Dear readers,

Pigs are selling fast and piglet quotations are going up, but we have some other good news also:

  • Karyn Havas, DVM, from Pipestone, received a $ 202,555 grant through the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) to develop a protocol that tracks antibiotic use across large-scale commercial swine production systems and compares it in real-time with its respective on-farm antibiotic use.
  • 1839 Cherokee Meat Co. processing facility got more than $10 million US federal grants.
  • The University of Nebraska Extension, the Center for Agricultural Profitability and the Department of Animal Science’s Meat Science will start the Meat Processing Management Training program in March 2024.
  • US frozen pork stock in October was down 5.6% from September, down 14.5% from October 2022, and 15.6% lower than the five-year average. Stocks of pork bellies were down 6% from last month and down 31% from last year.
  • US Missouri Senator Josh Hawley introduced the Protecting Interstate Commerce for Livestock Producers Act to protect farmers from costly regulations – made in other states – that will hurt their business and drive-up costs for consumers as a response to the California Proposition
  • The French parliament has passed with 78 votes to 12  a law to protect farmers from complaints from neighbors about noise or stench from agricultural activities, to stop „abusive” lawsuits from former city dwellers who bought houses in the countryside

Rebel Yell

While there are a lot of good news from the US, we have mentioned before that the good results of the packers and the increasing export of pork are achieved on the cost of loses in the farm side. Smithfield Foods  is terminating contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah, in response to an oversupply of pork in the industry, coupled with weakened consumer demand and soaring feed prices.

In Europe the pig industry is shrinking on an unprecedented scale. In the first three quarters of 2023, only 165.5 million pigs were slaughtered in the EU Member States, 8.2% less than in the same period last year. Subsequently pork production decreased by 7.7%. Evenin the industry leader Spain slaughter numbers have dropped: 39 million animals, 7.2% fewer pigs were processed than in the first three quarters of last year.At the former leader Germany, the decline in slaughter and meat production was around the EU average, while in Denmark the decrease is estimated to reach 20%. Recently the shareholder farmers determined changes in the management of Danish Crown, now there is also political pressure to transform the country’s agriculture in a green one, switching to plant based food. Animal husbandry and meat and dairy production are strong components of the Danish GDP, will the farmers quietly accept to go out of their business? Will they move to the more farmer-friendly East? It makes sense even more, if we consider the new proposals of EU regulations regarding animal transport. According to the EC, the transport of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses to slaughterhouses should not take longer than nine hours in the future. If pigs are to be transported by land for purposes other than slaughter, the limit this time to 21 hours, with a break after ten hours. If animals are allowed a one-day break away from the vehicle after the maximum transport time, they may be transported again for a maximum of 21 hours. For temperatures below zero degrees, the EC proposal requires covering road vehicles and controlling air circulation to protect animals from hypothermia. If the temperature drops to minus 5° or lower, the EC wants to limit transport times to an additional nine hours. The same deadline should apply to transport between 10:00 and 21:00 as soon as the temperature is between 25°C and 30°C. If it gets even warmer, animals will only be allowed to be transported between 9 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Getting back to COP 28 conference in Dubai. The provisional total number of delegates was of 97,372. Huge effort for so many people to fly there to protect the environment…Maybe the fuel pollution is compensated by the 2/3 plant-based menu served. Also, the 13 OPEC cartel ministers descended on the U.N. climate talks in Dubai, the of oil-rich nations urged its  members, including the organizing country and OPEC+ countries to reject any agreement aimed to slash fossil fuel production. Shouldn’t our industry also shout out in a rebel yell?!

European pig and piglet prices: HW= Hot weight; L= live weight;

GERMANY2,1 HW73/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,98-2,12 HW67/25 kg  
BELGIUM1,52 L61/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,73-1,76 HW80/30 kg 
FRANCE1,78 HW   
ITALY1,92-1,94 L115kg, 2,26-2,28 L160kg, DOC115/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L 71-80/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,07 HW93/31 kg 
POLAND1,50-1,87 L78-120/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,0-2,2 HW97-102 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,3 L 105-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,1 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,77 -1,85 L92-97/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,89 – 2 L92-97/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,9 – 2,1 L92-97/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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