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Extension > Swine Extension > July 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Solar Cooling of Sows

Lee Johnston, Professor; Mike Reese (1), Renewable Energy Director; Eric Buchanan (1), Scientist; Kevin Janni (2), Extension Engineer; and Kristen Sharpe (1), Junior Scientist
West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris (1) and University of Minnesota, St. Paul (2)


Over the last couple of years, researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center have been involved in a project entitled "Greening of Agriculture". This project focuses on methods to reduce the use of fossil fuels in production agriculture. As a next step in the project, researchers are investigating the use of solar-generated electricity as a way to improve sow performance during the summer by investigating a more effective cooling system. Read more.

Develop Sows to Fill Upcoming Packer Demand

By Diane DeWitte, University of Minnesota Swine Extension Educator

Minnesota swine producers have interesting days ahead of them as several new packer options open up in the next year.  Feed costs are under control, prices have improved, sows are farrowing large litters and it lightens a producer's step on the daily trek to the hog barn.

In the not-so-distant past, we were pleased with 10 pigs per litter weaned at 17 days of age and our pigs weaned/sow/year goal was 22 or 23. Sow genetics continue to improve, and it's common to wean 12-13 pigs per litter and, even at a 25- day weaning age, yield 28-30 pigs weaned/sow/ year. Recent swine studies focus on management practices which can feed the pregnant and lactating sow who will be raising and weaning 13 or more pigs per litter. In addition, research attention is being paid to the birth and weaning weights of these large litters to learn whether the pigs are efficient feed converters and if their carcasses deliver consistent quality pork to the packer. Research investigating the effect of litter size on pigs' pre-weaning growth by Kansas State University found relatively few differences in the variability of pig size at birth through weaning between larger and smaller litters (Bergstrom, et al). North Carolina State University research has shown that low birth weights yield pigs who are less likely to develop a full value carcass when compared to their littermates of average or larger birth weights (Fix, J.S. and See, T.). These results all point back to that all-time favorite production challenge-feeding the sow. But it's not just about feeding the lactating sow.

Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

By Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Funding support is from North Central Regional Water Network (http://northcentralwater.org)

If manure increases formation of larger (macro) and more stable soil aggregates, several benefits may result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including: reduced runoff and soil erosion; increased water infiltration into the soil possibly leading to greater drought tolerance; and partial offsetting of higher soil P levels resulting from manure application and limiting P loss to local surface water. Continue reading.

Women in Agriculture Network's Summer Tour to Redhead Creamery

Join us for Women in Ag Network's Summer Tour!

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM (includes lunch)
Cost: $30 (Includes lunch, tour and transportation)

Agenda:

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Coach bus pick-up and transportation to farm
Pickups at Unviersity of Minnesota Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center (Willmar, MN), St. Cloud Regional Extension office, and Sauk Centre Wal-mart. Exact details to follow to those who register.

12:30 - 1:30 PM - Lunch at Redhead Creamery
1:30 - 4:00 PM - Tour of farm, creamery and family business discussion
4:00 - 5:30 PM - Transportation back to departure points

Registration deadline is August 9, 2017. To register for the event, please visit: https://z.umn.edu/WomeninagAugust2017

To learn more about Women in Ag Network, please visit: http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/business/women-in-ag/.

For questions, please contact:
Betty Berning, bberning@umn.edu, #320-203-6104
Sarah Schieck schi0466@umn.edu, #320-235-0726, x2004
Lindsay Mutegi, lindsay.mutegi@mn.usda.gov





Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226.                                




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