Protecting the Industry


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NPPC makes a tough call on the World Pork Expo.


Recently, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) made the difficult decision to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo to help protect the country’s herds from African swine fever (ASF). The decision was made in what the NPPC referred to as “an abundance of caution” as ASF continues to spread across China and Asia.

Each year, the World Pork Expo brings thousands of visitors from all over the world – including ASF-positive countries and regions. Yet, the camaraderie and education provided by the event could not match the risk that a single case of ASF in the United States would pose. The disease has wide-reaching export implications for all pork producers.

As Vet-Advantage covered in the May digital issue, the United States has never experienced a case of ASF. If the disease crosses the ocean, losses could be as much as $8 billion for the pork industry in the first year alone, according to calculations from Iowa State University. That doesn’t include related losses of up to $5.5 billion for affected commodities.

With losses like those, it makes economic sense to postpone the World Pork Expo. We commend the NPPC for making the tough call to protect the swine industry and help safeguard our customers.

Difficult decisions across ag

Dairy farmers are no stranger to making hard choices. In this issue’s Sales Rep Spotlight (page 26), we talk to John Lapp of Animal Health International. His customer base in Pennsylvania consists of smaller dairy herds – many of whom are considering selling off their operation after years of financial stress.

Pennsylvania currently ranks seventh in total milk production. The state has seen minimal change in production over the last 10 years. Yet, it has seen the largest percentage decrease in cow numbers. According to Penn State University Extension.

Less cattle, more milk

Milk production increases even as the number of dairy cattle declines. In part, that’s due to steady advancements as Vet-Advantage covers in “Good heifers make better cows” on page 18.

Producing more milk with fewer cows is an example of how agriculture continues to produce more with less – fewer cows, less water, decreased input costs and more.

Keeping the broad market forces in mind can help distributor sales representatives advise their customers and keep businesses profitable and productive for years to come.

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