10. Preventing fires
Getty Images/Christopher Furlong
9. COOL a hot issue
National Hog Farmer archive
8. WOTUS: A mucky mess still
The definition of “waters of the U.S.” fundamentally changed on Aug. 28 as the finalized 297-page Clean Water Rule officially went into effect for 37 states.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially change the definition of "waters of the U.S." in 2015. After wading through the final version of the WOTUS rule, a long list of state and local governments, businesses and agriculture organizations did not see this rule change as crystal clear, but rather as a mucky mess. Legal action or a reversal from lawmakers was the only way to stop the WOTUS rule.
This year in two court rulings WOTUS was blocked for now. Recently, it was ruled that the EPA violated anti-lobbying rules in promoting WOTUS on social media and other online efforts.
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7. PRRS control and prevention
Getty Images/ Joern Pollex
The fact porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus has chameleon-like characteristics that can rapidly adapt to survive has had hog farmers resiliently seeking ways keep it at a controllable level. Many researchers and veterinarians shared valuable information in 2015 for preventing and controlling PRRS.
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6. Antibiotics, the consumer issue for 2015
National Hog Farmer
At the beginning of the year, National Pork Producers Council president Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and South Carolina hog producer, said antibiotics and their use in food animals will be the illuminating consumer issue this year.
In 2015, antibiotics captured many headlines from food establishments making adjustments on food sourcing standards to combating antibiotic resistance.
In final rule form, the Food and Drug Administration announced a change in the way antibiotics can be used on livestock farms. Hog farmers are encouraged to become aware of the new regulations.
5. Mystery tremor virus discovery
Researchers at two separate universities — Iowa State University and Kansas State University — this year discovered a “mystery” virus that causes tremors in piglets. The research was conducted independently.
4. Who will jump the ractopamine hurdle?
National Pork Board
National Hog Farmer readers tuned into this popular Steve Meyer column, Who will jump the ractopamine hurdle? This article took runner-up spot as the second most viewed column written by Meyer.
3. Cargill-JBS deal changes pork industry landscape
Still, a popular topic among the U.S. pork industry is Cargill’s sale of its entire swine and pork business to JBS USA. Cargill-JBS deal changes pork industry landscape took top honors as the most popular column written by Steve Meyer in 2015.
2. Senecavirus A emergence
National Hog Farmer
This summer the Swine Health Information Center identified several cases of Senecavirus A. While it is not a production-limiting virus, it does have several symptoms similar to foot-and-mouth disease. Hog producers are encouraged to get educated on SVV symptoms.
Important information on SVV:
1. The $660-million pig
University of Missouri
The top National Hog Farmer story of the year was the announcement of PRRS-resistant pigs by researchers from University of Missouri, Kansas State University and Genus plc. Even though it will be five to seven years before these pigs will be available for commercial production, the discovery was a glimmer of hope that the dragon had been slain.
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