As we approach the New Year with optimism and hope, we should consider the factors that will influence our productivity and profitability in 2011. The economy is improving, which augers well for consumption and hence demand for feed. Forecasts for the 2010/2011 corn and soy harvests are acceptable although prices for ingredients will remain high due to international demand and diversion of corn to ethanol.
Challenges remain. There are concerns over an overtly activist Administration that introduced programs and initiatives that could be construed as antagonistic to intensive livestock production. The joint hearings by the Department of Justice and the USDA leading to new regulations and involvement by GIPSA have created uncertainty in the relationship between integrator-packers and contractor-farmers. Intensified oversight of waste by the EPA is a possibility and will impose additional costs with minimal benefits. Adoption of policies which are intended to reduce the impact of climate change may have adverse consequences to the agricultural community. Feed Management extends to our readership and supporters our hope for a profitable 2011.