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.

Sitemap


Articles from 2013 In August


Aug. 31 was International Bacon Day!

Aug. 31 was International Bacon Day!

The Labor Day weekend is considered by many to be the end of the carefree days of summer. In honor of this milestone, many people across the United States fired up the grill and made the most of the occasion. There must have been a lot of people thinking ahead to the pork that was going to await them prior to the holiday weekend, because some very interesting meat-related stories made the news just before Labor Day. The top attention-grabber for me was the proclamation that Aug. 31 was International Bacon Day!

Bacon’s sizzling popularity means there is no shortage to the bacon-infused, wrapped and simulated products available on the market.  It’s no wonder we need an entire day to celebrate! There are sizable bacon festivals on both coasts. If you happened to be in California, you could have popped in on the San Diego Bacon Fest. Apparently this is a pretty big deal, because a ticket to this event costs $60 and you could have signed up for a weekly newsletter related to the event. Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, you could have purchased attendance packages including the “Triple Bypass Package” of “taste tickets” for $50 if you planned to attend the Baconfest VA in Roanoke.

 If you missed International Bacon Day, the bacontoday.com Web site offers a “top ten list” of ways to celebrate bacon (and it looks to me like the list could be implemented on almost any given day, really).  Visit the site for more specifics, but the list includes the following suggestions:

10. Cure your own bacon.

9. Eat bacon with every meal.

8. Join Bacon of the Month Club

7. Introduce a vegetarian to vegetarian “bacon” products

6. Make bacon-infused bourbon.

5. Cook a recipe from the “Bacon Nation” cookbook.

4. Make a bacon dessert.

3. Throw a bacon tasting party.

2. Create your own bacon recipe.

1. Attend a bacon festival.

So did you hear that Ford Motor Company now offers custom bacon graphics that can be installed on the new Ford Fiesta? The custom exterior vinyl graphic wraps are produced by Ford Custom Graphics, along with 3M Original Wraps, and quite literally make your car look bacon-wrapped. So are you interested?  More details can be found at www.fordcustomgraphics.com.

Now that you are in the “bacon mood,” and just in case you weren’t prepared to mobilize for the Aug. 31 bacon-related celebrations, you can pull out your calendar and circle Oct. 19 on your calendar and plan your trip to Ames, IA. The Iowa State University Bacon Expo will be held on that date in the Scheman Building Courtyard at the Iowa State Center from 1-5 p.m. Event organizers say vendors will be on hand with hundreds of pounds of bacon samples. The goal of the event is to provide an alcohol-free, fun atmosphere for bacon enthusiasts and showcase the student organizations and educational opportunities in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. I have a teenager myself, and I’m feeling a strong urge for a college visit!

In the meantime remember, every day is bacon day if you are pork industry supporter!

Do you have additional thoughts about bacon? What did you do to celebrate International Bacon Day? Do you have any comments to add to the mix? Leave your stories or thoughts in the “comments” section below, or email lora.berg@penton.com.

First-Ever Student-Powered Bacon Expo Planned

Sample a variety of bacon samples at the Iowa State University Bacon Expo to be held Oct. 19 in the Scheman Building Courtyard at the Iowa State Center from 1-5 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 6 for the family-themed event.

A total of 1,200 admission tickets will be sold at a cost of $8 each. A $10 punch card will be sold at the event to purchase a variety of bacon samples.

This is the first year the event has been held. Several vendors will be on hand with hundreds of pounds of bacon samples. The goal of the event is to provide an alcohol-free, fun atmosphere for bacon enthusiasts and showcase the student organizations and educational opportunities in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the National Hog Farmer Weekly Wrap Up newsletter and get the latest news delivered right to your inbox every week!

“The Iowa State Bacon Expo was founded to showcase the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State and increase consumer awareness of bacon and pork production in the State of Iowa,” says Jake Swanson, president of the Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council. “We have a solid student leadership team and we’re confident it will provide an educational and entertaining experience.”

The expo will feature student club exhibits, t-shirt sales, vendor samples and a bacon-eating contest. The entertainment will include remarks from local celebrities, culinary arts demonstrations and music.

“This is a family event that will showcase the activities we're involved in as students at Iowa State. It’s also a great way for vendors to show the versatility of bacon,” says Kristin Liska, a senior in animal science and co-chair of the Bacon Expo. “We are proud to host the first student-powered Bacon Expo in the nation.”

Sponsors for this year’s Bacon Expo include ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Elanco and Iowa Select Farms.

Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster at 8 a.m. on Sept. 6. For more information go to http://www.baconexpo.ag.iastate.edu.

You might also like:

Extreme Heat, Scarce Rainfall Could be Hard on Crops and Production Costs

Pondering the Zilmax Controversy, Pork Demand and Feed Cost Expectations

Battling Antibiotic Residues

 

Bacon-Powered Ford Cars

In recent years, bacon has transformed from a food to a lifestyle, being an inspiration for everything from medical supplies to plush toys.

Now, with International Bacon Day just around the corner (Aug. 31), Ford is savoring the salty side dish with the introduction of what is believed to be the first bacon-wrapped car -- a 2014 Ford Fiesta.

Ford is announcing the availability of custom bacon graphics that pork purists can have installed on their new Fiesta. The small car synonymous with fun and individuality is hitting dealerships around the country.

“In the 40 years I've been in this business, I've never seen so much interest in bacon,” says Allan Benton, CEO of Benton's Country Hams. “It's being used in bourbon, chocolate, ground beef, caramel corn and whatever else you can think of. This car just makes so much sense.”

The piece de resistance is the full “Bacon Wrap” -- 10 giant strips of delicious bacon rolled around the entire Fiesta for a carb-free ride. Benton, known as the King of Bacon among venerable food writers and chefs, personally approved the design, and has deemed the bacon-wrapped Fiesta good enough to eat -- and drive.

“You can only imagine that a hillbilly from Tennessee is pretty happy to hear about a Ford wrapped in bacon,” Benton says. “I expect there will be some real excitement among the young city crowd.”

The bacon graphics are just a few custom exterior vinyl graphics Fiesta buyers can have installed on their ride to express their personalities. The wraps are produced by Ford Custom Graphics, along with 3M Original Wraps, and are available at www.fordcustomgraphics.com.

For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, visit http://corporate.ford.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Full Genome Sequence of 70 TOPIGS Pigs

Researchers from the Animal Breding and Genomics Group at Wageningen University and TOPIGS recently sequenced the full genome of 70 TOPIGS pigs. As a result of the sequencing, more than 10 million new SNPs have been identified.

The information from this sequencing increases the range of possibilities TOPIGS has to improve and speed up genetic progress within it lines. Having more precise information about the effect of genes and where they are located improves the accuracy of breeding and also makes it possible to breed for new traits.

An international consortium of researchers and sponsors from the breeding industry, including TOPIGS, recently published the complete pig genome sequence in the scientfiic journal Nature. This information provides not only the basis for the genomic selection tools but also for analyses of the TOPIGS pigs' sequences.

For more information, contact Peter Loenen, Communication manager, TOPIGS, at Peter.Loenen@TOPIGS.com

 

  

Get Ready for PRRS Season

Data from Steve Tousignant, DVM, at the National PRRS virus Incidence Project at the University of Minnesota, documents that annual epidemics of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome are repeatable.

This is evidenced by a study that recorded the number of new PRRS virus cases in 370 sow herds across 14 unique production systems. For the past four years, the number of new cases on a weekly basis was expected to dramatically rise in mid-October (see graph).

To prepare for this season’s PRRS virus epidemic, take these precautions:

  • Maintenance or repairs on filtration systems should be well underway and nearing completion. Because there is documentation that even filtered farms will break with new PRRS virus infections, it is important to remember all aspects of biosecurity.
  • Conducting audits with farm personnel should include a walk around the outside of the barn to ensure weeds are trimmed away from the barn, rodent bait stations are refilled, and any holes in curtains or soffits are repaired.
  • Inside the barn, it is good to review personnel and equipment entry protocols and what to do if a mistake happens, especially in cases of high employee turnover.
  • Entry ways, animal load outs, showers and decontamination rooms should be cleaned, organized, and restocked with all equipment needed at each location.

All efforts at this point should only help to reduce the risk of new infections this PRRS virus season, Tousignant says.

For more information about this PRRS virus project, contact Tousignant at  tous0026@umn.edu.

 

USDA Forecasts Increase in 2013 Farm Income

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wednesday released a report from USDA’s Economic Research Service projecting an increase in farm income for 2013.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement in regard to that report:

“This week's forecast of a $6.8 billion increase in net farm income is a testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, and a further sign of the positive momentum they have achieved over the past five years.

“A 6% increase in this key measure would be the second highest inflation-adjusted amount since 1973, even as agriculture has worked hard to recover from an historic drought and other disasters.

“I am confident that our farmers and ranchers will continue to show the determination and innovation that has been the hallmark of American agriculture for generations.

“To help continue their strong momentum, producers and rural communities are counting on Congress to provide a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will lend certainty to Federal farm policy – as well as passage of a commonsense immigration reform measure to ensure a stable and dependable agricultural workforce in the years to come.”

To view the highlights from the 2013 Farm Income Forecast, click on this site: http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/highlights-from-the-2013-farm-income-forecast.aspx

 

Developing PEDV Biosecurity Recommendations

Developing PEDV Biosecurity Recommendations

Pork industry groups have convened transport and packing plant biosecurity meetings as part of a larger effort to implement measures to control and potentially eliminate porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, according to Harry Snelson, DVM, director of communications for the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

The National Pork Board has facilitated meetings, in collaboration with the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), with representatives from market swine packers and, most recently, the sow packing and buying station industries.

The objective of these meetings has been to discuss biosecurity concerns and to look for credible, workable and affordable solutions to enhancing in-plant and buying station biosecurity.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the National Hog Farmer Weekly Wrap Up newsletter and get the latest news delivered right to your inbox every week!

Each group proposed a list of recommendations that could be implemented at most facilities to enhance biosecurity and minimize the risk of contamination and disease spread arising from the activities at the plant or buying station. The proposed recommendations for market swine and sow packers/buying stations can be viewed on the AASV website along with videos illustrating biosecurity options for entering and exiting live haul trucks and trailers.

These recommendations will be utilized by the three biosecurity working groups coordinated by Hans Rotto, DVM, Iowa swine industry consultant heading up the working groups, to develop more definitive recommendations and materials for biosecurity as the industry moves forward, according to Lisa Becton, DVM, director of swine health information and research for the National Pork Board.

The National Pork Board’s board of directors has provided a total of $800,000 to fund research into the control and elimination of the PED virus. The principle investigators have provided the first preliminary updates on the progress of their research projects. They will continue to provide updates every other week until the projects are completed. A spreadsheet with links to the latest updates is available on the AASV website.

You might also like:

Extreme Heat, Scarce Rainfall Could be Hard on Crops and Production Costs

Pondering the Zilmax Controversy, Pork Demand and Feed Cost Expectations

Battling Antibiotic Residues

 

Alltech, Kentucky State University Form Alliance to Focus on Modern, Sustainable Farming Techniques

Alltech and Kentucky State University (KSU) have formalized a joint research alliance to develop sustainable farming techniques and modern farming models. Alltech will invest around $75,000 per year toward research at KSU and will also provide support for KSU graduate students' research and for demonstrations in agriculture, food sciences, sustainable systems and related fields. These investments will help develop an active graduate student training program and undergraduate internship program in sustainable farming as well as a merit-based program aimed at supporting future agricultural science development. Learn more at www.alltech.com.

Zinpro Corp. Establishes Global Supply Chain and Customer Service Team

As part of the integration at Zinpro Corp., Gwen Carlson has joined the team as senior manager  Global Supply Chain and Customer Service  . Carlson's responsibilities in this newly created position include directing and coordinating activities of the Global Supply Chain and Customer Service team. This team oversees customer service operations and distribution of company products worldwide. 

Hot Weather Scorches Hog Price Rebound

Hot Weather Scorches Hog Price Rebound

The widespread hot, dry weather producing sharp increases in feed prices has scorched the potential for hog producers to return to profitability, warns Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt says.

December corn futures rose to $5 per bushel - a $0.50 increase since the early August lows and soybean meal increased $90 per ton. These equate to about $5 higher hog production costs per live hundredweight. While that doesn't completely dash producers' hopes of returning to profitability, it does mean they need to think twice before growing their operations.

“This has not wiped out profit potential, but should make hog producers more cautious about expansion,” Hurt says. “Expected margins have narrowed, but not collapsed.”

Hog producers can cover their costs with hog prices above $59 per hundredweight, he says. Current forecasts show fall and winter hog prices at $61 per hundredweight, which should rise to about $65 in the second quarter of 2014 before falling back to $62 for the third-quarter average.

If the forecasts are correct, the average per-hundredweight price over the remainder of 2013 through the third quarter of 2014 would be $62.50 per live hundredweight, which Hurt says would lead to expected average profits of $3.50 per hundred weight, or $10 per head.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the National Hog Farmer Weekly Wrap Up newsletter and get the latest news delivered right to your inbox every week!

“The unexpected recent surge in feed prices might cause some preliminary expansion plans to be aborted and therefore, increases the likelihood that lean hog futures prices also will rise some from current levels that are based on expectations of larger expansion,” Hurt says.

At this point, there's no way to know exactly how much corn and soybeans will yield, how much grain and feed prices will increase or how they will affect hog producers. Both crop and livestock producers will know more when the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases its Sept. 12 crop production report, but feed prices won’t be known with any real certainty until harvest is underway.

In addition to the uncertainty in feed prices, hog producers also need to be cautious about expansion because even small growth in the national breeding herd could increase pork supplies enough to send the industry back into losses starting in the fall of 2014, Hurt says.

“Expansion needs to be constrained to no more than a 3% increase in the breeding herd over the next year,” he says. “A 2-3% breeding herd expansion would be expected to push the industry back to breakeven.”

While a 2% increase in the breeding herd might seem like a relatively small expansion, it means exponential growth in production.

“A 2% increase in the breeding herd means about a 4% expansion in hog production,” Hurt says.

Other meats, such as poultry and beef, also will play a role in pork profitability because meat producers compete for consumers. However, current forecasts show beef production down 5%, which means pork producers could grab a larger share of meat consumption.

The bottom line, Hurt says, is for hog producers to consider expansion cautiously.

“When all of these factors are brought together, it means that the industry should strive for a modest expansion,” he says.

“Advice to individual pork producers at this point is to limit expansion to 2 or 3%.”

To read Hurt's full report, “Hog Outlook Turns Less Optimistic,” log on to Farmdoc Daily's Weekly Outlook at http://farmdoc.illinois.edu/marketing/weekly/html/082613.html. Farmdoc is a service of the University of Illinois.

You might also like:

Extreme Heat, Scarce Rainfall Could be Hard on Crops and Production Costs

Pondering the Zilmax Controversy, Pork Demand and Feed Cost Expectations

Battling Antibiotic Residues