I visited the World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines this week for only two hours. But no matter who you talked to or conversations you overheard, the topic that kept coming up was PEDV—Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. During the past year this devastating disease (new to the U.S.) has killed an estimated 7 to 8 million baby pigs nationwide. It has spread like wildfire through many hog herds since first showing up in this country in May 2013. That's when it was initially officially diagnosed in the United States.
Controlling PEDV is a big deal everywhere hogs are raised these days, especially in Iowa, the nation's number one pork producing state. Tyler Harris, our Wallaces Farmer field editor, covered the entire three days of the 2014 World Pork Expo, listening to presentations by experts and talking to a number of pork producers. He commented how a year ago at WPX, the PEDV topic was barely on the radar screen—it was in the back of producers and veterinarians minds, just starting to attract attention. This year it's front and center and was on the agenda for a number of educational presentations. A year ago, no one could foresee how quickly PEDV would spread. It has now infected half of all the sows in the U.S.
Pork industry leaders fear another possible disease outbreak
Tyler filed reports from the Expo for our Wallaces Farmer and Farm Progress Company website and will have an article in the July issue of the magazine. Also, Christina Dittmer, a Wallaces Farmer summer intern, attended some of the Expo seminars and is writing about what she learned. Following are some of the main points from the information they gathered, and a few of my own observations.