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Showing posts from July, 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 qu…

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.