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Swine Herd Management
More efficiency equals more pork

Increasing production and profits have been the top goals for the Missouri pork industry over the past six decades.

New swine nutrition guide debuts at training sessions

Technology teams up with practical advice in a new publication that helps pork producers feed their pigs more efficiently. The National Swine Nutrition Guide provides a tool to enhance the understanding of practical swine nutrition, feeding principles and related management guidelines for nutritionists and others who advise pork producers on feeding and management.

Buffers help control farm animal odor

Planting trees and shrubs around new and existing livestock buildings and feedlots can reduce odors by 10% to 15%, according to Iowa State University research. That’s not a lot but every effort helps, and coupled with other good manure and odor management practices, planting a vegetative buffer system is worth the effort.

Preventing PRRS

You cannot see or smell it, yet this silent killer causes reproductive failure in sows and respiratory disease in young pigs.

Upgrade barn, air for better hog health

Some very determined swine farmers and their veterinarians are working toward eliminating a devastating disease from herds in southern Minnesota.

Vet’s dream: No PRRS in 2030

Scott Dee is a veterinarian on a mission: To eradicate pork reproduction and respiratory disease syndrome virus from state and U.S. swine herds over the next 20 years.

Raising pigs outdoors has benefits, risks

Raising pigs outdoors is a requirement in the protocols of many niche pork production programs. This approach is sometimes called “extensive,” as they are contrasted with “intensive” pork production systems where animals are housed indoors throughout their lifetime.

Implement 10 steps to fight PRRSV in hogs

The onset of cold weather is not only prime time for people to catch colds, but is also when the likelihood of livestock, such as pigs, catching diseases increases, says Mark Whitney, swine specialist with University of Minnesota Extension.

Hog manure pits foaming up

Problems with manure foam in deep-pit barns of pork production facilities are increasingly being identified in Nebraska.

Inspired by pork

Pork’s new “Be Inspired” advertising slogan fits Chris Wevik. The Beresford, S.D., woman has been inspired — even empowered — by pork. Wevik, who farms with her husband, Doug, has managed their 2,400-head finishing barn for the last 11 years. They recently sold the barn.

Positive for pork

After some tough years of low hog prices and soaring feed costs, profitability has returned to pork production. That’s good news not only for hog producers, but for all of Iowa agriculture, as well as the state’s economy. Iowa is the leading hog-producing state, with about 30% of the nation’s hog production, up from 25% a few years ago. Hogs eat corn and soybean meal, boosting demand for those crops, as well as provide jobs and other economic activity.

Bar eases hog chores

Chris Wevik had a hunch her love for animals was a solid foundation for learning to operate a 2,400-head pork facility. After 11 years of managing day-to-day pork chores on her family’s Beresford, S.D., farm, she now knows her hunch was right on.

Top issues at Pork Expo

An estimated 20,000 people from 38 countries, including pork producers, exhibitors and industry officials, attended the 2012 World Pork Expo June 6-8 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Gestation crate debate continues at pork event

After announcements that fast-food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s plan to phase out purchases of pork produced on farms using gestation stalls or crates to house pregnant sows, pork producers are concerned about the economic toll that may result.

New residue testing procedures

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, has announced new methods with increased efficiencies for testing residues in meat products. Iowa State University Extension swine veterinarian Jim McKean urges pork producers to review their operation and management decisions regarding drug usage.

Pasture-fed pigs have the right stuff

Demand for pasture-fed pigs prompted farmer Craig Hagaman to try his hand in the business. Hagaman now raises purebred Berkshires, as well as poultry, in the countryside near Berryville, Va. He doesn’t farrow the hogs out, but purchases them from a couple in Berkley County, W.Va. He may farrow them in the future, however, once he builds the infrastructure.

Heritage hogs bring new markets

Tom Primmer says that living through the ag crisis of the 1980s taught him how to deal with adversity. “I look closely at my expense and debt load,” he says. “I try to keep it as low as I can.”

Nebraska hog farm nears independence through bioenergy

When you talk with Danny Kluthe about the future of agriculture, his eyes light up and a big smile creeps across his face. “The future of agriculture is bright,” says Kluthe. And he knows what he is talking about.

Fan maintenance saves energy

Many farmers are eager to move forward with construction projects this spring, especially since our April weather seemed more like a typical March! If your building plans include a new hog barn or just some spring cleaning in and around your existing facilities, you can improve the energy efficiency of your ventilation system with proper fan selection and maintenance.

R.C. Hunt new head of National Pork Producers Council

Maybe Wilson, N.C., farm entrepreneur R.C. Hunt hasn’t done it all, but he’s got a pretty good start.

Manure manager

After a hot summer day of working pigs, nothing is more relaxing than heading to the lake to cast a fishing line. For Ronnie and Rocky Means, it is a short commute.

Nebraska biotech firm serves clients worldwide

GeneSeek Inc., a Nebraska agricultural biotechnology service provider, has grown into one of the largest companies of its kind in the world since it began in Lincoln in 1998.