05/19/2013 – US Hogs and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) – What does it mean

US Hogs and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) – What does it mean

Friday morning was a normal day and the market was testing new recent highs in the June 2013 contract.  The strength faded some as resistance seemed to hold and then all of a sudden we were down over $1.00/cwt and ultimately $2.00/cwt.  This type of action isn’t necessarily all that uncommon, however, when something like this happens you wonder why.  I began my normal routine of trying to track down any information I hadn’t seen and there was a tweet on my timeline that caught my eye; “Hearing rumors about a big disease problem in baby pigs across Texas, Iowa , and Minn. Any truth to it??”

After seeing this we contacted as many people that we could that are either within the industry, traders or anyone who may have any information on this possible disease rumor that was floating around.  Sure enough, we hear that it is rumored to be PED.  After doing a little research online about what PED actually is, I’m thinking to myself, hmmm, this isn’t something that should be viewed as bearish the hog market, at least a face value.

Once more information came to the surface; however none of it from an official source, the market calmed a bid and began to recover a larger portion of its decline.  I can say that I’ve had direct contact with a producer in Iowa that has PED on his farm and based on his comments to me, it isn’t a very merciful disease.  He expects to lose around a month’s worth of production due to the outbreak on his farm.

We are still in the information gathering stages of what this “outbreak” really is.  If it’s relatively small then the market impact will be very similar, small.  If it is large then we can expect to see some additional strength in the 4th quarter 2013 and 1st quarter 2014.  All of this said assuming that our exports, what is left of them, are not harmed.  If they are, then we have issues.

With corn and meal prices at the levels they are in the aforementioned quarters, it would be extremely beneficial if you got your house in order on what your profitability goals are for these timeframes.  I would venture to guess that these futures months will be relatively active over the coming days and MAY provide some excellent opportunities to make marketing decisions.  Know your crush numbers.

If you have any information on an “outbreak” on either your farm or someone you know and you are willing to share some information it would be greatly appreciated.  You can drop me an email at leanhog@hurleyandassociates.com or tweet me (information below).  Let’s face it, we may be competitors in some regards but we are all in this together.

Keep in mind, I started digging into this issue based on a tweet from a gentleman that I visited with a few times on twitter but I’ve never met him nor do we know each other outside of our social presence online.   If you don’t have a twitter account, I would suggest getting one.  There is a lot of thought provoking information that flows by “tweet”.  If you would like to keep up with the PED situation, you can follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/leanhog as I send tweets with any new information we gather throughout the week.

Here is an article on PED from Beth Ferry with the Michigan State University Extension and it is important to note one particular sentence in her article… “It is important to note that this disease is not transmissible to humans and does not affect the meat or meat products.” 

Biosecurity alert for pork producers – swine herds have no immunity to new virus from Europe.

Posted on May 17, 2013 by Beth Ferry, Michigan State University Extension

A possible outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) has been recently reported in several states including Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and Indiana. This is a new virus to the United States so it is expected that there is no immunity to any swine herd. PED has been found in swine herds in Europe and Asia starting in the early 1980s.

This disease is similar to TGE (Transmissible Gastroenteritis) and causes severe watery diarrhea in pigs. Morbidity in sows and piglets is high. Mortality, especially in piglets is also frequent due to dehydration. Swine herds typically experience an outbreak in 4 to 5 days once exposed to the virus. Clinically, there is very little difference between TGE and PED.

There is no treatment for PED. An emphasis should be made on prevention and control. If your herd is exposed to the virus, suckling pigs should have free access to water to help decrease dehydration and gestating sows can be exposed to the virus to help build immunity in piglets, similar to methods used with a TGE outbreak. Introduction of new stock should be suspended during an outbreak, along with increased internal biosecurity practices to help decrease the spread of disease within your herd.

Although all transmission routes of PED have not been confirmed, it is suspected to be transmitted via infected pigs, transportation vessels and contaminated fomites. In order to help protect your herd from possible infections, efforts should be made to increase biosecurity protocols, with special emphasis on transportation biosecurity. Proper washing and disinfection protocols for all trucks returning from market should be followed.  Proper washing and disinfection protocols for all trucks returning from market should be followed. It is important to note that this disease is not transmissible to humans and does not affect the meat or meat products.

If you suspect clinical signs or have questions please contact your herd veterinarian. For more information on PED and biosecurity practices for swine farms please contact Beth Ferry, Michigan State UniversityExtension Pork educator at franzeli@msu.edu or 269-445-4438.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 


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