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Articles from 2019 In May

African swine fever: What’s the latest on feed security?

National Hog Farmer’s Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference will feature Scott Dee, Pipestone Applied Research; Liz Wagstrom, National Pork Producers Council; Leah Wilkinson, American Feed Industry Association, and Brooke Humphrey of Provimi
As part of National Hog Farmer’s Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference on June 6, Scott Dee, director of research at Pipestone Applied Research; Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian of the National Pork Producers Council; Leah Wilkinson, vice president of Public Policy and Education of the American Feed Industry Association, and Brooke Humphrey, Strategic Marketing and Technology leader of Provimi; will come together for a discussion on the state of feed security and research on approaches and best practices to help mitigate your risk.

This past year has brought greater attention than ever before to the safety of the feed being given to pigs due to the outbreak of African swine fever in Asia and Eastern Europe. The pork industry has implemented important management practices to help secure the feed supply. But, work remains as the ASF situation is fluid and ongoing research is being conducted to guide decisions.

As part of National Hog Farmer’s Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference at 1 p.m. Central on June 6, Scott Dee, director of research at Pipestone Applied Research; Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian of the National Pork Producers Council; Leah Wilkinson, vice president of Public Policy and Education of the American Feed Industry Association, and Brooke Humphrey, Strategic Marketing and Technology leader of Provimi; will come together for a discussion on the state of feed security and research on approaches and best practices to help mitigate your risk. Bring your questions for these experts. National Hog Farmer Editor Ann Hess will moderate this portion of the Virtual Conference.

What to expect on June 6:

  • The first-of-its-kind Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference, a completely digital event
  • Free registration; no-cost to you
  • More than four hours of engaging content from industry experts
  • On-demand access to the event archive

In addition to getting the latest on ASF, find out which pork production companies made this year’s Global Mega Producer list. Hear from Jim Long of Genesus and Dennis Smith of Archer Financial Services as they speak to the market trends shaping the global hog industry in 2019 and beyond.

During our digital conference you’ll hear:

  • The latest innovation happening at the barn level with an emphasis on achieving a higher level of individual animal management and increased performance and efficiency; Chore-Time/PigTek will be on hand to share all the details.
  • How to improve human and animal performance, with higher overall profitability. Jon Hoek and Kasey Sheldon of Summit Precision Production will explain how access to and training a reliable workforce.
  • How pigs are contributing to advancements in heart stents, cardiac repair and rejuvenation, diabetes and insulin research and surgical procedure.

Click here for a full schedule of the June 6 Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference.

Don’t delay!
Register today for the Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference.

Already have plans for June 6? That’s OK; your registration gets you access to an archive of the event’s presentations and notifications as new programming is added.

Click here to register.

Trump threatens Mexico with tariffs

iStock/Getty Images Plus/wildpixel Illustration of rubber stamp of U.S. tariffs on Mexico

President Trump announced yesterday that beginning June 10, he would impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods imported into the United States until illegal immigrants coming through Mexico are stopped. The tariffs will increase 5% the beginning of each month until capped at 25% on Oct. 1.

In a statement Trump says, “If the illegal immigration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgement, the tariffs will be removed.”

This move comes at an awkward time just as Mexico, Canada and the United States are trying to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Earlier, a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen had threatened to not consider the USMCA as long as the steel and aluminum tariffs were in place on Mexico and Canada.

The United States imported $346.5 billion of Mexican goods in 2018.

Canada and Mexico move forward on USMCA
Legislation was introduced this week in the Canadian Parliament to implement the USMCA. Parliament adjourns in a few weeks for federal elections in October. It is expected Canada will wait on final passage until it is determined what the United States is going to do with USMCA.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador submitted the USMCA for Senate approval. According to press reports, Obrador would like the Senate to hold a special session to consider the USMCA before their next regular session scheduled in September. Only the Senate is required to approve the USMCA in Mexico.

EPA moves to year-round E15
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced it was lifting restrictions on the sale of E15 during the summer months. The announcement will allow gasoline stations to sell blends containing up to 15% corn-based ethanol year-round.

Growth Energy, in a statement, estimates this announcement will result in over a billion new gallons of ethanol demand in the next five years and could increase the market for corn by 2 billion bushels over time.

Disaster aid on hold
Twice this week, Republican Congressmen objected when the House Democratic leadership tried to bring up the disaster bill for a voice vote during a pro forma session. It takes unanimous consent for a bill to be considered during a pro forma session. The likely outcome, when the House returns next week for regular session, will be that the disaster aid bill will pass and be sent to the president.

Planting progress bogged down
The latest USDA weekly “Crop Progress” report shows major corn and soybeans states are far behind in planting this year due to wet weather.

The latest report shows as of May 26, 58% of corn acres had been planted compared to a five-year average of 90%. Illinois stands at 35% planted compared to a 95% five-year average. Indiana is at 22% compared to 85%, Ohio is at 22% compared to 78%, and South Dakota is at 25% compared to 90%.

Soybeans stand at 29% compared to a five-year average of 66%. Major soybean states — Illinois stands at 14% compared to 70% five-year average, Indiana is at 11% compared to 63%, Iowa is at 32% compared to 77%, Missouri is at 12% compared to 53%, and Ohio stands at 11% compared to 55%.

The question now is how many prevented planting acres will there be and how many corn acres will be switched to soybeans.

USDA names Pork Board members
USDA announced the appointments of five members to three-year terms on the National Pork Board. They are Russell A. Nugent III, Lowell, Ark.; Gene Noem, Ames, Iowa; Bill Luckey, Columbus, Neb.; Alicia Pedemonti, Hopkinton, N.H.; and Michael P. Skahill, Williamsburg, Va.

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.

Nine selected for The Maschhoffs’ summer internship program

The Maschhoffs NHF-TheMaschhoffs_2019interns-1540.jpg
Front row: (from left) Erin Wagoner, Katyann Graham, Emily Johnson, Kara Schueler, Sami Buckert, Hannah Miller and Jessica Spurgin. Back row: (from left) Zach Rankin, Jason Graham, Dalton Whitten and Frederick Grohmann.

Nine interns from across the United States have been selected for The Maschhoffs’ 2019 summer internship program, a pork production curriculum that dates back to 2005. Nearly 100 students have graduated from the program since it began.

“Our internship program gives students the opportunity to work on real-life situations that we encounter within our industry,” says Jessica Spurgin, senior recruiter. “At the conclusion of the program, The Maschhoffs gains tremendous insight on how to move forward in tackling some of these challenges. The students leave with a significant body of work they can add to their portfolio. But, most importantly, they gain the confidence that they’re ready to tackle whatever challenges they’ll face as young professionals.”

Each student is paired with a mentor in a specific area of The Maschhoffs’ business. Throughout the summer, the group will work on specific projects and challenges to the business.

The 2019 interns selected are:

Kara Schueler

  • Department: Production
  • Hometown: Coralville, Iowa
  • School: Purdue University

Emily Johnson

  • Department: Production
  • Hometown: Mustang, Okla.
  • School: Oklahoma State University

Hannah Miller

  • Department: Science and Technology
  • Hometown: Gresham, Neb.
  • School: Kansas State University

Sami Buckert

  • Department: Information Technology
  • Hometown: Warsaw, Ill.
  • School: Western Illinois University

Frederick Grohmann

  • Department: Supply Chain
  • Hometown: Red Bud, Ill.
  • School: Southeast Missouri State University

Katyann Graham

  • Department: Research
  • Hometown: Arcadia, Ohio
  • School: Iowa State University

Jason Graham

  • Department: Genetics
  • Hometown: Yucaipa, Calif.
  • School: North Carolina State University

Zach Rankin

  • Department: Windy Hill Meadows
  • Hometown: Camden, Ill.
  • School: Iowa State University

Dalton Whitten

  • Department: Technical Operations
  • Hometown: Vandalia, Ill.
  • School: Kaskaskia College

Source: The Maschhoffs, 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.

IPPA launches fourth round of tree buffer cost share program


Illinois pork producers once again have the opportunity to apply for a tree buffer cost share program. The Illinois Pork Producers Association is accepting a fourth round of applications from farmers to implement fresh landscaping on their pig farms.

“Tree buffers are just one of the current best management practices that pig farmers are embracing to benefit the environment. We are proud to offer these cost share opportunities to progressive pig farmers who understand the importance of stewardship for our future generations,” says Jennifer Tirey, executive director of IPPA.

A buffer is an area of trees that are strategically placed to provide a wind break, recycle clean air and provide curb appeal to a landscape. This cost share program is offered to Illinois pig farmers on a first-come first-serve basis. Funding aids with the purchase of trees and shrubs, as well as design and tree placement. IPPA will match up to $2,500 of the cost.

Ted Funk, environmental engineer for the IPPA and funded in part by the Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program, provides his talents of research and planning to benefit the farmer. A local Extension educator may also play a role by suggesting the best types of trees for the desired location. This group effort is to ensure the farmer has all the right tools they need to create a useful tree buffer.

Illinois Pork Producers AssociationNHF-IPPA-TreeBufferProgram-770.jpg

Taylor Wildermuth, Henry County Pork Producers president and IPPA member, stands in front of his barn where he planted a tree buffer with help from the IPPA tree buffer cost-share program.

“It’s exciting to work with pork producers who are committed to making their farms look great by using some strategic landscaping vegetation. I’m pleased to see the continuing interest of Illinois commodity groups in helping make healthy, attractive communities,” says Funk.

Pork producers interested in applying for cost share funds can download the application at Applications will be accepted through July 15.  

Source: Illinois Pork Producers Association, 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.

Drop your ag title and pick up your human title

Courtesy of Cristen Clark NHF-ONE19 Cristen Clark_Pig Session.1540.jpg

“Don’t you think your dad wished he’d had boys?”

Cristin Clark will never forget those words a family member uttered across the family dinner table so many years ago. It was the first time she ever felt excluded from the family farm and she says it still drives her today.

Exclusion is far from the Iowa pork producer’s goals today when she communicates with consumers through cooking contests, her family heirloom recipes and her blog Food and Swine. In fact, Clark says her ultimate objective is to engage.

“I encourage you when you meet people that do have questions about our food system, drop your ag title and pick up your human title,” Clark says. “Make a connection and listen to people and understand what they want to hear instead of what we love to tell them, which is all the production and science that drives us forward every day.”

Those words of advice stem from Roxi Beck, vice president at Look East who also works with the Center for Food Integrity. Clark says Beck is the one who encouraged her to “drop the ag title” and to communicate through shared values instead of talking about competence, skills and abilities on the farm to further gain consumer trust. So far that strategy has worked for Clark, but she also sees other areas for the industry to improve upon.

During her presentation, “From City Life to Farm Life: Cultivating Consumer Awareness,” at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, Clark shared three consumer trends that she believes deserve attention:

  • Legislative brands
  • Food porn out, stories in
  • Transparency 2.0

It was the second trend Clark mentioned that caught my ear not because of the potential R-rating implications, but because it was so refreshing to hear.

“Has anyone seen an Instagram picture where all the food is incredibly perfect? Everything looks manicured. The food is gorgeous,” Clark says. “You actually think the food tastes better because of the pictures of it. Now the idea of beautiful food is taking a back seat to the stories and traditions of food.”

Now don’t get me wrong, the filters on Instagram have saved a family photo or two and brightened up dull, drab snapshots over the years, however they can be misleading. For example, maybe that pork chop you pulled off the grill was cooked way over the 145-degree recommended temperature and was actually dry and tough. We’ll never know from that picture-perfect filtered shot.

Instead of the beauty of food, Clark says consumers are now more interested in the humanity of food, and the experiences surrounding that food. This falls in line with a study by Harris Group that found that 72% of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.

First full disclosure here, my birthdate technically falls in this millennial group, although more times than not I feel I couldn’t be farther from this demographic cohort. But this statistic Clark shared during her presentation struck a chord. Rather than taking photos, I often find myself soaking in the experience and so many of those experiences revolve around food.

One of the first times I joined my husband’s family for Thanksgiving I was surprised to find out we were having ham as well as the traditional turkey. The family joke is his 92-year-old grandmother always seems to have a ham up her sleeve at any family gathering. All joking aside I loved seeing the family relish Grandma’s ham, one of many recipes that has been passed down through the generations.

It’s those stories consumers want to hear, Clark says.

“People are hungry, not only for the food but the story behind it,” Clark says.

So maybe after the next family barbecue, instead of just posting your insta-perfect pork chop, include the family recipe for that perfect rub or marinade along with why you choose to serve your family such a nutritious, delicious source of protein. Drop the ag title, be human and share those experiences.

North Korea reports first case of ASF

zhaojiankang/iStock/Getty Images pigs on farm in China_zhaojiankang_iStock_Getty Images-700500398.jpg

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) has informed the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that it has detected its first outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) at the Buksang cooperative farm in Chagang-Do, near the border with China.

According to the report submitted to OIE from Ri Kyong Gun, director of the country's veterinary and anti-epizootic department within the Ministry of Agriculture, the outbreak was detected May 23 and confirmed May 25 in a herd of 99 pigs in which 77 succumbed to the virus.

The OIE report can be viewed at this link.

ARS scientist to be honored for swine influenza research

Swine Influenza A

A USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist will be honored next week for her outstanding work in profiling the genetic evolution of swine influenza type A viruses and establishing a national IAV surveillance system.

Amy L. Vincent will receive the Arthur S. Flemming Award for her exceptional scientific achievements in the field of animal health on Monday. A medical veterinary officer with the ARS National Animal Diseases Center in Ames, Iowa, Vincent will be among 12 total award recipients from across the federal government who will be honored during a recognition ceremony on the campus of George Washington University. Together with the Arthur S. Flemming Commission, GWU’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration presents the awards annually in recognition of the outstanding achievements of Federal employees with three to 15 years of service.

Among her achievements, Vincent led in profiling the genetic evolution of swine influenza type A viruses and how this affects the animals’ immune responses to the pathogens. She also initiated a global nomenclature system to expedite vaccine selections, strain identification and comparisons, and studies of viral evolution and “mixing,” whereby influenza strains from different host species exchange their genes.

Starting in 2008, Vincent also led the way in establishing a national IAV surveillance system in collaboration with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The USDA surveillance system remains successful today, allowing stakeholders to analyze and monitor emerging swine influenza strains, as well as learn how they evolve genetically and compare to past virus strains that have circulated within the U.S. pig population.

This capability proved critical in 2009, when federal and state public health officials used the surveillance system to orchestrate a multi-faceted response to U.S. outbreaks of H1N1, a new influenza strain that caused flu illness in both pigs and people and cost the U.S. pork industry over $1.58 billion in lost revenues from April to December of that year. Vincent’s contributions include developing a model system for selecting the most effective vaccines to use and avoiding strain-mismatches that can exacerbate rather than mitigate influenza symptoms in affected swine.

Flemming awards are presented to winners in one of five categories. Vincent will be recognized in the Social Science, Clinical Trials and Translational Research category.

Sources: USDA ARS, 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.

Pork producers ask Trump to reconsider 5% tariffs on Mexico

Racide/Getty Images/Istock Mexico and U.S. flags

In response to President Trumps plan to impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican imports as of June 10, David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., issued the following statement.

“We appeal to President Trump to reconsider plans to open a new trade dispute with Mexico. American pork producers cannot afford retaliatory tariffs from its largest export market, tariffs which Mexico will surely implement. Over the last year, trade disputes with Mexico and China have cost hard-working U.S. pork producers and their families approximately $2.5 billion. 

“Lets move forward with ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, preserving zero-tariff pork trade in North America for the long term; complete a trade agreement with Japan; and resolve the trade dispute with China, where U.S. pork has a historic opportunity to dramatically expand exports given the countrys struggle with African swine fever.

“We hope those members of Congress who are working to restrict the administrations trade relief programs take note. While these programs provide only partial relief to the damage trade retaliation has exacted on U.S. agriculture, they are desperately needed. We need the full participation of all organizations involved in the U.S. pork supply chain for these programs to deliver their intended benefits.”

For most of the last year, U.S. pork producers have lost $12 per hog due to trade retaliation by Mexico, which was lifted last week, according to Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes. Hayes projects that U.S. pork producers will lose the entire Mexican market, one that represented 20% of total U.S. pork exports last year, if they face protracted retaliation. As of April 1, the value of U.S. pork exports to Mexico were down 28% from the same period last year. 

Source: National 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.

MORNING Midwest Digest, May 31, 2019

Is it possibly the fed could lower interest rates?

How low can U.S. corn production go this summer? Private analysts are already pondering yield estimates.

Corn prices need to continue to rally to entice corn producers to keep planting.

Overall college enrollment is down for the seventh year in a row.

Iowa residents will have a front row seat for the upcoming presidential election.


Photo: pabradyphoto/Getty Images


Farm Progress America, May 31, 2019

Max Armstrong looks at the upcoming first-ever Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference sponsored by National Hog Farmer on June 6. The event will cover a range of topics pertinent to the swine industry. The event was in the wake of the cancellation of the World Pork Expo. The virtual session will kick off with the announcement of the 2019 list of Global Mega Producers and National Hog Farmer Editor Ann Hess will be on hand along with Max Armstrong for the day-long event.

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: metamorworks/iStock/Getty Images Plus