It is up to each U.S. producer to determine their own personal investment in a hospital pen, however, producers in other countries may have a required minimum area for these pens mandated. Both sow welfare and caregiver efficiency can be improved by giving careful thought to hospital pen characteristics within group housed sow pens.
Microbiology may not be what comes to mind initially when you think about swine production practices, but recent research may hold the key to making changes based on the veterinary feed directive regulations (effective January 1, 2017). Bacterial populations located all along the gastrointestinal tract of animals, collectively referred to as the microbiome, play an integrative, symbiotic role with their swine hosts. Researchers have uncovered some clear data that demonstrates beneficial effects on several factors of swine production, including increased feed:gain ratio, growth performance, and decreased pathogen load. The production effects are primarily attributed to reducing post-weaning stress and altering the microbiome with non-traditional feed additives.
Let’s take a moment to consider one of the animal observations from the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) Site Assessment and its impacts. Recommendations exist in facility planning books about the square footage for an animal at each phase of production. However, these recommendations are simply a starting point at achieving animal comfort and maximizing the efficiency of your building. The challenge we sometimes forget is that recommendations are formed based on some assumptions and certain sizes of animals.
A biofilter is an air filtration system that uses a layer of microbes on a support media to filter gases from the air exiting a livestock facility. The support media can be a wide variety of material but is most often woodchips. This article outlines the design considerations and cost to construct a slanted bed biofilter for a pit fan on the new South Dakota State University Swine Education and Research Facility wean-finish unit.
A biofilter is an air filtration system that uses a layer of microbes on a support media to filter gases from the air exiting a livestock facility. The support media can be a wide variety of material but is most often woodchips. This article outlines the design considerations, experiences and cost to construct a horizontal bed biofilter for a pit fan on the new South Dakota State University Swine Education and Research Facility gestation room.
As South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and communities deal with the challenges brought on by drought conditions impacting more than half the state, SDSU Extension is connecting individuals with resources and research-based information.
Based on a recent report by Dr. Emmanuel Byamukama, Differentiating Between Wheat Head Diseases and Disorders, it appears that conditions are right for Fusarium head blight (or scab) growth in South Dakota, which leads to the production of the mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat. While DON-contaminated grains can cause problems for livestock, pork producers have several options when dealing with this situation.
Sow numbers in S.D. are at 190,000 sows, which puts S.D. in the top 10 in sow numbers in the United States. Also, S.D. ranks #11 in market hogs. As new sow units and finishing barns get approved and built, these numbers will increase in the future. Not only will these new barns provide needed jobs to rural communities and an avenue for young people to return to the family farm, they will also create an increased demand for locally raised corn and soybeans.
On Thursday, February 25, 2016, Dr. Eric Berg gave a presentation at South Dakota State University on “Eating Like a Pig: The Role of Meat in the Human Diet” as part of the University’s Speakers series. Berg, a Professor of Meat Science from North Dakota State University, discussed a variety of topics including how the USDA Food Pyramid was developed, limitations in human nutrition research, how the US diet has evolved throughout the years, and how those changes have significant implications on human health.
According to Dr. Bob Thaler, SDSU Extension Swine Specialist, sow numbers in SD have increased by 15,000 sows in just the last quarter since December 2015. This is the first time since September 1995 that the USDA has reported 190,000 sows in the breeding herd inventory for South Dakota. Using a conservative number of 25 pigs/sow/year, the additional 15,000 sows will produce 375,000 pigs annually.