Executive Editor, Successful Farming


Straight Talk on the Farm Economy

The farm economy is in purgatory right now, says John Lawrence at Iowa State University. Last year’s good yields, plus crop insurance are holding things together, but we need a supply shock.


Q&A: Terry Holton, CEO of Seaboard Foods

In his 21 years with Seaboard Foods, the last four as president and CEO, Terry Holton has helped transition the company from a start-up operation with 20,000 sows in 1994, to a leading pork production and processing company anchored in Guymon, Oklahoma.


The Latest on Swine Disease Research

The list of swine diseases is growing. Get the highlights on the latest swine disease research in this update from the Iowa State University James McKean Swine Disease Conference.


Cargill Pork’s Trek through Modern Pig Business

The announcement on July 1 that JBS USA Pork, a subsidiary of Brazilian-based JBS S.A., is buying Cargill’s U.S. pork business for $1.45 billion was a surprise to most in the meat industry. Minnesota-based Cargill, the nation's largest privately held compa


PEDv, Water Suit Hot Topics at Pork Congress

Producers are in high spirits at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines today. Hog markets are profitable and herd disease levels low, at least for the time being.

The deadly PED virus, which infected about 60% of the nation's sows last year, is still circulating in herds, but at lower levels than one year ago, says Algona, Iowa, veterinarian Matt Anderson. However, it's too soon to breathe easy, he says. Last year the worst "explosive pockets" hit in February through April. "Let's see what the next few months bring," says Anderson.


In the Field With PEDv

How nasty is the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus? Take this example from last winter. A group of 62,000 sows on 16 farms in a 10-mile radius in Missouri all broke with the virus from February 4 to February 14, "despite an excellent track record of external biosecurity," says Pete Thomas, veterinarian for Murphy Brown LLC.

Mortality in pigs less than one week old was virtually 100%.

"That was not my favorite Valentine's Day," Thomas told veterinarians at the annual Swine Disease Conference at Iowa State University today.