Stephanie Rutten, DVM, PhD, offers advice to fourth-year veterinary students and graduate students about swine production and disease prevention. Best advice? Good hygiene.
First, never underestimate the value of good hygiene! When disease occurs, most people are inclined to reach for a product. We see this often in our own healthcare—if you’re sick and go to the doctor, you expect to get a prescription.
Second piece of advice? Understand the difference between a field trial and a field test. "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" reminds us that numbers can be used in a variety of ways and it is important in science and management to understand their meaning.
The National Pork Producers Council released a statement, on the eve of the final day for comments, that says the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule is not good for the swine industry and consumers.
In its comments, NPPC, which has called the regulation a “bureaucratic overreach,” said that GIPSA lacked authority to, for example, declare that no showing of injury to competition is necessary to establish a violation of the PSA. It pointed out that federal courts have uniformly rejected that view and that Congress rejected a similar provision during debate on the 2008 Farm Bill.
Final comments on the GIPSA ruling are due November 22. Take action.
There are 58 cost reduction points offered by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The recommendations touch all areas of government with words like trim, cut, reduce, merge, eliminate, etc. Several recommendations would impact agriculture.
Of note is recommendation 33, "Require food processing facilities to finance food safety and inspection services."
Under current law, one inspector must be present at all times to sample and test products when a meat or poultry slaughtering plant is in operation. These inspectors are responsible for monitoring the processing plants daily adherence to sanitary, ingredient, and packaging regulations.
Federal inspections benefit producers and consumers alike by preventing diseased animals and other unsafe products from being sold, but producers get the extra benefit of being able to advertise that their products passed USDA inspection.
This option finances all federal inspections of meat and poultry products with fees paid by the processing facilities, thereby making the service paid for by those who use it. Implementation of this policy increases federal revenues by over $900 million each year.
Note these are recommendations that require new legislation and / or action by both the president and congress to make happen.
Managing gilts before breeding is an important process in swine operations.
While it is common for pork producers to select replacement gilts based on their phenotype (body type, feet and leg structure, number and placement of teats), less emphasis has been placed on reproductive selection.
The goal is to make your herd more productive. To help, it does require that good breeding records and other production costs are known to help make decisions on gilt breeding programs.
Of the gilts that are bred, the highest pigs/sow/year (lifetime average) is achieved by culling all of the non-cyclers at 30 days post entry (42.3, 40.8, 42.4 for Options 1, 2 and 3, respectively). When we increase the percentage of gilts that come into heat by 30 days post entry with PG 600 and still cull non-cyclers at 30 days, we achieve the highest economic returns on the gilts entered into the herd.
This National Hog Farmer article can provide some helpful guidance.