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Young pigs in a pen National Pork Board

How does water quality impact nursery pig performance?

University researchers study a plethora of topics that aim to improve your operation, while some studies just look for answers.

It takes a lot of help to smoothly and efficiently operate a hog operation, sometimes a lot of that help comes from people outside of your operation.

It truly takes a village to raise pigs today, from your barn staff to your herd veterinarian, to your nutritionist to your feed mill.

Land grant universities are also there to serve you, not just hog producers, but all of agriculture. Researchers at these universities study a plethora of topics that aim to improve your operation, while some studies just look for answers.

We all know how valuable the resource of water is in sustaining life, and University of Minnesota researchers, in collaboration with the Minnesota Pork Board, wish to learn more about how the quality of water supplied to nursery pigs might affect their health and performance.

Lee Johnston, professor at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris, and Brigit Lozinski, U of MN swine nutrition graduate research assistant, are spearheading this project, and looking for help from Minnesota hog producers.

Minnesota producers are being asked to participate by completing a short survey by June 21, answering questions concerning such things as water source for the operation, producer perspective of water quality, producer perspective of impact that that quality has on pig performance and water treatments used. Responses and responder identities will be held confidential to the research group. Any release of information to the public will be done in aggregate with no identification of individual farms.

Researchers will use the information gleaned from the surveys to determine the range of water quality being fed to pigs and to identify water sources that would be helpful in future studies. Their ultimate goal is to determine the effects of water quality on health and performance of nursery pigs and to explore effective treatment options for water in swine nurseries.

Minnesota producers are asked to complete one survey for each nursery barn that has a different water supply by clicking here, or for multiple barns click here. For more information, reach out to Johnston, 320-589-1711, Ext. 2117.

This is only one example of how universities, pork organizations and producers can work together for the common cause of making a stronger U.S. swine industry. University researchers are good about sharing results of the work that they do, much of that work will be in the pages of National Hog Farmer magazine as well as at

We attempt to help distribute research that will be of broader use to our readership, or as in the case of the above-mentioned U of MN project, information that can be used elsewhere or taken up in your state. Sharing and imitation are great forms of flattery.

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