Agriculture Update Jan. 10, 2013

UI release: Pork producers should see profit in 2013

URBANA — Pork producers, who have been losing money as a result of high feed prices, should see some relief mid-year, a Purdue University Extension economist said.

Chris Hurt said pork producers had average estimated losses of $18 a head through much of 2012, according to a release from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

"Losses will continue in the first quarter of 2013 and are expected to average about $15 per head," Hurt said.

"The return to profitability is expected to come in late April or early May when the spring hog price rally is under way and as meal prices edge lower with the South American soybean harvest," he added.

"Profits are projected at about $10 per head for the second and third quarters before returning to break-even in the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014," Hurt said.

However, those projections are dependent on crops and weather.

If extreme drought continues in the western Corn Belt and Great Plains states, poor crops in 2013 could send corn and soybean meal prices to record highs, Hurt said.

Alternatively, normal world yields in 2013 would likely send feed prices lower than current new-crop futures indicate, making pork production more profitable, he said.

The News-Gazette

Illinois State Fairgrounds: Illinois Horse Fair set March 1-3

SPRINGFIELD — A rodeo and several riding clinics will be part of the 24th annual Illinois Horse Fair, scheduled March 1-3 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The event, produced by the Horsemen's Council of Illinois, annually attracts about 10,000 people.

This year's fair will feature award-winning clinician Guy McLean, plus Jason and Rose Goodman and their "Percheron Thunder" six-horse team.

Hours for the fair will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 1 and 2 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3. Ranch Rodeo will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 1 and 2.

More than 140 commercial vendors are expected. The fair will also feature a HorsesForSale aisle, breed and sport demonstrations, Stallion Row and the Parade of Stallions and the All-Youth Horse Judging Trials.

Daily admission tickets are $10 each and weekend passes are $25, with free admission for children under 8 who are accompanied by adults.

Ranch Rodeo requires separate tickets, with general admission tickets for $10 and reserved seating for $15.

For information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.horsemenscouncil.org/horsefair.

The News-Gazette

Murray Wise Associates Foundation's ag scholarship deadline approaching

CHAMPAIGN — Students preparing for careers in agriculture have until March 31 to apply for scholarships through the Murray Wise Associates Foundation.

Eligible applicants include high school seniors accepted for enrollment at an accredited college, university or community college in a course of study that is related to agriculture.

Awards are for a minimum of $1,000 and may be renewed yearly for up to four years, provided certain conditions are met.

Recipients are selected based on academic credentials, including class rank, grade point average and test scores. Leadership qualities are also considered.

A link to applications can be found at http://www.murraywiseassociates.com/foundation.

The News-Gazette

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