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Veteran Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Excellent post Bruce.

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Honored Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Bruce, had the same reaction to the " good for hog farmers" comment, when I heard it on NPR yesterday. I think that speaks volumes, in direct relation to another point that the radio and the friend who broke the news to me on Wednesday both invoked as an option: " local" foods.

It is hard for anyone not in this industry to grasp thst it is not in any way realistic to think that small producers could fill the gap, if Smithfield's flow of protein got diverted elsewhere. It isn't just that environmental regulations and feed costs, not to mention just building costs and/or land costs, are cost-prohibitive for entering ag or making such a diversification today.

The infrastructure - of small packing houses and buying stations - has been virtually bought out and mostly shut down, in most cases by Smithfield itself. Even if farmers wanted to step back into hog farming, which would make next to zero sense, given current feedstuff costs and capital investment required to climb int production, where would they sell their pigs, and who would harvest them?

The state news channel is getting ready to report on this story in a few minutes. It will be interesting to hear how they spin this...meanwhile, I meant the title of this thread in more ways than one.

I cannot recall the rankng North Carolina has in feedstuff imports from outside our borders, but an NCDA staffer once quoted that if we were a country, we were would be somewhere way up the totem pole of feed importing nations. We buy more of what you guys grow than most whole countries...which means many of you will be wedded to the Chinese, too. How do you like them apples?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

 " FREE  TRADE " that's what the  "experts " called it and this is what we got --- 

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Honored Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Yes we do indeed, K-289.  Here`s a table on "trade deficit to GDP" on all those years we`ve went nuts on free trade http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/2011-annual-trade-deficit-37-us-gdp-china-goods-2-us-gdp  numbers don`t lie.  The charts of people on public assistance go up also, so in other words what jobs we`ve kept aren`t "living wage jobs".   If they can`t learn, they`re gonna have to feel.

 

 

edit: I just want to add, it seems the only way that we get the trade deficit down is to have a economic slowdown, pretty sad.

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Senior Contributor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

I know times are different and the countries I'm compairing are different. But does anyone remember the big news stories about Japan taking over the US that seemed to be so popular in the media several years ago. There are some Japanize companies that do a lot of business here but nothing like the "take over" some predicted back then. Is the same going to happen with China?
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Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Good  points  buck  although when this happened a three + decades ago the intent was a little different --- seems today we have a different mind set about us  --- I find smithog's  "  balance sheet "  a wee bit interesting ---

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Senior Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

I'd forgotten how much infrastructure has been destroyed and how much activist groups have emerged in the last couple of decades.  I'm sure you are right, individual farmers rebuilding a hog industry would probably find it impossible except for maybe some niche markets.

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Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Extremely curious here as to your reference to "activist groups" in the same breath with the decline of the old infrastructure?

 

The only activist groups, other than the PETAS and ALF and such that don't want any animal agriculture at all, regardless of the structure of it, that  I've ever encountered in the pig business are those who spoke out AS the industrial, absentee owner/integrated or contacted system evolved.

 

Are you implying that it was activists who called for the radical transformation that has occured?  I just read it again and can't bring myself to quite beleive that is what you meant but that is how it lays out in your post.

 

Thanks.

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Senior Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

You misread my post. What I said was that in the last couple of decades, we've lost a lot of infrastructure.  By that I include but don't lmiit it to the local packing plants and hog buying stations that have closed down.

 

By the riste of activist groups, I mean the increased presence of the groups you suggested such as PETA and HSUS and perhaps even ALF, but one must also include spontaneous and ad hoc activism which is more like NIMBY.  I don't think those groups had much to do with the demise of the infrastructure.  What I think is that the rebuilding of the infrastructure would be challenged at every level from the local community to the national by these groups.   Activism in this case does not mean a highly organized organization, it may mean simply a vocal and active group of local individuals with little or no structure.

 

Everyone who opposed starting or reopening a slaughter plant would mobilize local sentiment, use the courrts to drag out approvals, incite fear of immigration and draw in the EPA, just for starters.  We've seen this happen.

 

It would be nice to think the local farmer could raise hogs, maybe even pasture farrowing or some other method, at a level below the trigger level for opposition but where does he sell the fat hogs?

 

Those are the reasons I think that for the most part, Kay is right, that it would be hard to rejuvenate the diversified industry.  Maybe we oculd put in some CAFOs in western Kansas, but not so easily in eastern Iowa except in limited circumstances.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: We're all Chinese now....

Jim - How close to you live to a CAFO ?

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