Antibiotic Policy Movements Dr. Liz Wagstrom, DVM, Chief Veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council, provides updates on the policy and legislative discussions that are continuing in D.C. and at the state level. The hot topic is antibiotic label claims, use, and regulation. Dr. Wagstrom believes that the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture will change in the next 3 to 5 years. [Photo by Eric Erbe, Colorization by Christopher Pooley. USDA]
PRRS: Where Is It? Dr. Kurt Rossow, DVM, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, has been working on disease mapping (to support PRRS elimination efforts), making it a useable digital tool for farm participants. What has been learned about digitizing map data? Are you comfortable with other people seeing your results as soon as you do? And the interpretation of maps and related data can vary.
How Much Is Your Feed? Dr. Joel DeRouchey, Professor and Swine Extension Specialist, Kansas State University, looks at feed efficiency drivers to reduce feed cost, alternative ingredients, and feed processing advancements. His presentation looks at the costs of the various feed options plus seeks to offer means to reduce feed costs. Dr. DeRouchey provides several calculation tables and charts to help farm management teams drive feed efficiency.
What Do Consumers Think? Jarrod Sutton, National Pork Board Assistant Vice President, Foodservice, Retail and Channel Marketing, provides insight on the business side of selling meat. Some of the factors that play into meat pricing is how consumers perceive products and how they feel about animal welfare plus agriculture sustainability efforts. Jarrod also shares some of the conversations he is involved with in and around the food retail companies, trying to understand their efforts to bring reliable and usable information to consumers.
Eliminating PRRS Dr. David Wright, DVM, Voluntary Regional PRRS Elimination Project Coordinator in Minnesota, shares updates on the ongoing efforts to control and eliminate PRRS. The project started in 2004 and now encompasses six counties north of HWY 212. Some of the challenges to the project include farm participation, communication, and regular surveillance testing.
Swine Management By Data Dr. Mike Brumm, Brumm Swine Consultancy, provides benchmarking tools and tips that he runs across in barns, especially around record keeping, that help improve the process of production. He suggests there will be an increase in barn construction; with this new construction there needs to be some planning to support record keeping! Dr. Brumm adds information on fuel and utility use and what some of the triggers are that need to be monitored.
What Are You Buying? Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management, Virginia Tech, offers a set of key ratios for financial management and planning. Actions that he recommends on a regular basis: Check on your credit score and your spouse's credit score. Dr. Kohl also reviews some of the quick reads and metrics to know as you do your business planning.
What is the PRRS "High Season" Dr. Scott Dee, DVM, Director of Swine Research for Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, looks at PRRS and what has happened in the past several years during the "high season". Dr. Dee suggests there is a new normal for PRRS, with filter farms doing well but infection of non-filtered farms in "isolated regions" with no physical connection are occurring more often. Take aways: The airborne risk of PRRSV continues to increase and collaboration is more important than ever.