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Nutra Tech host Chinese Swine Management Team

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Nutra Tech of Newell was host of a special Chinese delegation last Thursday.

The U.S. Grains Council Chinese Swine Management Team of 11 pork producers.

According to Jason Zhichun Yan, the group's translator, the producers varied in size of production from 2,400 head of hogs to 25,000 head.

Rusty Kosky, owner of Nutra Tech, was surprised and honored to host the delegation.

"We were contacted and asked if we would be willing to show them some of our facilities and we agreed to do that," Kosky said. "They are here with the World Pork Expo down in Des Moines."

Kosky will host another group next week from South Korea.

"The Asian Market can be huge for the pork industry," Kosky said. "It is one the main meats used over there and could lead to changes in the market."

According to Yan, China has had some of the highest pork prices in the country's history.

"It's a major concern over their because people are not able to afford it as well and it is a major stable in the diet. In some areas in the cities, it's very expensive."

Some of the prices quoted from China had live hogs going for about 83 cents a pound where the US is roughly around 55 cents.

Also Chinese hogs do not grow as large as American hogs but the feed is still roughly the same corn and soy diets.

When Kosky first started Nutra Tech back in 1996 with only 2,400 head of hogs, he never expected to be to hosting foreign delegations and giving tours.

"To be honest I never thought I would be doing something like this but it truly is an honor," Kosky said.

Kosky doesn't see himself traveling over to Asia but is looking forward to seeing the hog industry expanding to the Asia market.

"I don't see myself as a world traveler but I am glad to welcome people who are interested in seeing what we have here," Kosky said.

Nutra Tech has grown since its start up over 10 years ago. With facilities all over the area, Nutra Tech has over 200,000 head of hogs through out the local counties.

"We are still local from investors to workers," Kosky said. "And we are very grateful to the communities. We are all involved with our communities and look forward to being involved."

An element that all of the ag industries are keeping an eye on is the ethanol industry.

"A concern is that it will raise our prices for hogs because we will have to pay more for corn, which we aren't saying is a bad thing, but something we will be watching because prices of pork will be on the rise as well."

According to Kosky, about 10 percent of hog diets can be substitute with distiller's grain, a by-product of ethanol.

"This will not just affect pork but all the industries that rely on corn, cattle and other livestock . They all have similar issues," Kosky said.