BPEX Weekly

In this issue

Latest Feed Info

feed info

LIFFE wheat prices saw continued strengthening over last week, closing at £174/t nearby on Friday. Trading this week saw nearby price fall to £168/t on Wednesday (mid-day) following global futures lower based on favourable weather forecasts and a number of macroeconomic factors including a Chinese interest rate hike and Portugese debt concerns. However, by late Thursday prices had rebounded to £173.

Last Friday saw the introduction of duties on grain exports from Ukraine for the period from 1July until 1 January as the Black Sea country re-opens to the world market. Russia has also lifted its ban on grain exports.

For the soybean market uncertainty remains with the higher US stocks and larger than expected supplies from South America set against a backdrop of sluggish demand from China. Looking further forward, the level of soyabeans planted for harvest in 2011 in the US was lower than expected meaning supplies of soyabeans and meal and oil products for later in 2011 remain uncertain and markets are expected to continue to be volatile. In the latest HGCA feed ingredients price survey, Hi-Pro FEMAS soyameal (ex-mill Liverpool) was quoted at £306.50/t for July delivery £4 per tonne higher week-on-week. CBOT soyameal futures for Oct-11 closed on Friday at $340 per tonne $4 up on the week.

Click here for more feed information.


Latest Link Updates

Pig Market Update

Manager Scheme - PMDS

ZNCPig Scheme


Contact Details

Call: 02476 692 051

Email: info@bpex.org.uk

Web: www.bpex.org.uk

Other BPEX Sites



BPEX Weekly: 08 July 2011

Marketing News

Sausage Celebrity Photoshoot

british sausage week

This year’s British Sausage Week 'mystery celebrity' has been doing long-lead media interviews and a photoshoot this week. Best magazine and The Mail on Sunday are among the publications planning to use the interviews during British Sausage Week.

The celebrity’s identity will be revealed in September.

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Legendary British Bangers

Keep an eye out for the British Sausage Week 2011 ‘Legendary British Bangers' competition. We know there are some truly legendary sausages out there - only last week a creative butcher achieved publicity for his aptly timed ‘Strawberries and Cream’ pork sausage!

Competition entry forms will be mailed later this month or can be requested via: sausageenquiries@bpex.ahdb.org.uk

It is open to all sausages in retail and foodservice sectors.

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Sausage Award Entries

Pork Sausage of the Year 2011 entry forms are now available. They can be downloaded here, along with details of the five award categories and terms and conditions. The competition is open to entrants from the foodservice sector.

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Knowledge Transfer

2TS Tip of the week: Cost of Empty Days

2TS Logo

Do you know what an empty day costs you? If not, use this equation to work it out...

Cost per sow-day =

Total annual breeding herd expenditure / (productive sows x 365)

Cost of reproductive failure =

Cost per sow-day X empty days per annum / pigs born alive (sold) per sow per year

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Renewable Energy Factsheets

renewable energy

Pig production can offer opportunities for generation of renewable energy, both from the animals and the site itself.

BPEX has produced a range of factsheets about renewable energy technologies which you can download or request in hard copy (email kt@bpex.org.uk with your address).

Plus, there are factsheets on what you need to know about both the Feed-In Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive. Under the Renewable Heat Incentive the Government will make payments based on heat generation from qualifying renewable technologies. Read more about renewable energy and the incentives here.

James Hart is one pig producer who has invested in anaerobic digestion. Read about it in July Pig World and click here for BBC story.

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Got a Question? Ask BPEX!

ask bpex

Ask BPEX is a question and answer service brought to you by BPEX. It includes experts in nutrition, the environment, health, meat science, practical on-farm advice and much more. Previously asked questions can be found on the website and here is a recent example.

Should I use lime wash as part of my C&D programme?

Lime wash is cheap and good for making surfaces smoother, eg where concrete is beginning to pit. It has some antimicrobial action, but you need to thoroughly clean AND disinfect before applying. Once applied, it must dry for at least 48 hours.

Operator health and safety needs to be considered: you need full protective clothing, including a mask and goggles, as it is an irritant and corrosive and will burn skin and oral mucosa. There was a suspect case of Foot and Mouth Disease which turned out to be lime burns (blisters on feet and udderline in a farrowing crate).

Preparing the surfaces for the limewash is the standard you should be looking at in your routine cleaning and disinfecting, so if walls are still in good condition, an additional disinfect and/or some dry disinfectant should be adequate.

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Stockman Training Awards

Roxanne Rogers

The first BPEX Stockman Development Programmes concluded this week in the East and North with two presentation evenings.

BPEX knowledge transfer manager Colin Stone said: “This has been some of the most rewarding work I have been involved with since joining BPEX two years ago. Within Stockman Development East I have witnessed team camaraderie, professionalism and an enthusiastic interest shown in making our industry a career choice that will hopefully secure everyone in the group with jobs of responsibility.”
Well done to everyone on the programmes and a particular mention for two people who received the Trainee of the Year award for the course:

  • Roxanne Rogers, Bacton Pigs – Stockman East
  • Jarrod Benson, pig manager for James Sanderson – Stockman North

Roxanne said how enjoyable their experience was: “We were not just taught the ‘ideal’ way to manage pigs. We worked as a team and had lots of discussions on the different ways of doing things on different farms. On our unit we have now changed the AI service routine and this not only saved time but has improved physical performance too."

The Stockman Development Programme is practical training based around the Certificates of Competence Stage Two and also involved visits to local feed mills and abattoirs in both regions. It was developed for pig stockmen looking to develop their career and looking for possible promotion in the future.
Click here for more information on pig industry training programmes. Contact Tess Howe: 07779 321078  tess.howe@bpex.ahdb.org.uk

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Special Leadership Award

Ian Gillies

Ian Gillies of Rattlerow Farms won a Trainee of the Year award for his achievements on the BPEX/Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Development Programme in the East. Tess Howe surprised Ian with the award at the Stockman East presentation evening.

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Ready For Management?

Applications are now open for the second BPEX Professional Manager Development Scheme which will start in January! On successful completion, participants will achieve an Institute of Leadership and Management Certificate in First Line Management.

The ten training sessions will involve an evening discussion with an allied industry company, followed by a day of management training delivered by Cedar Associates. Each week for the next couple of months BPEX Weekly will briefly outline the content of each module, this week it's Part 3 – Leading the Team. Following this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify staff maturity and adopt the most appropriate leadership style to develop and motivate them.
  • Review own leadership behaviour and determine actions to enhance it.

For more details about the scheme or if you would like to discuss the course and funding available, contact Tess Howe tess.howe@bpex.ahdb.org.uk or visit the training area of the BPEX website.

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Alternative Bedding Advice

Pig producers should consider their options for bedding material, particularly where straw is likely to be in short supply following the spring drought.

There is advice on alternative bedding materials, plus ways to reduce straw wastage in Knowledge Transfer Bulletin No.15: Bedding options for the English pig industry can be downloaded by clicking here. Copies of the bulletin can also be requested by calling 02476 478 792.

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Target 2TS - July

Target 2TS is a monthly one-page publication from BPEX with practical advice on improving pig performance to reach the Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) target.

It is also featured every month in Pig World magazine. The July 2011 edition, along with previous editions, can be downloaded here.

This month it features:

- leadership training

- slurry storage and crop available nitrogen

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National News:

Latest BPHS Dates

BPHS logo



Cranswick, Norfolk

Monday, 18 July

Tulip, Westerleigh

Monday, 18 July

Vion, Malton

Monday, 18 July

F A Gill

Monday, 18 July

Woodhead, Colne

Monday, 18 July

Tulip, Ashton

Wednesday, 20 July

Woodhead, Spalding

Wednesday, 20 July

Tulip, Spalding

Thursday, 21 July

Woodhead, Spalding

Thursday, 21 July

Cranswick, Hull

Thursday, 21 July

H G Blake

Monday, 25 July


Monday, 25 July

Cranswick, Norfolk

Tuesday, 26 July

Tulip Westerleigh

Tuesday, 26 July

Vion Malton

Tuesday, 26 July


Wednesday, 27 July

Vion, Wiveliscombe

Wednesday, 27 July

New assessment dates for July to December 2011 in all participating abattoirs have been published and are available on the BPEX website.

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Yorkshire Sausage Campaign

Six Yorkshire MPs gathered on Tuesday at Westminster to show support for their region’s namesake sausage campaign, led by Ilkley butcher, David Lishman, and ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’.

The MPs got stuck into some Yorkshire Sausage sampling and cast their votes on which of David’s six specially designed bangers they think should be crowned Yorkshire’s official sausage.

First to put the Champion of Champion’s sausages to the taste test was Kris Hopkins, MP for Ilkley and Keighley: “There is no doubt that the best sausages are already made in Yorkshire, but we play second fiddle to no-one and if other counties have an official sausage of their own, then so should we! Roll on Yorkshire Day when the winning sausage is revealed,” said Kris.


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Pig Farmers Needed


The NFU needs more pig farmers to complete its confidence survey – designed to provide an indication of business confidence in the industry. It is useful, therefore, for pig producers to take part, and make their voice heard. So far, there have been only six responses from pig farmers and they need at least 50 for a statistically significant sample. If you are prepared to help by completing the survey, please click here.

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Wheat Plantings Up


Wheat and oilseed rape plantings are up according to this year’s HGCA Planting and Variety Surveys, with increased arable production overall for 2011 but the lowest planting of winter barley since 1994.

The HGCA Planting Survey, conducted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Market Intelligence team, shows the GB oilseed rape area has risen by 9% in comparison to 2010 – giving a total area of 0.696M Ha, the largest area ever recorded.

“Following last year’s increase of 14% in the oilseed rape area, we have seen another 9% increase in the plantings for harvest 2011 indicating the strong profitability for the crop at the time of planting,” explains AHDB’s Cereals and Oilseeds Senior Analyst Jack Watts, who manages the surveys.

The survey has also revealed steady increases in the total wheat and barley areas planted, with GB wheat showing a 1% increase on 2010, taking the total area from 1.928M Ha to 1.941M Ha and total barley area increasing by 2% from 0.894M Ha to 0.915M Ha.

For a full breakdown of the survey results, including by region, visit www.hgca.com/markets in the ‘survey results’ section.

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PMWS Risk Factors

New research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, published today (8 July), has identified the factors that make some farms more likely to develop an economically devastating pig disease. The disease, Post Weaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS), is estimated to cost the UK pig industry £30m each year. The research could help to outline best practice husbandry to enable farmers to optimise animal welfare and maintain production.

In this study Pablo Alacorn and Dr Barbara Wieland from the Royal Veterinary College looked at 147 pig farms across England. Their team, led by Professor Dirk Werling, found that the farms with the lowest incidence of PMWS had clean, enriched environments with the maximum amount of space for pigs as possible.

For the news story click here and for details of the BPEX project click here.

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International News:

GM Soya Solution

Soaring soya costs have been averted following the introduction of a so-called "technical solution" by Brussels, which will allow invisible specks of non-authorised GMs into the European Union.

European Union member countries, some of which dislike GM technology with a missionary-like zeal, can turn away ships from the States, Brazil and other large soya exporters if they find even the smallest traces of dust containing non-approved varieties.

Given the impossibility of achieving guaranteed 100 percent varietal purity, the likelihood was that exporters would in future divert all their soya and maize to growing economies, such as China.

But the new technical solution overcomes the problem by setting a tolerance threshold of 0.1 percent for "adventitious" traces of non-authorised GMs in feed imports.

The regulation will harmonise control methods across the European Union. It was given the green light by member country experts in February, after new revised proposals convinced France and Hungary to switch from a blocking majority.

The regulation will allow traces of GM material not yet authorised in the European Union, but which has been in the authorisation pipeline for more than three months and has received the green light in a third country.

The European Union Reference Laboratory must validate a quantitative method of detection for the particular trace of GM before it can be covered under the rules.

Pointing to the European Union's major dependence on feed imports, the Commission has stressed the new harmonised rules for controls will improve legal certainty for feed operators.

But industry representatives have criticised the separated approach towards food and feed as technically problematic for operators, while environmental groups fear the move opens the door to contamination of the food chain.

The new regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

(Source: NPA)

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Origin Law Approved

Mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh meat has overcome its final hurdle. MEPs this week voted through, by a large majority, the trialogue deal secured earlier (see July Pig World) between the European Parliament, Commission and Council.

This is a compromise deal in which MEPs have had to settle for feasibility studies to be carried out before mandatory origin labels can be extended to meats used in processed foods, a move which parliamentarians had initially favoured.

The second reading agreement, voted through by 606 in favour, 46 against and 26 abstentions, must still be rubber-stamped by Council, with publication in the European Union Official Journal expected in October.

Food companies will then have three years to adapt to most of the rules. Rules extending mandatory origin labelling to processed meats are scheduled to be published within two years of the regulation's entry into force.


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New Feed Regulation

EU flag

A new regulation on feed has entered into force this week. The European Commission adopted the regulation in November 2010.

The new regulation creates a new catalogue of feed materials, in order to enable operators to use more precise names/expressions for the feed they place on the market.The catalogue includes descriptions of 64 qualifying transformation processes of feed materials (processes used to treat feed), instead of the 17 processes listed before and almost 600 well-defined feed materials.

Furthermore, it clarifies many borderline cases of products whose status has been unclear for decades – a situation causing disruptions to the internal market. Thus, the coverage of the feed materials listed in the new catalogue is significantly increased and simultaneously the information about their properties is improved.

For more information click here.

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Future for Dutch Production

The ING report states that there will be only 2,550 breeding farms in the Netherlands by 2020 and these will still account for 900,000 sows. Some 150 farms will have more than 1,200 sows. There will be only 10 abattoirs left from 14 now and only 5 centralised pork buyers.

To read this week's Export Bulletin, click here.

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International Prices

For the latest international price, click here.

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BPEX, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL