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August 19, 2012 AD

Capitalist Cowboys selling Hangman's Rope to China

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

--Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Selling Rope to Communist China

While Americans cut back on meat consumption to the lowest levels seen in two decades, the Chinese now eat nearly 10 percent more meat than they did five years ago.

China's solution: to super-size its supply by snapping up millions of live animals raised by U.S. farmers as breeding stock - capitalizing on decades of cutting edge agricultural research in America.

By taking this step, say breeders and exporters, China will move from small-scale backyard farms, to the Westernized tradition of large consolidated operations to keep up with demand.

Pigs The demand for breeder pigs, in particular, is zooming after China lifted a two-year ban on hogs and pork imports last spring. In the first two months of 2012 , China imported 62 percent of the total number of U.S. breeder pigs brought in for all of 2011.

These animals are not sold for meat. Their value is in their genes, which allow them to grow faster, fight off diseases better and birth more babies that survive than their Chinese counterparts.


Inside his white-brick barn, several thousand chickens peck at grain in the dark. Yu used to raise a local breed of broilers - the yellow-feather chicken (Huang Yuji) - which would take about 120 days to grow to market weight.

Efficiency convinced him to switch to U.S.-bred broiler chicks that take only 41 days to reach maturity.


Import bans prevent China-based farmers from buying live cattle from the United States. So they've snapped up more than 370,000 embryos and straws, the industry parlance for vials of beef and dairy cattle semen. That is down from 2010, but up 15 percent from two years earlier.

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, has taken to inseminating its dairy cows in Tangshan with semen from the United States because the "genetics tend to create more volume and more protein," said Peter Moore, chief operating officer of the company's international farming ventures.

Challenge It could be challenging for the United States to maintain its technological edge. The pace of public investment in U.S. agricultural research is slowing, and the focus shifting away from on-farm productivity and toward issues such as food safety.

The budget at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the USDA's arm for funding extramural research, was essentially flat for the past three years - and fell 9 percent in 2012.

In contrast, China is ramping up investments in agricultural technology research, including its first national research center for improving swine genetics. The goal, according to government officials, is to create a strong base of breeding stock - and curtail its reliance on breeding imports.

Top Pig Breeding Stock headed to China

If there is one thing the Chinese do well, that is to copy.

After the West has invested hundreds of years and hundreds of millions of dollars developing a competitive edge with the rest of the world, a handful of breeders are shipping that agricultural technology to Communist China for practically free.

We have a technological lead on a nation of 1 billion hungry mouths, and we can supply them with their meat needs as they supply us with our plastic junk.

But the Communist Chinese play a different game than we do.

Once again, we will suffer for this.

Instead of exporting pigs raised ecologically, free of hormones, and humanely, what we will get instead is imports of our own pigs raised in human sewage, and fed poisons.

This little piggy is going to China

P.J. Huffstutter and Niu Shuping of Reuters
Insight: U.S. barnyards help China super-size food production

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