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Zinc in late-gestation diets for sows improved piglet survival

By Lee Johnston and Julia Holen, University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center; Jae Cheol Jang, Pedro Urriola and Jerry Shurson, University of Minnesota, St. Paul; and Mark Schwartz, Schwartz Farms, Sleepy Eye, Minn.Originally appeared in National Hog Farmer

Genetic improvement in the swine industry has resulted in a steady increase in litter size at birth over the last 10 to 15 years. Often, an undesirable consequence of such large litter sizes is an increase in variability of piglet birth weight and increased incidence of low birth weight pigs.

So, the obvious question is: Can we manipulate the sow's diet during gestation to improve nutrition of the small pigs in the uterus, which would increase birth weight, reduce the proportion of these small pigs at birth, and improve their performance after birth?

Read the full Zinc in Late-gestation diets article.
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Can the Sun Cool Sows?

By Lee Johnston, Brigit Lozinski, Mike Reese, Eric Buchanan, Yuzhi Li and Adrienne Hilbrands, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris MN; Kevin Janni, Brian Hetchler and Erin Cortus, Department of Biosystems and Biological Engineering, St. Paul, MNOriginally printed in The LAND - June 28/July 5, 2019

Food retailers and consumers worldwide are pressuring food producers (farmers) to reduce the use of fossil fuels and lower the carbon footprint of their production systems. Over the last couple years, researchers at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) 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. Currently, as part of this project, we have research studies underway in the areas of agronomy, dairy production, and swine production. The overarching objective of these studies is to help farmers respond to market demands in a way that will reduce en…

UV germicidal chambers - best practices

The UMN Swine Disease Eradication Center (SDEC), along with Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, developed a short video and a set of hand-outs to show producers the do's and don't's of UV boxes. View the video and materials on SDEC's website (z.umn.edu/UVbox).

Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal chambers, also known as UV boxes, are used in farm biosecurity programs to decontaminate objects entering farms. In these chambers, UV light is used to inactivate pathogens by destroying or disrupting the pathogen's nucleic acid. This results in a reduction in the number of viable organisms on surfaces.

Research has found that the effectiveness of the UVC light depends mostly on the length of time of UVC exposure and UVC light intensity.

Biosecurity during fair season

It is fair season in Minnesota, which means exhibitors and pigs are traveling to various county fairs across the state and to the Minnesota State Fair. Also with the pork industry focused on keeping African swine fever (ASF) from entering the U.S, it is a good time to remind exhibitors about the importance of biosecurity as well as zoonotic diseases.

ASF demands attention moving into the fair/exhibit season

By Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator
Originally printed in The LAND – May 31/June 7, 2019. As African Swine Fever (ASF) spreads around the globe, pork industry and its partners all pulling together to prevent the entry of ASF into US pig herds. African Swine Fever is one of three Foreign Animal Diseases (FAD) that US livestock producers and partners are working to exclude from the United States; another is Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), which would infect not just pigs, but cattle, sheep, goats, deer and bison. FMD was eradicated from the US in 1929. The third FAD being watched is Classical Swine Fever (CSF) which many of us know as Hog Cholera, a disease also eradicated in the US in 1978.