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US swine inventory expected to further decline - USDA ERS

It is generally acknowledged that 2023 was a difficult year for US hog producers, according to the most recent USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report. Iowa State University calculates that monthly producer losses last year averaged more than $24 per head.

The December 2023 Quarterly Hogs and Pigs showed a year-over-year reduction in the December 1 breeding inventory of more than 3%. Sow slaughter data issued weekly by USDA suggests that reductions in the US breeding inventory are likely continuing. 

For weeks 1–7 of 2024, USDA data show that sow and boar slaughter increased about 5.8% over the same period last year. A continuation of the trend established in the first 7 weeks of 2024 would further downsize the inventory of breeding animals. Fewer breeding animals usually means fewer farrowings, which are typically associated with smaller pig crops, depending on litter rates. In general, smaller pig crops usually result in higher hog prices.

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Sowing Success: Dr. Gordon Spronk's Journey with Pipestone and the Future of Swine Health

Video: Sowing Success: Dr. Gordon Spronk's Journey with Pipestone and the Future of Swine Health

Welcome back to In Swine Versation. Get ready for an enlightening journey as we delve into the remarkable story of Dr. Gordon Spronk, a founding partner at Pipestone, in our latest episode of "Sowing Success." In this episode, we'll be exploring key questions that shed light on Pipestone's evolution and the future of swine health. Here's a glimpse of what to expect:

1. Exploring Pipestone's Foundations: We'll kick off by uncovering the early vision behind Pipestone and how it has shaped the landscape for new entrepreneurs entering the field. Dr. Spronk will share insights into the core principles that have guided Pipestone's journey and how they continue to drive success today.

2. Industry-Shaping Experiences: Moving on to Dr. Spronk's impactful tenure at the National Pork Board, we'll explore his contributions to sustainability, growth accomplishments, and his vision for the future of pork production. Expect to gain insights into how Dr. Spronk's experiences have influenced the industry and what he envisions for its future.

3. Global Excellence and Growth: With Pipestone ranking second in the latest World Mega Producers ranking, we'll delve into what these impressive numbers signify and how Pipestone continues to excel on a global scale. Dr. Spronk will share his perspectives on the key factors driving Pipestone's success and its strategy for continued growth and innovation.

4. Navigating Challenges: We'll address the hot topic of Prop 12 and its implications for the industry. Dr. Spronk will provide valuable insights into the challenges and implementation issues faced by Pipestone and how the company is navigating through this complex landscape.

5. Updates on Wholestone Plant: Dr. Spronk will provide updates on the latest developments at the Wholestone plant in South Dakota, offering insights into how this initiative aligns with Pipestone's broader goals and objectives.

6. Transformative Journey of Pipestone Management: Taking a trip down memory lane, we'll explore the transformative journey of Pipestone Management since its inception in 1988. Dr. Spronk will share insights into the growth and evolution of Pipestone Management, highlighting key milestones and lessons learned along the way.

7. Defining Swine Health Success: Finally, we'll delve into Dr. Spronk's definition of swine health and its pivotal role in the success of Pipestone Management. Expect to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of swine health and how it drives Pipestone's mission and values.

Overall, this episode promises to be a thought-provoking exploration of Pipestone's journey and the future of swine health. Tune in for an engaging conversation that's sure to leave you inspired and informed about what lies ahead in the world of pork production.