The swine industry is alive and well, though cautiously optimistic.
Swine producers attending the Minnesota Pork Congress (MPC) came out in strong numbers to take in the trade show and educational seminars. The Minnesota weather cooperated to allow travel, but the business climate of the last year may have had more to do with the positive turn out.
Strong hog prices and lower corn prices over the last year made 2014 decent for hog producers, if they were able to get porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) under control. A year ago, producers showed some restraint in attending swine-specific shows due to the prevalence, and the fear of spreading it or catching it at a gathering of fellow hog producers.
Producers and practitioners have since learned a lot about PEDV, and appear to have gained on the virus as there have only been limited breaks of the disease so far this winter.
PEDV is still on the minds of producers and MPC planners. Scott Dee, veterinarian with Pipestone (Minn.) Veterinary Services, talked on research taking a look at the risk of feed being a risk of transferring PEDV into a swine herd. Some of those findings can be found in an October National Hog Farmer story.
Dee says some of the continuing research is looking at each individual feed ingredient, rather than the complete feed to see if risk of PEDV spread can be eliminated. Great promise has also been shown in the use of SalCURB, a liquid antimicrobial product from Kemin Industries in Des Moines, Iowa. SalCURB is labeled for control of Salmonella in feed for up to 21 days, but has not been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as a treatment for PEDV. Label or no label, Dee says SalCURB has shown to be effective in control of PEDV.
Dee went on to say that all the research in the world cannot get around the basics: it all starts with good biosecurity on the farm, by all personnel.