February 16, 2022
Pork producers, swine industry leaders, equipment, feed and technology providers and others involved with the state’s hog industry gathered at the Mayo Health Systems Event Center in Mankato this week for the Minnesota Pork Congress. This is the first year the event was held in Mankato. The event features a trade show, educational seminars and a celebration of all things pork.
WOLTERS TO LEAD NPPC
Pipestone farmer Terry Wolters is president-elect of the National Pork Producer’s Council. Wolters says the industry has largely recovered from harvest slowdowns due to COVID related issues, but workforce challenges remain. Line speed slowdowns are also affecting harvest capacity.
Wolters says California’s Proposition 12, which would regulate how animals must be raised in order to be sold into California is problematic issue for the nation’s pork producers. Listen here.
Wolters will assume his duties as NPPC president in March.
PREISLER SAVORS FINAL PORK CONGRESS AS CEO
Late last year, Minnesota Pork CEO Dave Preisler announced his plans to retire from the position he’s held for nearly 28 years. Preisler’s retirement will be effective June 1. He says he’s enjoyed working with and for the state’s pork producers. Listen here.
RECORD PORK EXPORTS
The U.S. pork industry set a record for pork exports in 2021, topping $8.1 billion, which surpasses 2020’s then-record $7.7 billion, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released by Trade Data Monitor.
China was the top market for American pork. Japan came in second with just $3.8 million less pork than China, which imported just under $1.7 billion in pork products, which represents a reduction of more than 25% from 2020. The drop was a result of China’s 25% retaliatory tariff on U.S. pork, a response to U.S. duties on a host of Chinese goods. While Japan last year had only a modest increase in U.S. pork imports over 2020, the rise can be attributed to the U.S.-Japan market access agreement, which took effect Jan. 1, 2020, and is phasing out tariffs on pork.
Rounding out the top five markets were Mexico, Canada and South Korea,
PORK INDUSTRY AWARDS
Individuals and families who have made significant contributions through pork promotion, consumer and producer education, youth mentoring, and service to the pork industry were recognized by the Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) at the annual Award Recognition Reception. The 2022 award recipients include:
* Distinguished Service: Dr. Peter Davies
* Environmental Steward: Larry Liepold
* Family of the Year: Spronk Family
* Pork Promoter of the Year: Chef Charlie Torgerson
* Swine Manager of the Year: Brian Majerus
* Legislator of Distinction: Rep. Collin Peterson
AVIAN INFLUENZA CONCERNS
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana, in broilers in Kentucky and in backyard birds in Virginia. An outbreak of HPAI in 2015 killed about 50 million birds in 15 states, including Minnesota, the nation’s leading turkey producing state.
Dr. Dale Lauer with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health says the board and farmers are monitoring the situation. Good biosecurity is the first and best line of defense against HPAI and other diseases. He says Minnesota is better equipped to deal with a potential outbreak now than they were in 2015.
MORE CHALLENGES FOR GLYPHOSATE
Bayer announced this week that a supplier of an ingredient for glyphosate has experienced technical problems which may hamper Bayer’s output of the product in the short term.
The “mechanical failure” at Bayer’s supplier comes in addition to a tight supply situation in global crop chemical markets, in part due to the global pandemic, Bayer added.
Bayer alerted industrial customers using glyphosate to the supply issue, declaring force majeure, which typically suspends a supplier’s contractual liabilities in the wake of disruptions beyond its control.
U OF M EXPLORES RESEARCH COMPLEX
The University of Minnesota continues to explore the development of an advanced agricultural research complex in Mower County. The complex is intended to serve as a state-of-the-art teaching and research hub that will propel vital discoveries and further establish Minnesota’s position as a global catalyst and leader in food and agriculture innovation.
The complex, known as the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota (FAARM), would include world-class facilities, as well as several hundred acres of fields and land to further support its mission. Through a collaboration with Riverland Community College, in Austin, University leaders envision FAARM would also offer a range of educational offerings. The total project is estimated at about $220 million with facility development occurring over the next five years. To support this effort, the University is asking for $60 million through a state capital request for planning, land acquisition, predesign and design of the initial phase. Additionally, the U of M anticipates funding from a variety of public and private sources, including a commitment of $60 million already made by The Hormel Foundation.
RECORD YEAR FOR UNLEADED 88
Minnesota motorists have taken a liking to Unleaded 88. The fuel, which is 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline, was sold in record amounts across Minnesota in 2021. According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, a record 86.6 million gallons of Unleaded 88 were sold in 2021, surpassing the previous record of 78.9 million in 2019. Unleaded 88 is an emphasis for Minnesota Corn. The fuel is currently available at 410 fueling stations across Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Corn Growers.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Feb. 18: Nitrogen Smart training, Dodge Center History Center
Feb. 22: Nitrogen Smart training, Alden Community Center
Feb. 28: Nitrogen Smart training, Maggie J’s in Mapleton
March 8-12 Commodity Classic, New Orleans
March 16 Regional Trade School, Alexandria
March 23-24 AURI New Uses Forum, Minneapolis
Farm Fun Fact
A new Minnesota license plate celebrating agriculture while benefitting 4-H and FFA has been unveiled. The new plate will be available later this month. According to University of Minnesota Extension, the plate will cost $15.50. A minimum $20 contribution is due with plate purchase and each year afterward at vehicle registration renewal. Those funds will support 4-H and FFA in Minnesota.