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Understanding sow mortality: Part 1 & 2

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog. Adopted from February 5 & 12, 2021 Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project Friday rubric. Sow mortality has been a growing concern over the past decade. Studies have shown that the majority of deaths occur the week before and the first three weeks after farrowing (Deen & Xue, 1999; Sasaki & Koketsu, 2008). Mortality tends to increase during summer (Chagnon et al., 1991; Deen & Xue, 1999). We analyzed a decade of PigChamp herd performance records from four commercial farms to describe relationships in sow mortality. The farms had an average herd size of 3,700 for Farm 1; 2,437 for Farm 2; 2,505 from Farm 3; and 5,442 for Farm 4. We assessed over 350,000 PigChamp service records corresponding to 85,608 sows of which 11,852 died. Continue reading Understanding Sow Mortality: Part 1. In Understanding Sow Mortality: Part 2 the group explored environmental, farm-level and individual-level factors possibly associated with
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Beginner Farmer webinar

Understanding the many resources available to beginning farmers can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. The University of Minnesota Extension will host a public webinar with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Minnesota on March 4. The 45-minute presentation includes speakers from Minnesota FSA, Risk Management Agency (crop insurance), Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service on the programs and services available to beginning farmers. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of each agency and the resources they can provide. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the USDA staff on the call. Webinar for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Thursday, March 4, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (CST) The webinar is free, but preregistration is required at to get the link for the March 4th webinar. This webinar is being offered as part of USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program

UMN Swine Influenza Research Continues

By Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator Originally printed in The LAND – as February 5/February 12, 2021 Swine & U column Winter has arrived and we have seasonal disease concerns, both in the pig barn and with the caretakers. For the past year we have been immersed in learning all we can about COVID-19, but the usual winter worries on the pig farm always include Swine Influenza Virus (SIV). Swine Influenza Virus can be simply referred to as the flu, but there’s nothing simple about it in the herd. Prior to this 2020 season of COVID-19, the 2009 H1N1 (“swine flu”) pandemic was the worst human flu attack since 1918, and because its origins were a reassortment of human, bird and swine flu viruses, much research has occurred in the ensuing years to better understand flu in pigs and people. Influenza in Pigs Swine influenza virus is present in most swine herds across the country, and it appears to be a disease that many farms constantly live with. It’s a respiratory disease which

Batch Farrowing on Today's Pig Farms

By John Deen, DVM University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Originally printed in The LAND – as January 8/January 15, 2021 Swine & U column The University of Minnesota’s Leman Swine Conference was held virtually in October, a new twist to the presentation of the 30-year conference for swine veterinarians. During the conference, UMN’s John Deen moderated a session which discussed the pros and cons of batch farrowing in 21st century pig production. In this recent discussion with Pig Health Today, Dr. Deen shared details gleaned from the Leman conference discussion. Batch farrowing used to be a common practice, but as farms got bigger, continuous-flow production became the norm. Now it appears batch farrowing is making a comeback, according to John Deen, DVM, PhD, distinguished global professor at the University of Minnesota. “If we optimize across both the grow-out stage and the reproductive stage, we find that changing the way we do reproduction may improve our grow-

COVID-19 vaccine information and resources

COVID-19 vaccination is underway in Minnesota and other states. Do you have questions about the vaccine, like: Is it safe and effective? Can a person get COVID-19 from the vaccine? Who should get the vaccine? When is it your turn to receive the vaccine?  Answers to these questions, and many more, along with COVID-19 vaccine resources can be found on the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) website ( . National Pork Board also has a great fact sheet covering the eight things producers should know about the COVID-19 vaccine . In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz announced progress of the COVID-19 vaccination as well as the timeline for other phases on February 25. Details on the vaccination phases are available on Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response website . All Minnesotans are encouraged to sign up for the Vaccine Connector to stay informed on their eligibility and get connected to vaccine opportunities once they become eligible.