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Articles from 2001 In May


Buffer Strips Reduce Cryptosporidium Risk in Groundwater

University of Illinois researchers are experimenting with grass buffer strips near livestock facilities as way to reduce the risk of ground water contamination by cryptosporidium parvum.

"We found that vegetation can play a significant role in reducing levels of cryptosporidium in surface water," says Prasanta Kalita, agricultural engineer. "Furthermore, our research shows that when cryptosporidium is absorbed into the soil and vegetation, it does not seem to leach down into nearby groundwater."

Cryptosporidium is a single-celled protozoan that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness in humans. It is shed by livestock in their manure and is resistant to water chemical treatment.

U of I researchers are testing buffer strips with variables including rainfall intensity, slope, soil type and grass species.

They found that a filter strip on Catlin soil with a 1.5% slope can retain 98.3% of cryptosporidium in the soil and vegetation. On bare soil, 86% of the parasite is retained.

This summer, researchers will monitor buffer strips under "real-life" conditions, at several livestock facilities. They are also developing computer model to analyze the data and design the optimum buffer system.

For more information, contact Prasanta Kalita at (217) 333-0945 or visit http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/news

*Letters to the Editor

Click here to e-mail your letter to the editor, Dale Miller.

July 11, 2001

Dear Dale Miller:

It seems that from the last pig crop report we may have a period of at least reasonable profitability which probably will engender pressure for expansion.

Looking at this cynically, it is doubtful that hog producers can tolerate profitability for very long. They will get the urge to expand. So you will need to turn up the decibels pointing out that there is little price elasticity due to the limited slaughter capacity, and return on investment in new production will likely be negative. The question should be posed to the industry: Aren't you happy with current profitability?

Why expand and lose money?

Perhaps you may be accused of excess pessimism, but that's perfectly fine. Please continue doing the industry this favor because industry-wide optimism kills profitability. Every time.

I very well remember the great optimism of East Asian ‘opportunities’ in 1996-97 instigating a building frenzy with a lot of outside investors.

If producers seem to have money burning holes in their pockets, perhaps an effort should be made to encourage them to invest up the food chain instead of expanding production. While this may seem a dubious proposition, directing money in this direction ties up capital that might otherwise go into expanding production, thus keeping production profitable even if packing returns aren't so great. Furthermore this guarantees shackle space for producers that cannot suddenly be bought out and shut down.

vPast history of packing may have seen poor returns. However it seems that extrapolating past trends into the future can sometimes be quite erroneous. Trends have a habit of suddenly reversing. Current limited capacity may mean reasonable profitability in the future.

Cooperative alliances could be made with producers owning packing and further processing facilities with experienced packing and food processing companies operating them.

Thanks for listening.

Jake Peachey

May 28, 2001

Dear Mr. Miller:

I just read with interest "From My Perspective" in the May 15 issue. I flew from Haiti to Miami in January and told the officials in Miami that I had agricultural products (we brought back some seeds and soil for a science experiment for my daughter), and had been working with a veterinarian. Our luggage was x-rayed and we were sent on our way to infect the country.

We flew from Chicago to London in March, then connected to Madrid, Spain without leaving the airport. When we arrived in Madrid, we walked across carpet that was damp with disinfectant. We flew back the same way in April and had no such requirement in London. When we arrived in Chicago, I expected something spectacular, since I had been reading about all of the increased concern regarding FMD. Signs were posted saying something to the effect that if you had been on a farm, let them know. There was also an announcement to that effect. There was no mandatory disinfectant, inspection relied only on the truth of the individuals arriving.

If we are going to keep these diseases at bay, we are going to have to be much more demanding of visitors and returning citizens. We seem to have millions of dollars to combat problems once they occur, but nothing to keep them from occurring. I should not be so surprised, my insurance company would not cover immunizations that I took prior to my Haiti trip to keep me from getting sick. You can bet they would have covered me if I had gotten sick.

We still live in the best country in the world, but I sure question some of the short sighted things we do.

LaMar Grafft

May 23, 2001

Dear Mr. Miller:

As a North Carolina hog farmer, I was bothered to read the following in the May 15, 2001 issue of National Hog Farmer:

"Smithfield's $50 million in contributions to research alternative manure management technologies at North Carolina State University isn't acceptable to Kennedy."

Please note that the agreement provides for no such sum. Rather, there has been a contribution of $15 million by Smithfield for the study of Environmentally Superior Technologies. The $50 million dollar amount is to be collected is as a per hog payment of one dollar for each hog in which the companies have had financial interest in North Carolina, not to exceed $2 million per year for 25 years.

The specific purposes of these funds are to include the following:

"The funds will be used to enhance the environment of the State, including eastern North Carolina, to obtain environmental easements, construct or maintain wetlands and such other environmental purposes, as the Attorney General deems appropriate. Portions of the funds, not to exceed a total of $2 million dollars, may also be designated as grants to the State to defray the costs incurred by the State as a result of this Agreement, including permitting and compliance assurance, in the discretion of the Attorney General."

This last quote is taken directly from a copy of the Agreement, Section D., page 14.

As you can clearly see, this leaves a lot of latitude for the AG to interpret and disperse this huge sum as he or she deems fit. I have my own theories as to how this money might be spent.

The Agreement is an interesting document. In all fairness, I must note that a lot of people make the same mistake as your associate editor did in constructing the article; however, I would hope that you would research the inaccuracy and correct in it future accounts of the Agreement.

Thanks for your hard work,

Kay Winn
Winnaway Farm
Rich Square, NC

April 30, 2001

Dear Dale,

I want to compliment you, your staff and the National Hog Farmer for your coverage of the output of producer checkoff investments. Your latest "blueprint series" is especially near and dear to me.

As a business-oriented producer, I have been involved in the Production and Financial Standards initiative. My role has been twofold. One, as a producer leader that made a decision to invest in the initiative; and second with my family served in pilot testing the different aspects of what producers today can access.

Unequivocally, I can personally say that this checkoff-developed tool is one I will depend upon to keep me competitive and in pork production in the future. This, as well as many other checkoff programs that producers take for granted, is here for our benefit. It is incumbent on us to use and/or participate in them.

Thanks for your role in helping to disseminate the information.

Yours truly,

John Kellogg
President, National Pork Board
Yorkville, IL

April 2, 2001

Dale,

I’m reading your March 15 issue and pleased that you have spent so much time and space on the manure problem. Those of us in the manure treatment and handling side of the business appreciate your attention to this important issue.

Of concern to all of us in the manure business is the article on page 16, "Pit Additives Score Low on Odor Test." We think the headline should read "NPCC and Purdue Test Protocol Proves Flawed by Being Unable to Confirm the Viability of Farm Proven Pit Additive Products."

We live in a world of multiple realities; the test looked at the products through a very narrow window; the other reality is that these products have been out in the market doing their job and solving farmers manure problems with satisfaction for many years. I have no doubt that if Joe Vansickle were to interview the companies that participated in the "test" he would get a very different story than the one you have printed.

I considered joining the test, but after talking with a friend who was familiar with the test protocol, I decided to decline. He predicted that the test would not reflect the true value and results of the products. How right he was and how glad I am that I decided against participation.

I, and many other people, believe that microbial pit additives are the best, most economical, most environmentally friendly and easiest to use method of treating the three big manure problems. Microbes reduce odor and solids while digesting nutrients to build a gentle fast acting fertilizer. No other manure solution, that I’ve seen, treats all three problems for so little money. In fact, I can’t think of another solution that treats all three problems at any cost.

My hope, and I’m sure I speak for all the producers in the manure treatment industry, is that you would interview the participants in the study and hear their side. It will tell a very different story that will validate the true worth of additives. This is too important an issue, to the industry and to the country, to have one-sided erroneous information accepted without challenge. My hope is that you’ll accept this challenge.

Regards,

Bill Campion
TCG Environmental
Kittery, ME

For a letter to be posted on this Web site, it must include the sender's name, town and state. National Hog Farmer reserves the right to edit letters for length. Send your letter to the editor of National Hog Farmer by e-mailing Dale Miller, Editor. Or, mail your letter to National Hog Farmer, 7900 International Drive, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55425.

Research on Early Weaning During Heat Stress

University of Missouri and PIC-USA researchers have found that weaning early, at day 14, lessens the negative impact of heat stress on females, especially gilts, and improves subsequent reproductive performance.

In the experiment, 139 PIC Camborough 22 females (39 gilts and 100 P2 or greater sows) were housed in farrowing rooms at either 70ºF or 90º F. Litters were weaned at either 14 or 19 days of age.

Sow diets were the same, and included 1.07% total lysine and 3365 ME/kg. Litters were standardized at 10-11 pigs.

Body weight, real-time ultrasound backfat and loin eye area (LEA) were taken at farrowing and weaning. Milk was analyzed from 10 P3 or greater sows and litter weights were taken, from both environments, on days 0, 5, 10, 15 and 19.

Researchers found a 40% decrease in feed intake when comparing the 90º F.-housed sows to the 70º F. group. For heat-stressed sows, 19-day lactation increased body weight loss 64%, as compared to the 14-day lactation.

First litter and P2 or greater sows lost 13% and 74% more backfat and twice as much LEA from a 19-day lactation in 90ºF. compared to a 14-day lactation in 90º F. Milk yield was reduced by 30% by the hot environment, but milk protein, fat and lactose were identical.

Heat-stressed gilts returned to estrus in 9.2 days when they were weaned at 14 days. Gilts lactating for 19 days took an average of 22.8 days to return to estrus when heat stressed.

Heat stress reduced subsequent litter size for both first litter and P2 or greater sows.

Fourteen-day weaning in the 70º F environment had a negative effect on subsequent litter size or P2 or greater females at 10.68 vs. 11.53 pigs. However, the opposite was true for gilts and sows weaned at day 14 under heat stress, with 9.23 and 10.45 pigs, respectively, for gilts and sows, as compared with 8.18 and 9.75 pigs, respectively.

Researchers found that the reduced lactation length, in the hot environment, saves tissue loss on the sows and improves subsequent reproduction.

Researchers: Joel Spencer, Gary Allee, University of Missouri, and Dean Boyd, R. Cabera, J. Vigness, R. Graves, PIC-USA. For more information, e-mail Boyd at dboyd@pic.com.

Milk replacer lessens impact of hot farrowing on nursery weights

The Missouri and PIC researchers continued their study on heat stress by testing the effectiveness of milk replacer (MR) in increasing pig weaning and nursery weights. The pigs were from litters housed at 70º or 90º in farrowing and were weaned from the sow at 14 or 19 days. The litters weaned at 14 days were fed MR to 19 days. All pigs were weaned to a nursery on day 19.

Milk replacer (Advanced Birthright Nutrition) was offered on day 10 to specified litters to acclimate the pigs prior to weaning. Pig weights were taken at 19 (weaning) and 47 (end of nursery) days of age.

Pigs from gilts and P2 or greater sows provided MR under heat stress had heavier weaning weights than pigs nursing to 19 days. Weights were 16.24 lb. and 17.99 lb. for gilts and sows litters fed milk MR vs. 12.28 lb. and 13.31 lb. for litters not fed MR.

On day 14, pigs in the 90º F. farrowing were lighter (17.5 lb.) than those in 70º F. (18.35 lb.). By day 19, pigs on MR in 90º F. had weaning weights similar to the pigs fed MR in 70º F.

More than 70% of the pigs provided MR in both the control and hot farrowing had pig weaning weights above 14.96 lb. In contrast, 50% and 27% of the pigs nursing for the entire 19 days had weaning weights above 15 lb., for the 70º F. and 90º F. farrowing temperatures.

During the 47-day nursery period, pigs fed MR prior to weaning had higher ADG in the nursery. Pigs born of gilts and fed MR in the 90ºF farrowing had the biggest advantage. ADG was 0.90 LB vs. 0.81 lb, respectively.

On day 66 of age, 67% and 54% of the pigs fed MR in the control and heat stressed environments weighed more than 60 lb., compared to 52% and 34% of the pigs nursing for 19 days in the cool and hot environment, respectively.

Results

The researchers found that early weaning the sow and supplementing milk replacer preserves the sows physical condition and prevents lower weaning and nursery pig weights.

Researchers: Joel Spencer, Gary Allee, University of Missouri, and Dean Boyd, R. Cabera, J. Vigness and R. Graves, PIC-USA. For more information, e-mail Boyd at dboyd@pic.com.

Early Weaning Reduces Impact of Heat Stress on Sows

University of Missouri and PIC-USA researchers have found that weaning early, at day 14, lessens the negative impact of heat stress on females, especially gilts, and improves subsequent reproductive performance.

In the experiment, 139 PIC Camborough 22 females (39 gilts and 100 P2 or greater sows) were housed in farrowing rooms at either 70ºF or 90º F. Litters were weaned at either 14 or 19 days of age.

Sow diets were the same, and included 1.07% total lysine and 3365 ME/kg. Litters were standardized at 10-11 pigs.

Body weight, real-time ultrasound backfat and loin eye area (LEA) were taken at farrowing and weaning. Milk was analyzed from 10 P3 or greater sows and litter weights were taken, from both environments, on days 0, 5, 10, 15 and 19.

Researchers found a 40% decrease in feed intake when comparing the 90º F.-housed sows to the 70º F. group. For heat-stressed sows, 19-day lactation increased body weight loss 64%, as compared to the 14-day lactation.

First litter and P2 or greater sows lost 13% and 74% more backfat and twice as much LEA from a 19-day lactation in 90ºF. compared to a 14-day lactation in 90º F. Milk yield was reduced by 30% by the hot environment, but milk protein, fat and lactose were identical.

Heat-stressed gilts returned to estrus in 9.2 days when they were weaned at 14 days. Gilts lactating for 19 days took an average of 22.8 days to return to estrus when heat stressed.

Heat stress reduced subsequent litter size for both first litter and P2 or greater sows.

Fourteen-day weaning in the 70º F environment had a negative effect on subsequent litter size or P2 or greater females at 10.68 vs. 11.53 pigs. However, the opposite was true for gilts and sows weaned at day 14 under heat stress, with 9.23 and 10.45 pigs, respectively, for gilts and sows, as compared with 8.18 and 9.75 pigs, respectively.

Researchers found that the reduced lactation length, in the hot environment, saves tissue loss on the sows and improves subsequent reproduction.

Researchers: Joel Spencer, Gary Allee, University of Missouri, and Dean Boyd, R. Cabera, J. Vigness, R. Graves, PIC-USA. For more information, e-mail Boyd at dboyd@pic.com.

Milk replacer lessens impact of hot farrowing on nursery weights

The Missouri and PIC researchers continued their study on heat stress by testing the effectiveness of milk replacer (MR) in increasing pig weaning and nursery weights. The pigs were from litters housed at 70º or 90º in farrowing and were weaned from the sow at 14 or 19 days. The litters weaned at 14 days were fed MR to 19 days. All pigs were weaned to a nursery on day 19.

Milk replacer (Advanced Birthright Nutrition) was offered on day 10 to specified litters to acclimate the pigs prior to weaning. Pig weights were taken at 19 (weaning) and 47 (end of nursery) days of age.

Pigs from gilts and P2 or greater sows provided MR under heat stress had heavier weaning weights than pigs nursing to 19 days. Weights were 16.24 lb. and 17.99 lb. for gilts and sows litters fed milk MR vs. 12.28 lb. and 13.31 lb. for litters not fed MR.

On day 14, pigs in the 90º F. farrowing were lighter (17.5 lb.) than those in 70º F. (18.35 lb.). By day 19, pigs on MR in 90º F. had weaning weights similar to the pigs fed MR in 70º F.

More than 70% of the pigs provided MR in both the control and hot farrowing had pig weaning weights above 14.96 lb. In contrast, 50% and 27% of the pigs nursing for the entire 19 days had weaning weights above 15 lb., for the 70º F. and 90º F. farrowing temperatures.

During the 47-day nursery period, pigs fed MR prior to weaning had higher ADG in the nursery. Pigs born of gilts and fed MR in the 90ºF farrowing had the biggest advantage. ADG was 0.90 LB vs. 0.81 lb, respectively.

On day 66 of age, 67% and 54% of the pigs fed MR in the control and heat stressed environments weighed more than 60 lb., compared to 52% and 34% of the pigs nursing for 19 days in the cool and hot environment, respectively.

Results

The researchers found that early weaning the sow and supplementing milk replacer preserves the sows physical condition and prevents lower weaning and nursery pig weights.

Researchers: Joel Spencer, Gary Allee, University of Missouri, and Dean Boyd, R. Cabera, J. Vigness and R. Graves, PIC-USA. For more information, e-mail Boyd at dboyd@pic.com.

Getting Weaned Pigs to Eat

Under most commercial situations, weaned pigs experience some degree of appetite depression. This temporary eating slump increases production cost and hampers pig performance through finishing. Here are 10 keys to remember when starting newly weaned pigs.

Before weaning, a sow nurses her litter at frequent intervals. After weaning, the piglets are faced with the decision of when and how much to feed themselves. Naturally, sow’s milk provided liquid and nutrients, but after weaning, the pig needs to distinguish between thirst and hunger and also to realize that these needs must be satisfied via separate media.

Pigs that barely maintain their weaning weight during the first week may take an extra 10 to 20 days to reach market weight, compared to pigs that grow at their preweaning gain rates during the same period, according to research conducted at Kansas State University.

Early weaned pigs require about 300 g./day of dry feed during the first week postweaning to maintain their pre-weaning growth rate. Actual feed intakes, however, rarely exceed 200 g./day.
Here are 10 keys to get weaned pigs to start eating quickly and increase feed intake:


1. Management. Increased biosecurity, an aggressive farm-specific disease prevention program, improved pig/human flow, and continuous staff training are essential parts of a professional nursery site.

2. Diet digestibility. Feed intake generally increases with improving digestibility of the diet. This is why most nursery diets are fortified with cooked cereals, milk proteins, fish meal, and simple sugars. Although such diets are more expensive than simple diets (based on corn and soybean meal), the benefits are improved performance and health.

3. Specialty ingredients. Antimicrobial agents at growth promoting levels, zinc oxide and copper sulfate at pharmacological doses (2,000-3,000 ppm for zinc and 200-250 ppm for copper), certain organic acids, and animal plasma improve post-weaning feed intake and growth.

Generally, these ingredients are more efficacious when health, facilities, and management are sub-optimal.

4. Balanced budget. Even though high-quality starter diets promote growth performance, their advantages can be easily lost if they are fed for too long or at the wrong amount for each weight class of weaner pigs.
Here’s a quick reference for pig weights and amount of starter feed budgeted to each weight class:

  • Under 10 lb. - 4 lb.
  • 10 to 12 lb. - 3 lb.
  • 12 to 14 lb. - 2 lb.
  • More than 14 lb. – 1 lb.

Since producers are more likely to sort pigs by eye, they should have an estimate on their average weaning weight.

A small portion, about half a pound, of starter feed can be spread on mats to enhance appetite, and the rest in feeders. Ideally, all phase 1 feed could be fed on mats, but this could lead to waste as high as feed intake, I have found in my research on mat feeding.

A common mistake is to disregard the fact that heavy pigs are accustomed to consume large quantities of milk and thus, they tend to take longer than lightweight pigs to adapt to dry diets. Therefore, budget a small allotment of the first diet even for the heaviest pigs.

5. Appetizers. These are commercial products that entice piglets to explore and ingest solid feed based on aroma and texture. At SCA Nutrition we have an appetizer (Primistart) that enhances the development of early feed intake, especially in lightweight pigs. It is a sticky meal diet that is composed of milk and fish proteins, oats, citric acid, and it is fortified with designer flavors and digestive enhancers. Other appetizers are available to encourage feed consumption.

6. Mat-feeding. This is probably the most cost-effective way to increase feed intake, according to my research at the University of Illinois.

Spread a small quantity of feed on floor-mats or on solid floors to encourage pigs to rut and ingest solid feed as early as the first day post-weaning.

On mats without a rim, pigs like to roll and push pellets instead of picking them up. Placing the mat near the feeder seems to encourage pigs to consume more feed from the feeder. Pigs require two to three days of floor feeding before they become accustomed eating from feeders.

Frequent feeding stimulates pigs to eat more and prevents wastage of uneaten portions. However, based on our own research, feeding more than three times daily is not advised because pigs become too fond of mat-feeding.

7. Milk replacers. Nursery pigs will readily consume a warm liquid milk replacer of the proper temperature and composition.

However, pigs reared solely on a liquid diet may fail to relate to dry feed unless the milk replacer is combined with a high quality starter diet or milk pellets. Good sanitation and frequent feeding are essential to prevent spoilage and attract pigs to eat.

8. Liquid diets. Offering a soup of water or a liquid dairy product and dry feed can dramatically increase (up to 300%) the intake of dry matter during the first week postweaning.

Although a ratio close to 3:1 water to dry feed is usually recommended for most automatic pipeline feeding systems, nursery pigs can utilize efficiently even more dilute mixtures (up to 5:1), according to research at the University of Plymouth, UK.

9. Gruel feeding. In farms where pigs are fed dry diets on a regular basis, a warm gruel (50:50) of feed and water (or a liquid milk co-product) can be offered to weaned pigs in special bowl-type feeders during the first 2 to 3 days postweaning.

Unless the gruel is gradually thickened (70:30), some piglets may fail to adapt to dry feed.

10. Water nutrition. A new area of nutrition is water application of nutrients and feed additives. Citric acid offered via drinking water greatly reduces scouring and enhances feed intake and growth rates. A blend of soluble plasma and lactose is also available for water application. These practices tend to reduce variability in growth rates, especially among the most underprivileged piglets.

Transition Teams Guide Industry Restructuring

The National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) are poised to create a decisive separation of the two organizations.



The pork industry's infrastructure is being overhauled in accordance with the directives laid out in the USDA-pork producer settlement agreement, which allowed the mandatory pork checkoff to continue.

In his comments at National Pork Industry Forum in March, Barry Carpenter, deputy administrator with USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service, told delegates: “(The) policy and programs were so blurred that pork producers could not distinguish one from the other.”

Therefore, all future communications from the two groups must be completely separate, including the holding of distinct annual meetings of delegates.

Checkoff funds, which will be administered by the National Pork Board, can be used only for promotion, education, research and consumer information programs. NPPC will focus on non-checkoff-funded activities, such as public policy and regulatory issues.

Pork Board Actions

The accounting/business management consulting firm, RSM McGladrey Inc., Des Moines, was hired on April 3 to serve as transition project managers. “They are basically in charge of identifying and addressing all of the issues surrounding the transition. They will report to us twice a month,” explains Mike Simpson, National Pork Board executive vice president.

The consulting firm has structured a review process to establish a working transition plan that will identify what must be accomplished, who's going to do it and when the task will be completed.

“Examples include everything from budgeting to employee benefits to changing the sign on the building,” says Simpson.

July 1 is the target date for accomplishing two-thirds of the transition, says Simpson.

A transition team, chaired by National Pork Board President John Kellogg, Yorkville, IL, includes: Tom Floy, Thornton, IA; Richard Alig, Okarche, OK; Mike Bayes, Orient, OH; Brad Thornton, Eagle, ID; and Craig Christianson, Bouton, IA.

Additionally, a CEO search committee is chaired by Hugh Dorminy, Russellville, AR, (vice president) and includes Chet McManus, Fulton, SD; Greg Boerboom, Marshall, MN; and ex officio member, Mark Gebhards, Illinois Pork Producers Association.

An employee search firm will be selected by mid-May to assist in the CEO search.

In addition to establishing checkoff program and budget plans, the National Pork Board budget committee is charged with gathering input from pork producers. By late April, “listening post” sessions had been held in Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. Others were planned. Simpson also noted producers can file their thoughts and concerns through the board's Web site, www.porkboard.org, or by sending an e-mail to porkboard@porkboard.org.

Telephone focus groups and a postcard questionnaire in the May edition of Pork Report are planned to garner producer feedback. A questionnaire also appears in the card deck located in the center of this issue.

“The objectives are to listen to producers and garner their input and to gain valuable insight in program priorities to apply to our budgeting priorities,” Simpson explains.

NPPC Plans

A six-member transition team has been appointed from the ranks of the NPPC board of directors to marshal the changes prescribed in the settlement agreement. NPPC President Barb Determan will serve as chairperson of the committee including: David Roper, Kimberly, ID (president-elect); John Caspers, Swaledale, IA (vice president); Don Herzog, Rapelje, MT; Whitley Stephenson, Smithfield, NC; and Roy Henry, Longford, KS.

“The transition team has been working very diligently to make sure the checkoff programs are handed over properly, while at the same time making sure that the programs are continuing without any glitches,” Determan notes.

In addition, the NPPC board recently invited 39 producers, allied industry representatives and state pork producer groups from 20 states to serve on a task force charged with redefining the structure and services of the organization. This task force was established under the direction of Resolution SO-10, passed by NPPC delegates during National Pork Industry Forum. The task force includes: Al Deutsch, Assumption, IL; Scott Burroughs, Dorchester, NE; Michael Cline, Kirklin, IN; Jon Caspers, Swaledale, IA; Barbara Determan, Early, IA; Gary Machan, Dakota Dunes, SD; Randall Spronk, Edgerton, MN; Michael Terrill, Snowflake, AZ; James Leafstedt, Alcester, SD; Gregory Starleaf, Indianapolis, IN; Roy Henry, Longford, KS; Kathy Chinn, Clarence, MO; Charles Miller, Alexander, NY; Douglas Wolf, Lancaster, WI; Thomas Vincent, Perry, IA; Paul Fitzsimmons, Good Thunder, MN; Christopher Moery, Hennessey, OK; Eric Bleak, Milford, UT; Bryan Black, Canal Winchester, OH; Jeff Galle, Perry, IL; Donna Reifschneider, Smithton, IL; Glen Keppy, Davenport, IA; Charles Real, Marion, TX; Sue Huls, Bozeman, MT; Darrell Anderson, West Lafayette, IN; Richard Degner, Clive, IA; Brian Watkins, Kenton, OH; Peter Blauwiekel, Fowler, MI; Dennis Liptrap, Nicholasville, KY; David Roper, Kimberly, ID; Gene Gourley, Webster City, IA; Joel Van Gilst, Oskaloosa, IA; Mark Gebhards, Springfield, IL; John Meyer, Kansas City, MO; John Prestage, Clinton, NC; Jerry Godwin, Warsaw, NC; Mike Townsley, Kansas City, MO; Bill Fielding, Kansas City, MO; and J. Randolph Carpenter, Raleigh, NC.

The task force will study many issues, such as governance, funding and producer needs. It will make recommendations to the NPPC board of directors, who will make the final decisions.

NPPC Funding Sources

Naturally, funding for NPPC is a major concern, particularly with the cancellation of their primary non-checkoff revenue generator — World Pork Expo.

“We are looking at a lot of different options now. Allied industry has responded very favorably. Several key exhibitors have decided to donate the dollars they would normally spend for booth rental to NPPC,” Determan notes.

Another key funding consideration is establishing a fair rental agreement with the National Pork Board for the NPPC-owned office space. “A professional appraisal of the building is being done, which not only gives the value of the building but also provides the commercial property rental rates in the area,” she explains.

Product News

Swine Feeds

CommStart 25-40 from Kent Feeds is a new 20% protein, 1.3% lysine complete starter designed for pigs weighing 25-40 lb. It will be available with medication options of ASP-250, D-CTC400, M50 or NT300. And, CommStart 15-25 is now a 22% protein starter, which is to be fed before CommStart 25-40. Call 800-552-9620.
(Circle Reply Card No. 101)

Coated Eartags

Farnam Livestock Products introduces its Z eartag with DuraMark printing. A no-stick coating helps shed dirt, and an ultraviolet shield prevents fading. The eartag is available in eight colors. Call 602-207-2168.
(Circle Reply Card No. 102)

Performance Testing System

Osborne Industries' Mark III Feed Intake Recording Equipment (FIRE) system uses new electronics that are compatible with any FDX-B electronic animal identification that meets the International Standardization Organization (ISO) communication standard for agricultural radio frequency identification. This system tests the response of growing animals to changes in feed, genetics, environment and animal health treatment. Call 785-346-2192.
(Circle Reply Card No. 103)

Carcass Remover

Remove dead carcasses from any size barn easier and faster with the Reeper. Just place the remover in the alley at the end of the barn and hook the cable to the carcass. The product can remove a carcass from a 250-ft. barn in about one minute. Call 712-786-3268.
(Circle Reply Card No. 104)

Side Load Composter

Designed for the large volume composter, the CT-10SL accommodates most heavy-duty, waste management operations. The design incorporates a hydraulic cylinder that pushes 23 yards of material at a time through the tunnel and into a 10 × 200-ft. plastic EcoPOD. The Side Load comes equipped with a 55-hp John Deere power-tech diesel engine, 50-gal. fuel tank, wheel drive and remote control for ease of use and minimal labor. The composter is manufactured by Ag-Bag Environmental. Call 503-861-1644.
(Circle Reply Card No. 105)

On-Farm Disinfectant

Sorex Ltd.'s Sorgene 5 is a safe and effective disinfectant for all types of pig accommodation. It is a broad-spectrum disinfectant based upon a stabilized blend of peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. It is used to control disease-causing micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and fungal spores. Call United Kingdom 44 (0) 151 420 7151 or email enquiries@sorex.com.
(Circle Reply Card No. 106)

Parasite Treatment

Phoenix Scientific Inc. announces FDA approval to manufacture and market ivermectin injection for the treatment and control of gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, suckling lice and mange mites in swine and cattle. It is available in 50-ml, 200-ml and 500-ml vials. Call 816-364-3777.
(Circle Reply Card No. 107)

All-Terrain Vehicles

The Polaris Ranger line of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) is built to serve the agriculture industry in a wide variety of capacities. Engineered for power and maneuverability, it is designed to handle tough terrain. The ATV can tow up to 1,500 lb. and features front brush guards, radiator rock guards and true four- and six-wheel drive. The ATV is available in 2×4, 4×4 and 6×6 models. Call 952-346-6334.
(Circle Reply Card No. 108)

Combination Approval

The FDA has issued clearance for swine producers to use both Elanco Animal Health's Paylean and Tylan to improve their pork production. Paylean added to the finishing feed enables producers to get pigs to market faster with increased carcass weight, improved yields and increased feed efficiency. Feeding Tylan can be added to prevent and control ileitis instead of using water medication or injectables. Call 317-276-3759.
(Circle Reply Card No. 109)

Post Driver

Worksaver's self-contained HSS/P hydraulic post driver is ruggedly constructed to provide effective, fast operation. It features a level indicator for accurate post alignment and spring isolators that dampen the “whipping action.” The post driver requires no special line or fittings and installs easily to any skid-steer loader with a universal attaching system. Call 217-324-5972.
(Circle Reply Card No. 110)

Hand Wipes

La-Co Industries' Lifter Wipe pre-moistened, hand-cleaning towels are ideal for job sites where soap and water aren't available. The two-sided, polymeric, non-woven towel features a soft side for general cleaning and a gritty side for really tough cleanups. Call 847-956-7600.
(Circle Reply Card No. 111)

State's Reaction to Checkoff Resolution Varies

The pork checkoff referendum staged last fall, and the ensuing legal wrangling, set many state groups scrambling for new revenue sources.



Between early January and Feb. 28, when the final agreement between USDA and the plaintiffs was signed, most state pork producer groups held their annual meetings. Many addressed a growing concern about funding. Resolutions for revenue-generating options were voted on in most states.

With the mandatory pork checkoff issue temporarily resolved, some states have tabled their plans. National Hog Farmer polled active state associations, and this is what they told us:

Alabama — The Code of Alabama provides for a checkoff, which currently sits dormant because the national checkoff remains intact.

Colorado — Prior to the agreement, a survey of pork producers showed a large percentage were interested in a voluntary investment program.

Illinois — Delegates unanimously approved a new voluntary investment program to address declining non-checkoff revenue while needs increase to address important legislative and policy issues. The new program asks producers to consider a voluntary investment of 5¢/head on market hogs, 3¢/weaner-feeder pig, based on marketings in 2000.

Indiana — A proposal is before the board of directors to restructure the state organization. “Governance and representational issues would be changed to reflect the involvement of all individual pork producers,” reports Terry Fleck, association executive. Programs would fall in either the “services” category (pork conference, state fair promotional efforts) or the “checkoff” category.

A second part of the proposal would spin off all policy and advocacy efforts into a new organization that would address local, state and national policy issues, work on business development and government affairs and handle communications and public relations. Funding would be from membership fees and voluntary checkoff dollars.

Iowa — An existing pork checkoff provision under Chapter 183A of the Iowa Code activates if/when the national checkoff program is terminated. Checkoff rate is 0.25% of gross sale price. Producers may apply for a refund within 30 days after collection. The first purchaser remits the checkoff funds monthly to a newly created Iowa Pork Producers Council, a seven-member board appointed by the state secretary of agriculture. This council will remit 25% of collections to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), 15% to the Iowa Pork producers Association, with the balance used for funding projects. The use of the funds is prescribed in Chapter 183A, essentially targeting market development.

Kansas — A membership program has been in place for 8-10 years. Rates are $35/base membership plus 5¢/hog marketed, paid annually. Kansas state executive Mike Jensen says they've taken a low-key approach: “If you are not a ‘traditional’ farrow-to-finish operator, we ask that you just pay what you think is fair.” The funds are treated exclusively as non-checkoff, unrestricted funds with a portion allocated to NPPC and earmarked for national issues. Prior to the “settlement,” producers had approved a 35¢/hog rate.

Minnesota — Delegates voted to pursue a state checkoff in lieu of a national checkoff. With the national program reinstated, the state initiative carries less urgency. “There's no way we would run two checkoffs at the same time,” notes Dave Preisler, state executive. Still, plans are to proceed with collecting the required signatures. The executive committee will then decide whether to pursue the voluntary effort to ensure a program is ready should the national program be eliminated.

Nebraska — No current voluntary investment program exists. Plans are under way to revamp bylaws and to consider new funding sources. A state checkoff bill (LB803), introduced in the legislature in late February, was passed out of committee and on to the legislature floor for debate. On April 10, the association board decided to delay the bill until the 2002 legislative session, giving producers an opportunity to restructure checkoff policies.

North Carolina — Producers contribute to a legislative, pork promotion program, assessed at 4¢/head. Funds are remitted to the state organization monthly, unless they are less than $25; then they are remitted quarterly. Distributions of funds are at the discretion of the board of directors.

Ohio — Pork producers group suspended efforts to implement a state legislative checkoff program when the settlement agreement was reached. Producer feedback is being sought as new objectives for the organization are being set.

Oklahoma — An existing commodity referendum law allows any commodity to petition the commissioner of agriculture to request a referendum vote to create a checkoff program. Legislative approval is not necessary. Contributions are mandatory, although collections are refundable on request. A voluntary program, based on animal units, is being considered with the funds directed toward public policy and industry image issues.

South Dakota — Senate Bill 210 was passed, signed by the governor. A refundable checkoff program would go into effect if the national, mandatory checkoff were terminated. Then, a five-member pork commission would be formed. The prescribed assessment rate, not to exceed 0.45% of market value, is to be imposed on all pigs sold. The bill has provisions for reciprocal agreements in states that also have a pork checkoff, allowing remittance of the fee to the state where the pigs are raised. Refunds could be requested within 90 days after the sale.

Florida, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have no plans for a voluntary program, although other revenue development options are being considered.

FMD's Growing Threat

The U.S. has been free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) since 1929, when the last of nine outbreaks was eradicated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Last year, first hog cholera and then FMD struck England. The FMD outbreak, the first there since 1967, has resulted in more than a thousand cases of the highly contagious virus. It has since been reported in Ireland, France and the Netherlands, and new cases also have been reported in Argentina. Various types of FMD virus are endemic in Africa, South America, Asia and parts of Europe.

The disease is characterized by fever-like blisters on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals.

Although not fatal, due to its rapid spread and debilitating effects, FMD has grave economic consequences. USDA estimates that if FMD were to spread in the U.S. unchecked, the economic impact could reach into the billions of dollars in the first year.

An outbreak of hog cholera in the Netherlands in 1997 resulted in 8 million hogs being destroyed at a cost of $2.3 billion. Also in 1997, an outbreak of FMD in Taiwan caused some 4 million hogs to be destroyed at a cost of billions of dollars.

For additional information on FMD, contact USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at (301) 734-8073. To reach the APHIS Emergency Operations Center, call (800) 940-6524 or e-mail emoc@aphis.usda.gov.

Biosecurity

Sanitation is one key aspect in stopping the FMD virus at ports and other points of entry and in slowing outbreaks. Virkon S, manufactured and sold by Antec International, United Kingdom (U.K.), and distributed in the U.S. by Farnam Livestock Products, is the only farm disinfectant registered with the Environmental Protection Agency with a label claim against FMD.

Sean Egan of Farnam, Phoenix, AZ, says that USDA inspectors in international airports such as O'Hare in Chicago were using bleach to disinfect shoes but have switched to Virkon S.

“Bleach is not as effective on soiled items because it is inactivated by organic material,” he says.

Virkon S works to inactivate the virus and is easier on your shoes, Egan says. Tests in pigs and poultry operations have shown the product also will kill viruses without removal of organic material, though cleaning before disinfecting is strongly recommended, says Egan.

Virkon S is now being used at some major U.S. ports of entry and is regularly used at USDA's Plum Island animal testing facility.

Egan reports that earlier in the fight against FMD there were some product shortages in the U.K.. The manufacturer is now on a 24-hour production cycle and has even contracted out some production. Earlier this year, the company reported it had about 160 tons of product in inventory and another 40 tons in the pipeline.

Virkon S is a powdered concentrate that is diluted in water to produce a 1% solution. It is a broad-spectrum disinfectant that is effective against more than 38 viruses, including major hog disease viruses. Retail cost is about $75 for 10 lb., which will make about 123 gal. of disinfectant.

Visit www.farnam.com or call Farnam toll free at (888) 241-9546. Learn more about Antec International and FMD by visiting www.antecint.com.

News Update

Safeguarding U.S. Borders

The USDA is stepping up efforts to protect the U.S. against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) says Beth Lautner, DVM, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The “virtual safety net” around U.S. borders consists of:

  • Alerting officials at U.S. ports of entry to check passengers and luggage for items that could carry FMD.

  • Increasing personnel and dog teams at airports to check incoming international flights. More than 200 additional, temporary inspectors will cover high-traffic international ports.

  • Reminding inspection personnel to check cargo and passengers arriving from the United Kingdom.

  • Alerting private veterinarians to watch for signs in domestic livestock.

  • Ensuring military vehicles are washed and disinfected prior to reentry into the U.S.

  • Increasing the USDA budget supporting inspection activities by $11.8 million.



Many other related activities have been coordinated by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to alert and protect the U.S. livestock industry from FMD.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has agreed to explore carcass disposal in each state.

APHIS is conducting a risk assessment of potential pathways of FMD into the U.S.

A 30-second FMD video public service announcement has been mailed to 1,200 television stations.

Extension agents will receive an informational package of APHIS activities on safeguarding the U.S. from FMD.

More articles on foreign animal disease start on page 18.




Farm Visitor Policy

The University of Nebraska's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) has adopted a farm visitor policy to guard against foreign animal disease.

“We have an obligation to ensure that the university's livestock are not exposed to these very damaging diseases,” explains Darrell Nelson, dean and director of the school's agricultural research division. Livestock has been selected over generations for specific traits that meet research needs.

Under the new rules, all domestic and international visitors to IANR must fill out a questionnaire. They must document country of origin, countries visited in the past two weeks and contact with animals in the past two weeks.

“Visitors from countries with foot-and-mouth or other serious disease outbreaks will not be allowed to enter our animal research facilities,” says Nelson. “Visitors from countries without disease risks will be allowed to visit research facilities with the permission of the unit administrator, provided that they have not been in a country with a disease outbreak in the past 14 days.”

American visitors overseas must wait 14 days after their return for entry. Special permission may be granted to domestic visitors who only traveled to disease-free countries, didn't visit farms or had no animal contact.

Learn more about IANR on their Web site, www.ianr.unl.edu.




Japan Lifts Pork Ban

The recent lifting of Japan's ban on pork imports from some European Union (EU) countries has cost U.S. pork exporters their chance of capitalizing on the situation.

Some U.S. analysts had expected Japan's ban on Danish pork imports due to concerns about foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Europe would provide a growing market for U.S. and Canadian pork exports. Danish pork exports accounted for 77% of EU meat exports to Japan in 2000.

Although the ban was lifted, it was stipulated that meat can't enter Japan until three weeks after slaughter. Japan's ban was lifted for Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Austria. The ban remains on meat and animals from Germany, Italy, Belgium and Spain.

Direct impact on the U.S. from the EU's FMD outbreak is largely confined to the pork market, according to USDA's Economic Research Service. The U.S. had previously banned EU beef products due to concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The ban on EU pork products will remain in effect until it is determined that FMD is no longer spreading and that infection is at a low level, says a USDA spokesman. The EU exported 196 million lb. of pork to the U.S. in 2000. Some 54% of that product was fresh and frozen pork, which is banned. Cooked pork products are allowed. Pork imports from Denmark accounted for 76% of that total.




Video Boar Auction

The first video auction of maternal Yorkshire and Landrace boars is 7:30 p.m. June 1 at the Midwest Type Conference, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL.

This new event is sponsored by the National Swine Registry (NSR), West Lafayette, IN. It will feature pre-screened maternal genetics representing some of the top sow productivity bloodlines in each breed, based on estimated progeny differences generated by the STAGES program.

For a preview copy, contact the NSR at (765) 463-3594 or visit their Web site at www.nationalswine.com.