National Hog Farmer is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Articles from 2016 In March

Grilling season is upon us; throw on some chops

This is the most wonderful time of the year. Spring is in the air, so planter and drill wheels will be turning in fields soon, if they haven’t already. This weekend, even though it’s already April, brings March Madness to an end, and Sunday brings the open of the 2016 Major League Baseball season.

Even though I got a jump on this, and some people do it year-round, spring usually signifies the start of the grilling season. Everyone has their favorite cut of meat for the grill; my personal faves are pork burgers and chops, as well as a beef steak and even some chicken breasts.

Apparently not everyone is jumping on the get-the-meat-on-the-grill, or the-plate, bandwagon. The USDA just released a report looking at consumption of U.S. food commodities as broken down by demographics between 1994-2008.

The Food Availability data and the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data are two data series within the Food Availability Data System compiled by USDA’s Economic Research Service. These series contain estimates of the amounts of over 200 food and beverage commodities available for consumption.

This study found that the consumption of pork and beef declined slightly from 1994 to 2008, while chicken consumption rose in that same time. Pork consumption among non-Hispanic Whites was relatively stable over 1994 to 2008, but declined among the other racial and ethnic groups.

For beef consumption, disparities by race and ethnicity apparently widened, largely because of declining consumption among non-Hispanic Blacks and individuals of “other” races and ethnicities. Between 1994-98 and 2007-08, beef consumption declined among non-Hispanic Blacks from 57.1 to 43.5 pounds per person per year, and among “other” ethnicities from 45.9 to 31.1 pounds. All races and ethnicities increased their chicken consumption over 1994-2008.

Now, keep in mind that these numbers represent meat consumption year-round, not just for the grilling season. Also keep in mind that 2008 is the most recent year of data in this study, data that lean toward a discouraging trend that consumers are pushing meat off their plates.

If pork exports maintain their current level, U.S. consumers are going to need to step it up to find a home for the extra pork that will be coming through the production lines. Hopefully I’m preaching to the choir as I would hope that readers of National Hog Farmer would already be doing their part to literally take a bite out of the growing pork supply.

It never does hurt to get reacquainted with pork and the many different ways to enjoy it, and with pork it’s important to learn or relearn the correct way to prepare pork cuts. Gone are the days of the necessity to fry, grill, roast or bake a pork chop to resemble and be as tender as a hockey puck. For years now 140 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit has become the “new” standard for the internal temperature of pork cuts. Pork has been called “the other white meat,” but I like mine with a little pink on the inside.

The National Pork Board, through the Pork Checkoff, provides all the information that the outdoor (and indoor) chef needs to know about preparing pork in the best way possible. The “Pork: Be Inspired” website offers many recipes, cooking tips as well as information on the variety of cuts and the nutrition provided by pork.

Another Pork Checkoff website focuses even more on the healthy benefits of giving pork center stage at the dinner table, including offering tips for “guilt-free grilling.”

This brings me full circle to the grilling season that is upon us. Don’t be afraid to try new things on the grill, and don’t shy away from throwing some pork chops, burgers, loins or ribs over the coals, and as the Pork Checkoff says: “Be Inspired.”

U.S. corn growers expect a major increase in ’16 acreage

U.S. corn growers expect a major increase in ’16 acreage

Hog producers may want to keep an eye on their future feed costs, as the USDA estimates U.S. corn growers will increase planted acres this year, while soybean growers are expected to decrease acreage by 1%.

U.S. corn growers expect to plant 93.6 million acres to corn this year, according to the Prospective Plantings report released today by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is the first increase in corn planted acreage since 2012 and, if realized, will be the third largest corn acreage since 1944.

Driven by the expectations of higher returns in 2016 compared with other crops, corn growers in 41 of the 48 contiguous states expect to either maintain or increase the number of acres they plant to corn. Growers in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and North Dakota expect to increase their corn acreage by 400,000 or more acres in 2016.

In contrast, U.S. soybean growers expect to reverse the recent trends, which saw several record-high years. In 2016, growers expect to plant 82.2 million acres to soybeans, a less than 1% decrease from 2015. In Louisiana, Minnesota and Mississippi, growers expect to decrease their soybean acreage by 200,000 acres or more in 2016. Despite the overall decrease in acreage, growers in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin expect to see record-high soybean acreages in their states.

The Prospective Plantings report provides the first official, survey-based estimates of U.S. farmers’ 2016 planting intentions. NASS’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of more than 84,000 farm operators across the United States. Other key findings in the report are:

  • All wheat planted area for 2016 is estimated at 49.6 million acres, down 9% from 2015.
  • Winter wheat planted area, at 36.2 million acres, down 8% from last year.
  • All cotton planted area for 2016 is expected to total of 9.56 million acres, up 11% from last year.
  • Sorghum growers intend to plant 7.22 million acres in 2016, down 15% from 2015. Kansas and Texas, the leading sorghum-producing states, account for 74% of the expected U.S. acreage.

The Prospective Plantings and all NASS reports are available at

PEDV diagnostic reimbursement ends April 30

PEDV diagnostic reimbursement ends April 30

If you need to submit any diagnostic samples that you think may reveal porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or related swine enteric coronavirus diseases, you better hurry. The USDA’s Animal and Plant and Health Inspection Service will end reimbursement of the costs related to testing of samples for SECD, including PEDV, for samples received by participating diagnostic labs after April 30.

APHIS’ Veterinary Services, which began the reimbursement program in June 2014, says pork producers may continue to conduct diagnostic sampling after April 30, but it will not provide reimbursement for the testing. The agency will, however, be engaging in discussions with stakeholders to determine the future of the SECD program, including how SECD fits into the future of comprehensive and integrated swine surveillance and other swine health activities.

“Producers need to remember that SECD, including PEDV, remain reportable diseases, which means that producers, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories are required to report all cases to their state veterinarian’s office or to USDA,” says Lisa Becton, director of swine health information and research for the Pork Checkoff.

According to APHIS, the reporting of an SECD must contain the following:

  • A premises identification number (PIN or alternate)
  • Date the sample was collected
  • Type of unit that was sampled (sow, nursery, finisher)
  • Test methods used to make the diagnosis
  • Diagnostic test results

For more information about changes to the USDA plan to address SECD and PEDV, visit the agency’s recent fact sheet. For information on Checkoff-funded PEDV research and resources, visit

Former NHF editor Neal Black passes away

Longtime National Hog Farmer staff member Neal Black passed away March 20 in Eagan, Minn.

According to Black’s obituary, courtesy of Joseph S. Klecatsky & Sons Funeral & Cremation Services in Eagan, Black joined National Hog Farmer in 1957 as managing editor. He moved up to editor in 1973.

Prior to joining the National Hog Farmer, he worked at the Waterloo, Iowa, Courier as a reporter and farm editor after graduating from the University of Iowa in 1949. The next year he was drafted into the Army and served in Japan and Korea with the 45th Division as an infantry rifle squad leader, earning the combat infantry badge, and as battalion sergeant major, discharged after 21 months as a master sergeant.

Black was widely known throughout agriculture for his monthly column in National Hog Farmer in which he commented on many subjects in addition to agriculture. It was also late in the late-1950s that he began active participation in party politics which continued after the National Hog Farmer was moved to Minnesota in 1965 and for some 40 years after.

He resigned as editor of National Hog Farmer in 1980 to join Livestock Conservation Institute as president, retiring in 1986. In 1981, while still with the LCI, he joined with four internationally known swine veterinarians to create a monthly newsletter, International Pigletter, which he edited until 1994. He served as secretary of the National Pseudorabies Control Board from 1986-97. He served on the Foreign Animal and Poultry Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1984-89. He served as president and a member of the board of directors of Gramercy Park Cooperative of Eagan from 2001-02. He was co-author of part of a history of the National Pork Producers Council, author of “A Century of Progress” a history of the U.S. Animal Health Association, his autobiography “70 Years of Typos,” co-authored a history of the Black family with his sister, Lois Beach, and was co-author of a history of the pseudorabies eradication effort published by the USDA. From 2004-09 he edited the newsletter of the Senior Housing Network.

His more than 40 years of service to and leadership of animal agriculture as editor, activist and columnist included chairmanship of the hog cholera committee of the LCI which ended with eradication of that disease. He served as secretary of the National Pork Industry Conference and was a co-founder of the American Pork Congress. While with LCI he was instrumental in creation of the successful effort to eradicate pseudorabies, a disease costing the swine industry millions of dollars.

His leadership while editing National Hog Farmer in opposing an effort by consumerists to eliminate nitrites in pork was considered vital to saving the use of that product critical to the production of ham, bacon and other cured pork products.

Among his many honors was the Senior Cooperative Foundation Housing Leadership Award in 2009. In 2008 he was enrolled, jointly with C. R. Mitchell, in the Pork Industry Hall of Fame by the National Pork Producers Council. He received an outstanding service citation for his service as secretary of the PRV Control Board, the communicator award of the Illinois Pork Producers, a special award for excellence in service to the U.S. Animal Health Association, the administrator’s award of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the distinguished service award of the NPPC, the meat industry advancement award of the American Meat Institute, a service award from the American Association of Swine Practitioners, the outstanding service to the pork industry award of the National Hog Farmer, the meritorious service award of the LCI, the Land of Lincoln award of the Illinois Pork Producers, honorary membership in the swine honor roll of the Minnesota Pork Producers, an award for service to hog cholera eradication, the Nebraska animal agriculture week appreciation award, honorary membership in the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, an award for service to the American Pork Congress and an honorary Iowa farmer award of the Future Farmers of America.

During his many years of service to the Republican Party in Iowa and Minnesota, he served as Dakota County GOP chairman and as treasurer of the Mike McGinn for Senate organization.

Born Jan. 14, 1928, in Preston, Iowa, Black was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Gertrude Black, and his wife, Peg, of 52 years, and his sister Mary Devine. He is survived by four children: Rebecca (Stephen) Susag, John (Nancy) Black, Angela Black, and Patrick (Rebecca) Black. Also survived by eight grandchildren: Marta, Peder (Anna) and Esther Susag, Gina and Colleen Black, Serafina Black, and Julia and Joshua Black; and three great-grandsons: Grayson Susag, Emiliano Lopez, and Afton Tessier. He is also survived by his sister, Lois Beach of Texas.

5 trending headlines to chew over

Red meat has been a trending topic of many major news outlets over the last several days. Some of the news bulletins are great news for the pork industry while other news flashes can leave a bitter taste. Click through the gallery for a one-stop shop on the leading meat news.

High-protein diet can help adults sleep better

Overweight and obese adults who are losing weight with a high-protein diet are more likely to sleep better, according to new research from Purdue University

“Most research looks at the effects of sleep on diet and weight control, and our research flipped that question to ask what are the effects of weight loss and diet — specifically the amount of protein — on sleep,” says Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science. “We found that while consuming a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein, sleep quality improves for middle-aged adults. This sleep quality is better compared to those who lost the same amount of weight while consuming a normal amount of protein.”

These findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which is affiliated with the American Society for Nutrition. The research was funded by Beef Checkoff, National Pork Board, National Dairy Council, Purdue Ingestive Behavior Research Center and National Institutes of Health.

A pilot study found that in 14 participants, consuming more dietary protein resulted in better sleep after four weeks of weight loss. Then, in the main study, 44 overweight or obese participants were included to consume either a normal-protein or a higher-protein weight loss diet. After three weeks of adapting to the diet, the groups consumed either 0.8 or 1.5 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight daily for 16 weeks. The participants completed a survey to rate the quality of their sleep every month throughout the study. Those who consumed more protein while losing weight reported an improvement in sleep quality after three and four months of dietary intervention.

A dietitian designed a diet that met each study participant’s daily energy need and 750 calories in fats and carbohydrates were trimmed per day while maintaining the protein amount based on whether they were in the higher- or normal-protein group. The sources of protein used in the two studies varied from beef, pork, soy, legumes and milk protein.

“Short sleep duration and compromised sleep quality frequently lead to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and premature death,” says Jing Zhou, a doctoral student in nutrition science and the study's first author. “Given the high prevalence of sleep problems it’s important to know how changes to diet and lifestyle can help improve sleep.”

Sleep quality added to positive outcomes

Campbell’s lab also has studied how dietary protein quantity, sources and patterns affect appetite, body weight and body composition.

“This research adds sleep quality to the growing list of positive outcomes of higher-protein intake while losing weight, and those other outcomes include promoting body fat loss, retention of lean body mass and improvements in blood pressure,” Campbell says. “Sleep is recognized as a very important modifier of a person's health, and our research is the first to address the question of how a sustained dietary pattern influences sleep. We’ve showed an improvement in subjective sleep quality after higher dietary protein intake during weight loss, which is intriguing and also emphasizes the need for more research with objective measurements of sleep to confirm our results.”

The other co-authors are Jung Eun Kim, a postdoctoral research associate in nutrition science; Cheryl Armstrong, a research associate in nutrition science; and Ningning Chen, a graduate student in statistics.

Campbell, whose expertise and research focuses on understanding how protein nutrition and exercise influence adults’ health as they age, served as a member of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which helped provide the scientific foundation for the nation’s 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Sustainable pork production focus of a new website

​A new website focused entirely on sustainable, responsible and successful pork production was launched this week to bring news, trends, research updates and commentary to all links of the global pork chain.

Called Voice of Sustainable Pork, the website brings together what it calls the four Ps of sustainability — pigs, pork, people, planet — to, in the words of the United Nations, meet “the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Visitors can also sign up for Voice of Sustainable Pork’s free e-newsletter, which will highlight major stories on the website and contribute to the pork industry’s ongoing conversation about becoming more sustainable. The pork industry also can follow Voice of Sustainable Pork on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

“Virtually every decision made in the pork industry has its sustainability trade-offs, so there is no single way of being ‘sustainable,’ in absolute terms,” says Curt Shuey, vice president, commercial development and lifecycle management for Zoetis, which is sponsoring the news website.

“But there are many ways of being more sustainable — and therein lie the opportunities for all links of the pork chain. These opportunities are what Voice of Sustainable Pork is all about.”

​Shuey says Zoetis, a global animal health company, would draw on its resources to contribute information on pig health, welfare, efficiency, food safety, meat quality and ways to reduce the carbon footprint of modern pork production. 

“With Voice of Sustainable Pork, we are turning to all links of the pork chain — producers, feed companies, veterinarians, slaughterhouses, processors, policymakers — to lend their expertise to this important conversation. The website’s success hinges largely on the industry’s participation,” he adds.

For more information, visit the website. Anyone from the pork chain interested in submitting news, information and commentary to Voice of Sustainable Pork should contact the editor at

Sow aggression: The cocktail party approach

If you’re considering a renovation or rebuild of your sow facility, you’re probably wondering whether to make the switch to group housing. As you consider your options, don’t let the threat of sow aggression keep you from getting the benefits of group housing.

A number of factors — including group size, pen design and tools to manage individuals within groups — can support sow productivity and minimize aggression, says Brad Carson, sales representative for Nedap U.S.

If left unchecked, sow aggression can result in lesions, bite wounds and stress and can negatively impact production potential. However, aggression can be managed in sow groups, and — despite misconceptions — a decline in production is not a given in group housing.

Cocktail parties and group size
“When evaluating group sizes and the challenges that can be associated with introducing a new sow or gilt into a group, consider what happens at cocktail parties,” says Carson.

Think about the moment the door opens and you enter a room full of strangers. If it’s a big party in a banquet hall, you might find a quiet space to assess the situation and get a feel for the group. Who looks friendly? Where is an open spot to join a group? In a large room filled with a large — but not too crowded — group, you could make this kind of assessment with little interaction and minimal anxiety, therefore reducing the risk of an aggressive social interaction.

On the other hand, if you walk into an intimate party in someone’s living room, you are likely to need to engage socially as soon as the door opens. If you enter the party too boldly or loudly, the whole group could quickly become nervous.

“It’s the same way for sows,” says Carson. “If you’ve got four or five sows in a small pen, and a new one walks in, they’re probably going to fight. If you have 100 sows in a large, well-designed pen, they’re not going to see or notice that new sow, and they are much less likely to fight.”

More tips to minimize aggression
In addition to group size, other factors can be used to manage aggression.

Traffic: The traffic flow in and out of the feeding stations can impact aggression. A best practice is to ensure sows exiting the feeding stations cannot immediately return to the entrances. Research studies have shown that farms that allow repeated immediate access to feeding stations report more lesions on sows.[1]

Laying areas: The design of laying or resting areas within group pens can also help to minimize aggression. Allowing enough depth to break up lines of sight can help to reduce the amount of fighting between sows.

Typically the most aggressive sows are not the oldest or biggest sows, they are the ones that have been in the group the longest.

“In poorly designed pens, new sows coming into a group have no means of staying out of the line of sight of those boss sows,” Carson says. “Pens with well-designed laying areas can allow for smoother adjustments when new sows enter groups.”

Individual management
Outside of managing sow aggression, another opportunity to maximize productivity is implementing electronic sow feeding.

“ESF gives producers the means to track a sow’s feed consumption and adjust her feeding rate based on her how she is performing,” says Carson. This supports return on investment by maximizing productivity and minimizing waste.

“If we use large pens, design the flow to manage sow aggression and feed each individual sow in a group environment, the chances of experiencing losses in production are significantly minimized,” says Carson.

For more information on swine housing and management or to learn more about Nedap technologies, visit or contact Brad Carson at 507-820-2501 or


[1] van der Peet-Schwering, Carola, Anita Hoofs, Nicoline Soede, Hans Spoolder, and Pieter Vereijken. “Group Housing of Sows in Early Pregnancy.” Livestock Science 2009.125 (2009): 1-14. Print.

Nutritional benefit off the menu for global food policies

Special interest groups have influenced a new layer of food policies. Globally, decision makers, in particular government officials, are fabricating dietary guidelines centered on social policy rather than real value of animal proteins — nutrition — to a humans’ well-being.

In the world, where an estimated 795 million are chronically undernourished and the world population swelling is it realistic to eliminate a food item that can deliver more nutritional value per calorie?

Netherlands join the United Kingdom in recommending its residents to dramatically reduce the amount of animal protein in their diets. Following Sweden, these countries are asking their citizens to make food choices based on environmental concerns by reducing what the government sees as “high-carbon” food items.    

Citing ecological impacts of diets, the Dutch government sets a hard limit on meat consumption per person by recommending that a person only consume a little over 1 pound of meat per week or 17.6 oz. with only 10.6 oz. being red meat. Putting this into perspective, the new recommendation would mean having only three 3 oz. servings of red meat a week. Red meat was not the only scapegoat in the new dietary guidelines. Egg servings were maxed out to two to three servings a week and a suggestion of 7% reduction in dairy consumption, eliminating whole milk entirely. The Dutch government wants everyone to make up the protein difference in legumes and an occasional handful of unsalted nuts.

Sign me up! I will start on that diet plan right now. I am certain I will not miss the mental and physical strength that animal proteins provide to my well-being daily.  

Using the Dutch and U.K. government dietary recommendations, 1.5 cup of black beans has the same amount of protein as 3 oz. serving of lean pork but with 21% fewer calories. However, not all protein is created equal. Pork and other animal proteins are complete proteins containing all indispensable amino acids that are needed by the average person to build muscle mass, boost brain power and manage weight. Overall, the quality of the protein comes down to digestibility. Compared to plant-based protein, animal proteins are highly digestible. For instance, meat and cheese are 95% digestible while split peas are 70%. As an added bonus, pork is also an excellent source of thiamin, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6 and phosphorus along with a good source of riboflavin, zinc and potassium. A real bargain for your calorie intake.

Similarly, it was attempted to sneak environmental considerations into the last round of dietary guideline for the United States. Yet, the final guidelines issued in January, unlike the U.K. and Netherlands, did not include the recommendation to reduce animal proteins mainly because the agriculture community worked diligently to keep nutritional facts and scientific research at the forefront of the dietary guidelines’ discussion.

Still, it seems every day research is being released contradicting itself on the true “environmental impact” of animal agriculture. There is absolutely no argument that agriculture — crop and livestock production — has an effect on the environment. Honestly, if you kick a stone into a stream you have made an impact on the environment. The landscape has evolved over time with large help from man and civilization. Sitting in the middle of Illinois, I often can see the miles of concrete that now covers what once was the “world’s best soil” for growing corn and soybeans. Yet, housing a growing population or building a new Whole Foods around the corner never enters into the ecological discussion.

Moreover, the discussion never seems to highlight the sustainable milestones farmers and ranchers have reached over the years. A complete third-party life-cycle assessment of U.S. pork production — that included growing the feed to raising the pigs to processing and retail marketing components — found the pork industry over the past 50 years has made great strides in producing more pork with fewer natural resources. From 1959 to 2009, a 35% decrease in carbon footprint, a 41% reduction in water usage and a 78% drop in land was needed to produce a pound of pork. Many of these gains are contributed to innovation, research and advancement in farming from crop to livestock farm and frankly the farmers’ genuine concern for the environment. Still, these facts are left out of the debate of food policy lately. 

More importantly, agriculture and especially the livestock industry are criticized for speaking against making dietary guidelines that appear to no longer be established on nutrition and ask the policy decision makers to reject junk science.  

Since the dietary guidelines are exactly just that, a guideline, it is fair to ask why animal agriculture would care so much. The bottom line is consumer research has shown over and over again that the average person relies heavily on health advice from the government followed by the medical professional. Therefore, it is important that real science shapes those dietary recommendations.  

While the debate will continue on defining sustainable diets, is it honestly fair for agriculture to ask the dietary guidelines to be simply centered on actual nutritional value.

Understanding PEDV shedding, immune response aids in implementing gilt acclimation

Understanding PEDV shedding, immune response aids in implementing gilt acclimation

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is an economically devastating enteric disease introduced in the United States in 2013. Clinical signs in naïve herds are similar to transmissible gastroenteritis virus, including severe diarrhea and vomiting in pigs of all ages and high morality in pre-weaned pigs. PEDV is transmitted via fecal-oral contamination.

While PEDV can be eradicated out of individual breeding herds utilizing herd closure, feedback, improved sanitation and in some cases vaccine, the biggest question is how to deal with the incoming naïve gilts back into the herd. Some producers have deemed the risk of having naïve gilts back into the breeding herds as too great of a risk and have moved to acclimating gilts off site prior to entry back into the breeding herd.

The most common question surrounding this practice is to understand how long gilts are infectious after they have been exposed to PEDV as an acclimation practice. Another question is which tests are best to use in order to determine shedding and immunity. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to (1) describe shedding patterns in growing gilts; and (2) evaluate immune responses in serum and oral fluid samples.

In order to answer these questions, rectal swabs (n=30), oral fluid (n=6) and pen fecal samples (n=6) were collected from two wean-to-finish gilt production sites (Farm 1-PEDV positive; Farm 2-PEDV negative). At approximately 13 weeks of age, Farm 1 pigs were exposed to PEDV using standard field exposure techniques. On Farm 1, PED virus was detected by diagnostic testing (RT-PCR) at six days post exposure in individual fecal swabs, pen fecal samples and pen oral fluids (Figure 1). Rectal swabs appeared to be positive until 42 days post-challenge. Pen fecal samples and oral fluids were intermittently positive until 56 and 70 days exposure, respectively.This study concluded PEDV diagnostic tests (RT-PCR) were effective for all sample types tested (fecal swabs, pen fecal samples, oral fluid), but the highest proportion of positive samples was observed in oral fluid samples, followed by pen feces.

PEDV immune responses (as measured by IgG and IgA antibodies) were detected in the oral fluids and serum samples at 13 days post exposure (Figure 2 and 3). In serum, IgG appears to be the predominant antibody type to use in monitoring for PEDV exposure, whereas IgA becomes the predominant antibody type to screen for using oral fluids. The oral fluid IgA immune response increased through 97 days post exposure, while serum IgA responses peaked at 27 days post exposure.

This oral fluid IgA response is particularly noteworthy because of the level and duration of immune response. Further research would need to be conducted to determine if this oral fluid response correlates to piglet protection.

Oral fluids appear to be a fantastic sample to use to monitor PEDV in populations with either PCR or antibodies. One might consider using PCR technology when trying to decide if diarrhea is in a group of pigs currently. If a producer is trying to determine if a group of pigs or a site have been exposed to PEDV in the past, then using an IgA ELISA antibody test on an oral fluid sample would be an ideal method to answer this question. The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is currently able to run either of these assays to help producers and veterinarians answer these questions.

We would like to extend many thanks to Katie Woodard, Marisa Rotolo, Chong Wang, Pete Lasley, Jianqiang Zhang, David Baum, and Phillip Gauger for their contributions to this research.