What Happens If a Disease Outbreak Occurs? Dr. Patrick Webb, Director - Swine Health Programs, National Pork Board, points out the choke points in the process of an animal disease outbreak occurring. Dr. Webb goes through specifics of how an outbreak is monitored and managed over time. He recommends that farms provide accurate information, have secure supply plans, and that industry continue to provide duration and resources.
PRRS Working Group Update Dr. Lisa Becton believes that PRRS is at a crossroads after 20 years of work. She talks about the future of PRRS and presents several views of PRRS' focus. Dr. Becton asks the audience if management, control and/or elimination of the virus, and how funding models will be created to support one or more of the focal points. She mentions there is continued National Pork Board support for PRRS elimination, as reaffirmed by the Swine Health Committee. To close Dr. becton highlights the 2014 plan of work.
How Secure Is Our Food Supply Chain? If Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) were to appear in the US, what would farmers, ranchers, and business do? This presentation reviews the Secure Pork Supply Plan, who is involved, what needs to be done, and how producers need to develop their biosecurity plans [video]? Related: Secure Milk Supply Project Update - An update on the status of the Secure Milk Supply Project supplemental to ongoing Foot and Mouth Disease prevention and response planning with Dr. Pam Hullinger, currently with UC-Davis Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology [audio].
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.
Sow Lifetime Productivity Improvements Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board, over the last year has developed a research plan to look at sow lifetime productivity. The metric has some challenges with many variable ecosystem inputs. With feedback from others in the swine industry, Dr. Hostetler has put in place a plan to understand sow lifetime productivity, how to measure the various factors, and outline a strategic initiative focus on improving lifetime sow productivity.
Science and Study of Group Sow Housing Dr. Ed Pajor, University of Calgary, outlines the current research on swine sow housing and the motivations for the different types of housing types. He also outlines some of the directions sow housing is taking and what the swine industry needs to learn so as to adopt these types of changes.
Remember, It's All About the Sows With increasing production costs due to labor, feed, and other external factors, Dr. Stalder approaches improving efficiencies by through sow longevity and sow genetics. Several take aways: Many traits genetically correlated with sow productive lifetime and can be improved through selection; We cannot ignore the people factor on any production process including pork production; and caretaker skills / stockmanship / management ability, effects on the sow productivity cannot be underestimated [video].
Taking PRRS Out of the Breeding Herd PRRSv costs US swine industry $664M. With this level of impact on the economics of pork production, much effort has gone into understanding the disease and how best to eliminate the virus. Bob Morrison, D.V.M., University of Minnesota, shares procedures for taking PRRS out of the breeding herd and presents data as to the effectiveness of these procedures [video].
What is it with the Grain Situation?I am NOT opposed to ethanol. I do prefer it aged in oaken barrels or pretty glass bottles! sums up how Dr. Meyers feels about corn used in ethanol. This presentation (with lots of charts for the data included) shares some other thoughts about the markets, grain, and the future of animal feed [video].
How is Weather Playing A Part in Agriculture? High temperatures across the USA have been a departure from the 1981 2010 average. The persistent heat from the summer of 2011 had more than 70 days over 100 degrees in some spots across the USA and every state has had temps over 100 degrees. What are the impacts on agriculture going forward? What should we do? [Video] [Photo Watts Up With That?]