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Showing posts from November, 2017

Use of processing fluids for PRRSV diagnostics

Reprinted as posted on UMN Swine Disease Eradication Center's Swine in Minnesota blog.

During the last few years, the improvement of sampling and diagnostics techniques has made sampling at the farm aneasier task. The use of blood pooling techniques and oral fluids are two examples of those improvements. However, veterinarians and producers are always looking for more sensitive, cheaper and quicker techniques for sampling herds. One of the ways of achieving these goals would be to use routine chores, such as piglet processing, since castration and tail docking are part of the regular procedures in sow farms. We propose to use the processing fluids (PF), the liquid accumulated at the bottom of the pail when farmers collect tails and testicles during routine procedures, as a sample. The goal of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the processing fluids by real-time PCR to assess Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) status in a sow herd.

Click here to read…

Describing the cull sow and cull hog market networks in the US: A pilot project

Reprinted as posted on UMN Swine Disease Eradication Center's Swine in Minnesota blog.  Please note this project was done by Dr. Jim Lowe at the University of Illinois and not by UMN, but shared through the Science Page as part of Bob Morrison's Swine Health Monitoring Project.

This project was designed to help answer the questions, "what is the range of locations of sows that enter a slaughter plant?", "how many stops along the way do they make?" and "how long do they remain in the slaughter channel?" Currently there is little data to investigate such questions allowing the industry and regulators to make informed decisions about how to respond to an animal disease outbreak. This project set out to collect data from a harvest plant to see if such information could help answer these questions allowing the industry and animal health officials to better make decisions to prevent and control animal health emergencies.

Click here to read the entire

Erin Cortus Hired as Ag Extension Engineer

Erin Cortus joined the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department of University of Minnesota in August 2017. Her position as Assistant Professor and Extension Engineer will provide engineering expertise in the area of sustainable animal agriculture systems.

Erin's research interests are the measurement and estimation of farm-level gas emissions, like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, and the related impacts on the animals, workers and surrounding community. Her Extension mission is to work with producers and communities to understand and continually improve the environments that we raise livestock in.

Melissa Wilson Hired as Manure Specialist

Melissa Wilson recently joined the Department of Soil, Water,
and Climate at the University of Minnesota as the new Extension manure management and water quality specialist. She will be working with farmers across the state to effectively manage and use manure in a way that makes sense economically and safely while keeping water quality challenges in mind. Melissa's research program will also focus on these aspects and she looks forward to working with swine producers to meet their needs.

Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota!

Solar, wind and biomass are plentiful sources of clean energy in Minnesota and UMN Extension's CERTs Program is here to help farmers and rural small businesses get projects done.

Thinking about renewable energy or energy efficiency for your farm?

UMN Extension is now on Facebook!

Our University of Minnesota Swine Extension program Facebook page launched on July 21, 2017 and continues to attract followers and visitors.
Organized to provide University of Minnesota research data and production information, the Facebook page also highlights swine-related events across the state and includes scheduled educational programs.

University of Minnesota Swine Extension program can be found at

If you're interested in social media be sure to follow us on Facebook!

Women in Ag Network to Host Farm Transition Workshop

Are you thinking about transitioning your farm and interested in learning more about the transition planning process?

Farm Business Transition: Where Do I Begin is presented by the University of Minnesota Extension's Women in Ag Network (WAGN). The WAGN is a collaboration of Extension with USDA's Minnesota Farm Service Agency.

When: December 14, 2017 - Registration at 9:30 AM; Program 9:45 AM to 2:30 PM with lunch.Where: St. Cloud Regional Extension Office, 3601 18th St. S., Suite #113, St. Cloud, MN 56301.Cost: $20 (includes lunch and resource booklet)Register: Deadline to register is December 6, 2017

Corn Harvest, Drying, Storage Challenging this Year

By: Ken Hellevang, NDSU and Dave Nicolai, UMN Extension

Each year brings challenges for crop production, North Dakota State University Extension Service grain drying expert Ken Hellevang warns.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 82 percent of the Minnesota corn crop is mature compared with a five-year average of 93 percent. As of Oct. 15, only 7 percent of the Minnesota corn crop had been harvested, compared with a 38 percent average.

To continue reading, view article on UMN Crop Extension Blog.

PQA Plus Advisor Training to be held in November

PQA Plus Advisors are the educators who work directly with producers to educate them on the PQA Plus program and will help producers obtain PQA Plus certification and PQA Plus site status at their respective production sites.

Upcoming PQA Plus Advisor training date and location:

November 15 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.                                                                             AmericInn - 1406 E Lyon St., Marshall, MN