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When U.S. hog producers received $8/cwt to $10/cwt for market hogs back in November 1998, many producers made some significant cuts in their use of animal health products. St. Louis-based Doane Marketing Research Inc.ís quarterly Animal Health Market Study provides an opportunity to track product usage during seasonal quarters following the fall of 1998. Using a size of operation and geographic stratified sampling plan, Doane surveyed more than 800 producers quarterly about their use of anthelmintic, pharmaceutical, vaccine and feed medication/additive products.

No single category of products or growth stage was more dramatically impacted than the use of feed medications/additives in swine finishing rations (126 lbs. of body weight to market weight).

Nearly 70 percent of all hogs in this finishing stage were projected to receive at least one feed medication/additive product in the fourth quarter (September-November) of 1998. The percent dipped to a low of 53.2 percent in the fourth quarter (September-November) of 1999. The four most recent quarters (the first through fourth quarters of 2000) show a slight recovery of the market for feed medications/additives - but still not at the use level in the fourth quarter of 1998. Another significant factor is that the 126 lb. to market finishing stage represents the highest daily consumption of feed and associated feed medication/additive intake.

Will this market ever recover to the point that 70 percent to 75 percent of all hogs fed in the finishing stage will receive at least one brand of feed medication/additive? Doane will continue to track this product usage. AM

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