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NAHMS Study Reports On Swine Health Trends

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has released the second report on the Swine 2006 study from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS).

The report is part of the fourth national study of the U.S. swine industry and provides a base of information for education and research programs.

The report provides statistics on 17 states that represent 94% of U.S. swine operations with 100 or more pigs.

Some highlights:

-- More than 20% of sites with breeding females reported sickness or death in sows due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) (27.3%), swine influenza virus (22.3%) or roundworms (26.8%) during the last 12 months.

-- Leading disease problems in preweaned pigs by percentage of sites were colibacillosis, 47.4%; navel infections, 43.1%; and Streptococcus suis, 38.5%.

-- Nearly half of sites with nursery-age pigs (49.9%) reported pigs sick with Strep suis in the last year. The percentage of nursery sites reporting sick pigs due to PRRS ranged from 18.6% of small sites to 61.6% of large sites.

-- Vaccinating pigs for Mycoplasmal pneumonia was less common during the grow-finish phase than the nursery phase.

-- The most common antibiotics given by injection to nursery-age pigs were ceftiofur and procaine penicillin G, given on 43.0 and 43.9% of sites, respectively.

-- The two most common reasons that sites with grow-finish pigs used water medications were to treat respiratory disease (42.4%) and to treat enteric disease (15.8% of sites).

Part II: Reference of Swine Health and Health Management Practices in the United States 2006 is posted on the NAHMS Web site.

Veteran Missouri Ag Professor Passes Away

Charles D. Fulhage, 61, long-time University of Missouri (MU) professor of agricultural engineering, died Feb. 26 following a recent car crash.

“He was a great colleague and an outstanding professional engineer,” says Jinglu Tan, director of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Division of Food Systems and Bioengineering, where Fulhage worked.

Fulhage received advanced degrees in agricultural engineering from MU. He began working there as a graduate student and went on to become a professor. “He was here for about 40 years,” says Tan. “He spent his entire career here.”

Fulhage was a state livestock management specialist who helped producers develop and implement manure management programs. He also worked with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop regulations and standards.

Iowa Veterinarian Studies Swine Deaths in China

Rodney “Butch” Baker, swine veterinarian at Iowa State University, took part in a recent U.S. research team visit to China to investigate cases of high-fever disease.

Baker accompanied researchers from South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, Massey University in New Zealand and a private company, Tetracore Inc., on a two-week tour of China. The group studied the causes of death of more than 100 million pigs in China during 2007.

Conclusions are being compiled by the National Pork Board, which sponsored the trip, and should be released later this year.

“Our mission was to look at the symptoms and clinical pathology of the disease and, if possible, discover the causative agent,” he says.

China once produced more than 700 million pigs a year, compared to a little more than 100 million pigs raised annually in the United States, Baker analyzes.

“So they lost as many pigs as we produce in our country,” he explains.

Baker says pork is the meat of choice in China, and its loss has had a profound effect. “We were there for two weeks and were served one pork meal the entire time.”

Youth Biosecurity Program Developed

Whether you raise a few pigs for show or thousands to market commercially, you are part of the pork industry and play a vital role in maintaining its health.

That’s why the National Pork Board has developed the new 15-page booklet, “A Champion’s Guide to Youth Swine Exhibition: Biosecurity and Your Pig Project.”

“This booklet teaches good animal husbandry, addresses common swine diseases and stresses the importance of working with your veterinarian,” says Pam Zaabel, DVM, director of swine health information and research for the Pork Board. “It also helps young pork producers understand the value of good biosecurity.”

The pork checkoff and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians developed the booklet. It is available online at

“Whether you’re involved in 4-H, FFA or the National Junior Swine Association, this booklet is filled with simple strategies that can help you prevent the transmission of disease and protect the health of your animals and other swine herds,” states Zaabel.

Pork Becoming Regular Fare at Sunday Dinner

New survey data indicates that 82% of consumers regularly eat some type of pork at home, with the average eater consuming pork just over twice a week.

Processed pork accounts for nearly 80% of all pork consumed in the home. In fact, ham, bacon and sausage comprise about 70% of all pork consumed.

“It’s extremely interesting how little these trends have changed over time, pointing to how difficult it is to influence consumers eating patterns,” says John Green, director of strategic marketing for the National Pork Board. “If you want to influence consumers’ eating habits, these trends highlight the importance of a focused, consistent message that’s regularly communicated to a target audience.”

In targeting female consumers ages 25-49 with children at home, the pork checkoff’s Don’t be blah advertising message helps consumers beat the dinnertime doldrums.

“Instead of limiting pork to Sunday dinner, we’re showing how easy it can be to prepare a 30-minute pork tenderloin when you get home from work,” says Green. He notes that in-home consumption of fresh pork has risen 3.5% in the past year alone. “Giving consumers new ideas and cooking confidence is helping make pork a regular part of more consumers’ diets.”

The pork checkoff tracks in-home consumption trends annually using The NPD Group, a well-respected leader in consumer research. The information is also used when designing pork promotions.

Ohio Pork Seminar Set for March 18

The Ohio Swine Health Symposium is slated for March 18 at the Der Dutchman in Plain City, OH. A $10 registration fee is due March 13. Contact the Ohio State Extension/Putnam County at (419) 523-6294.

The educational program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It includes these sessions:

-- Emerging issues in the swine industry by Ohio State Veterinarian Tony Forshey;

-- Herd health and disease prevention programs with Todd Price, DVM, North Central Veterinary Services, Sycamore, OH;

-- Boar stud biosecurity with Dennis Villani, DVM, Swine Veterinary Services, Greensburg, IN;

-- Case study – the big picture with Michelle Michalak, DVM, Maria Stein Animal Clinic, Maria Stein, OH;

-- Who’s watching – who’s listening with pork producer Bill Funderburg, Greenville, OH;

-- Euthanasia update with Andy Bowman, DVM, York Animal Hospital, Bellevue, OH; and Dwain Guggenbiller, swine technical veterinarian, Trouw Nutrition International, Columbus, OH; and

-- Porcine circovirus-associated disease with Mike Mull, DVM, York Animal Hospital, Bellevue, OH; and Bill Minton, DVM, Minton Veterinary Service, Chickasaw, OH.

NIAA Annual Meeting Scheduled for Indianapolis

The annual meeting of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture is April 1-3, 2008 at The Westin, Indianapolis, IN.

The program April 1 includes seminars on animal care, animal health emergency management and cattle health.

The program April 2 includes seminars on animal health and international trade, animal production food safety and security, animal identification, emerging diseases and swine health.

The program April 3 features the ID INFO Workshop.

See for up-to-date meeting information and to register. For questions, e-mail [email protected] or call (270) 782-9798.

44 Practical Ideas to Cut Feed and Production Costs

Pork producers are facing a period of rapidly increasing feed and production costs. The following management tips and resources have been compiled by the Pork Checkoff to assist producers in identifying opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.

This information was gathered from experts and producers across academia and industry and from many valuable industry based Web sites in the United States and Canada. These tips are not listed in order of priority and implementation should be considered based on the needs of each operation. Included with many of the tips are links for additional information. The list and resources are not all-inclusive and there may be many other sources of information in addition to the ones we have identified in this document.

Click to continue reading the full PDF document, Practical Ideas to Address High Feed and Production Costs...