Corn and Hog Producer Talks PEDv ImpactsTue, 01 Apr 2014 11:54:46 CDT
Scott Hays is a hog and corn producer from Missouri and he offers an interesting overview of what the swine disease PEDv will mean to corn producers across the country. His comments are courtesy of the Missouri Corn Growers Association:
"PEDv is by far the hottest topic at any pork producer event these days. Similar to the Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) virus that plagued the swine industry each spring several decades ago, "TGE on steroids" is how some have described it. When a sow farm becomes infected, death rates of 100 percent can be expected for 3-5 weeks in all pre-weaned pigs. The virus destroys the small intestine of young pigs making them unable to absorb fluids and nutrients. Deaths will occur within hours of birth. Pigs 4-8 weeks of age can fight off the virus with little death loss and normally pigs older than 8 weeks will show signs of fever, scours and be off feed a couple of days before returning to normal. After all sows have been exposed and have built immunity, the farm will return to normal survivability rates.
"It's estimated by industry experts that 3 million of the 5.8 million sows in the United States have been exposed to PEDv. The total reduction for 2014 harvest numbers is estimated to be 12.5 million pigs, including the loss of Canadian pigs that would have been shipped to the U.S. to be fed out. Additionally, a 6 million head loss is expected in 2015. Mexico, our largest customer, is also facing production loss to the virus.
"It is important to point out producers will be able to replace 2-3 percent of this loss by feeding pigs to a heavier weight. Due to extra finishing capacity and lower feed costs, producers have been able to add 8-10 pounds per head to market hogs. The carry in the market is encouraging this through late summer. If that continues for the rest of the year, we will have a net reduction in pork supply of 6-7 percent for 2014.
"Normally, Missouri pigs consume 16 percent of our state's corn crop and 8 percent of the soybean crop. On a national level, corn demand for pig feed could be reduced as much as 100 million bushels in 2014 due solely to the PEDv. If the experts are close on 2015 losses, we could be looking at a nearly 50 million bushel reduction in next year's feed usage. The cowboys can't increase production fast enough to change their meat supply next year so it will be up to our poultry friends to cover meat losses in stores. And, as you know, they rely on bean meal more heavily than corn compared to pork or beef."
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