needs.

It's #FlashbackFriday, and with tomorrow marking the final day of #Porktober, I wish we could go back and start the month again. Thirty-one days is just not long enough to celebrate the world's most consumed protein, with a very long history.

According to the Pork Checkoff's Fun Facts About Pork History, the pig dates back 40 million years, with fossils indicating wild pigs roamed forests and swamps in Europe and Asia. China domesticated the pig around 4900 B.C. and by 1500 B.C., Europe also joined in.

When Christopher Columbus visited Cuba in 1493, he brought eight pigs with him, while Hernando de Soto (aka the "father of the American pork industry") brought 13 to Florida in 1529. Following in his footsteps Hernando Cortez introduced pigs to New Mexico in 1600 and Sir Walter Raleigh brought sows to Virginia's Jamestown colony in 1607.

In fact, the financial district of Lower Manhattan in New York City could thank the introduction of pigs for the name of its famous street. While Wall Street is a direct reference to a wall that was erected by Dutch settlers to help keep out the British and pirates. The wall was also used to keep grain fields protected from roaming pigs.

After the Revolutionary War pork production started moving west. By 1835, Cincinnati became known as "Porkopolis" as the country's primary hog packing center. Five years later, a quarter of a million hogs were being processed there annually.

In the 1900s, transportation and refrigerated railroad cars revolutionized the pork industry. Packing plants could now be placed closer to production rather than consumption, and the Midwest became a haven for pig farming with its rich soil and favorable climate.

By 1956, the U.S. pork industry had grown so much that it was determined there was a need for a publication devoted entirely to pig farming. The first edition of National Hog Farmer (Vol. 1, No. 1) was published in February 1956 in Grundy Center, Iowa. The eight-page newsletter was the first national paper devoted exclusively to pork producers.

The next 50 years brought many technological developments, such as enhanced genetics, improved reproduction efficiency and improved disease control, as former National Hog Farmer Editor Dale Miller details here.

Since Miller wrote that piece 25 years ago, I'm sure my colleague Kevin Schulz and myself could find 25 events or more that have continued to shape the U.S. pork industry. Look at 2020 alone.

Yes, the industry has a long, rich history, and there is no doubt that success has continued to breed success as the United States is now the world's third-largest pork producer. A job well done and thus the reason I think the pork industry should be celebrated no less than 365 days per year.

Farm Progress America, October 30, 2020

Max Armstrong offers a look at a report from Metafarms and SMS looked at sow, nursery, finish and wean-to-finish operations that shows increasing efficiency in the swine industry. The report shows that farms are getting greater performance out of their operations. The report offers operations the chance to benchmark their own performance.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Darcy Maulsby/Getty Images News

Growth performance not sacrificed with corn protein

National Hog Farmer/Kevin Schulz Pigs in a pen with a heat lamp

Distillers dried grains with solubles is a co-product from the ethanol industry that can be included in diets to support growth performance of pigs. However, the industry has begun to further fractionate the whole stillage by separating some of the non-protein components, resulting in a protein-rich DDG containing over 50% crude protein (Flint Hills Resources, Wichita, Kan.).

This corn protein source, created by mechanically separating the corn fractions, may be included in diets for pigs as an alternative to animal and plant proteins. However, there has been limited data to demonstrate the nutritional value of corn protein produced using this technology.

Therefore, two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that the standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids and concentration of metabolizable energy in corn protein are greater than in two sources of DDGS (i.e., DDGS-1 and DDGS-2) when fed to pigs. An additional experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that corn protein may be included in diets for nursery pigs without reducing growth performance.

Nutrient digestibility results
Greater SID of amino acids was observed in corn protein and DDGS-2 than in DDGS-1 (Figure 1). The SID of isoleucine, leucine, methionine and valine was greater in DDGS-2 compared with DDGS-1 and corn protein. However, due to increased concentration of amino acids in corn protein, the concentration of all standardized ileal digestible amino acids was greater in corn protein than in the two sources of DDGS.

University of Illinois Standardized ileal digestibility of indispensable amino acids in two sources of DDGS and corn protein fed to pigs

Standardized ileal digestibility of indispensable amino acids in two sources of DDGS and corn protein fed to pigs

The apparent total tract digestibility of gross energy in corn protein was also greater compared with DDGS-1 and DDGS-2. The concentration of metabolizable energy (as-fed basis) in corn protein was 3,504 kilocalories per kilogram, and this value was greater than in DDGS-1 (2,813 kilocalories per kilogram) and DDGS-2 (2,581 kilocalories per kilogram).

Growth performance
Results from the two digestibility experiments indicate that corn protein is a valuable source of energy and digestible amino acids in diets fed to pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that plasma protein and enzyme-treated soybean meal can be replaced by corn protein in diets without compromising growth performance of pigs. A three-phase feeding program was used with Day 1 to Day 7 as Phase 1; Day 8 to Day 21 as Phase 2; and Day 22 to Day 35 as Phase 3.

Pigs were fed one of four diets during Phases 1 and 2, but a common diet in Phase 3. The control diet in Phase 1 contained 5% enzyme-treated soybean meal and 2.5% plasma protein and no corn protein. Two additional diets were formulated by replacing either plasma protein or enzyme-treated soybean meal by 5% corn protein, and an additional diet was formulated by replacing both plasma protein and enzyme-treated soybean meal by 10% corn protein.

In Phase 2, the control diet contained 7.5% enzyme-treated soybean meal and no plasma or corn protein. Three additional diets were formulated to contain 2.5, 7.5 or 10% corn protein at the expense of enzyme-treated soybean meal. All Phase 1 diets contained 5% DDGS, whereas all Phase 2 diets contained 7.5% DDGS. The common Phase 3 diet was based on corn, soybean meal and 10% DDGS.

In Phase 1, average daily gain and final body weight of pigs fed the control diet were greater compared with pigs fed the other three diets (Table 1). At the end of Phase 2, there was no difference in final body weight when pigs were fed 2.5% or 7.5% corn protein compared with the control diet.

University of Illinois Growth performance of pigs fed the experimental diets

Growth performance of pigs fed the experimental diets

However, a tendency for reduction in final body weight was observed at the 10% inclusion. No differences were observed for average daily gain, average daily feed intake and gain-to-feed ratio in Phase 2. Likewise, average daily gain, average daily feed intake, gain-to-feed ratio and final body weight at the end of Phase 3 and for the overall experimental period were not different among treatments.

It was, therefore concluded that corn protein may be included in Phase 1 and Phase 2 diets for weanling pigs by at least 5 and 7.5%, respectively.

Overall conclusions
Concentrations of standardized ileal digestible amino acids and metabolizable energy in corn protein were greater than in two sources of DDGS used in the present studies. Pigs fed diets containing corn protein had reduced average daily gain and final body weight during Phase 1, but inclusion of corn protein in diets did not affect the overall growth performance of pigs.

Footnote: Flint Hills Resources, Wichita, Kan., is dedicated to continuous research to further the industry knowledge of corn kernel separation processes in determining nutrient availability to optimize performance from nursery to the finished animal.
Sources: Charmaine D. Espinosa, Jessica P. Acosta and Hans H. Stein, who are solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.