Hog health and management practices information sought

Producers will randomly be selected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service to participate in the two studies.

November 18, 2019

4 Min Read
Hog health and management practices information sought
Getty Images/Carsten Koall

From July 2020 through January 2021, the USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System, in collaboration with the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, will conduct its sixth national study of U.S. large enterprise swine operations.

This study will take an in-depth look at U.S. swine operations with 1,000 or more pigs and provide new information regarding health and management practices in the U.S. swine industry. Approximately 2,700 operations will be selected from 13 of the nation's top swine-producing states representing about 90% of U.S. swine operations with 1,000 or more pigs.


Study objectives
The Swine 2020 Large Enterprise study is designed to provide participants and industry stakeholders with benchmarking information on the U.S. swine industry. Information collected will contribute to critically important epidemiologic surveillance that will inform disease management and preparedness strategies to safeguard the swine industry. Study objectives were developed based on multiple focus group discussions with industry (representatives from the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians) and through input from industry stakeholders via an online survey. This study will

  • Describe current U.S. swine production practices related to housing, productivity, biosecurity, and morbidity and mortality prevention;

  • Determine the producer-reported prevalence of select pathogens in weaned market pigs;

  • Describe antimicrobial stewardship and use patterns; and

  • Evaluate the presence of select economically important pathogens, and characterize isolated organisms from biological specimens.

Participating in any NAHMS study is voluntary. If you are selected to participate in the Swine 2020 study and decide to do so, your answers will represent many other producers in your state.

Representatives from NASS will visit participating operations from July through August 2020 to complete a questionnaire. If you choose to continue in the study, USDA or state veterinary health professionals will visit you from September 2020 through January 2021 to complete a second questionnaire and discuss free biologic testing.

Benefits to participating
The U.S. swine industry will benefit from this study by having current scientifically valid estimates available to

  • Provide transparent, credible information on U.S. swine industry practices to help counter misinformation,

  • Aid in understanding disease preparedness strengths and vulnerabilities,

  • Assist policymakers and industry stakeholders in making informed decisions,

  • Assist researchers and private enterprise to focus on vital issues related to swine health and productivity,

  • Assist economic analyses of the health and productivity of the U.S. swine industry, and

  • Identify educational needs related to swine health.

Free biologics testing
For producers who fully participate in the study, free Salmonella, E. coli and Enterococcus fecal cultures and antimicrobial susceptibility testing will be offered for grower-finisher pigs. In addition, oral fluid test results regarding the prevalence Seneca valley virus will be offered for grower-finisher pigs. Testing for SVV provides valuable aggregate data that can be analyzed across the swine industry.

Small enterprise study

NAHMS will also be conducting a study of small enterprise swine operations (fewer than 1,000 pigs), the third of its kind.

Approximately 5,000 swine operations from 38 states will be asked to participate in the study. These states account for about 95% of U.S. swine operations with fewer than 1,000 pigs.


Small enterprise swine production is a growing sector of the U.S. swine industry due to its role as a primary supplier of many niche-market products. Small enterprise swine production in the United States is diverse, which creates unique information needs for the industry.

The focus of this study is to characterize the opportunities, risks and health challenges faced by small enterprise swine producers. Data on health and management practices will be compared with similar data collected in 2007 and 2012, which will provide a picture of trends in U.S. swine production on small enterprise operations.

Producers selected to participate in the small enterprise study will be mailed a letter describing the study and be provided with a questionnaire to be completed and returned. Selected producers that don't respond will be called by a NASS representative to arrange a convenient time to complete the questionnaire via telephone interview.

Scientific approach
NAHMS was established to collect accurate and valuable information on animal health and management in the United States. NAHMS studies are national in scope, science-based, statistically valid, collaborative, voluntary and anonymous.

Because NAHMS studies rely on voluntary participation, the privacy of every participant is protected. Only those collecting study data know the identity of respondents. No name or contact information will ever be associated with individual data, and no data will ever be reported in a way that could reveal the identity of a participant. Data are presented only in an aggregate or summary manner.

For more information
Click here for more information about these two study opportunities.

Source: USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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