On a side note, the hog industry is continuing to crumble. The moral of
hog farmers is very low. We are even starting to see some of the "most
efficient", "cutting edge", and large operations filing bankruptcy in our
area. Several of these were supposed to be the best and most respected
farmers in the community. I've got no doubt in my mind that they were good
managers. It just shows how fragile our capital intensive, industrial
model is. The new paradigm will have to emerge from the rubble if we want
an independent hog industry left. I'm coming to the conclusion that there
is no long term future in the commodity hog business for the small
independent producer. Its going hard the way of the chicken industry.
Most farms can not hang on longer than their industrial counterparts.
Gunthorp's Pasture-ized Pork
visit our farm at www.grassfarmer.com
> From: Charles Benbrook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Hog Disease and Public Dollars
> Date: Monday, March 08, 1999 9:47 PM
> The March 1, 1999 "Feedstuffs" has a story on the very dramatic
> serious resurgence of hog psuedorabies virus (PRV), a disease that had
> largely contained until recently. The article documents the rapid spread
> infected herds, especially in Minnesota. Since Jan. 1, 1999 quarantined
> herds in Minnesota have jumped from 144 to 234.
> Factors involved include, according to a Dr. Paul Anderson of the
> Minnesota Board of Animal Health, significant reduction in vaccinations
> starting last summer with the drop in hog prices; reduced natural
> from the near-successful eradication of PRV; spread is occurring from
> movement of pigs within multi-facility farms.
> It is possible that the current structure and organization of the
> hog industry may be contributing to both the spread and the virulence of
> this disease. Many have predicted that large scale confinement hog
> operations would be more dependent on aggressive medical treatments;
> undermine antibiotic and other drug efficacy through overuse; and would
> for a variety of interactive reasons, periodically more vulnerable to
> rapid losses.
> The State of Indiana is now subsidizing mandatory PRV
> Minnesota is considering it, in part because of the financial bind hog
> farmers are in. This is a significant public policy development since it
> would constitute a possible transfer of responsibility for vaccinations
> farmers to the government, and for a disease that might be related to the
> structure of the industry. If this is established as a precedent it would
> lead to some interesting political decisions re where to draw the line.
> stop at animal disease? Is dealing with white flies or a new strain of
> blight that much different?
> Government has/does play a variety of roles in other pest and
> disease detection, prevention and eradication programs, but this seems
> something new. I would be interested in further updates from those
> to the action in the livestock industry.
> chuck benbrook
> Charles Benbrook 208-263-5236 (voice)
> Benbrook Consulting Services 208-263-7342 (fax)
> 5085 Upper Pack River Road firstname.lastname@example.org [e-mail]
> Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 http://www.pmac.net
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