Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2018

Producers Needed for Pig Environmental Footprint Project

Want to know more about your environmental footprint? Get additional information about operational costs? University of Minnesota Extension specialist, Erin Cortus and Extension Educators, Diane DeWitte, Jason Ertl and Sarah Schieck are looking to work with producers in confidentially assessing their own operations using The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator - a tool developed with support from and maintained by the National Pork Board. Pork producers have made tremendous strides in productivity - as measures like pigs weaned per sow and live weight marketed per ton of feed and per pig space continue to improve. These measures of productivity serve the industry well, but consumers increasingly want to hear more about how the pork they enjoy eating makes productive use of limited resources, like energy, water and land. An 'environmental footprint' flips the point of view around to consider how much of a limited resource is used to produce a live pig or a pound

Corn DDGS is a high-value feed ingredient in swine diets: Part 1

By Jerry Shurson, University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science © 2018 Feedstuffs. Reprinted with permission from Vol. 90, No. 05, May 7, 2018 Much has changed over the last 20 years in the choices of feed ingredients available and the way swine diets are formulated. One of the most significant changes is the use of corn-derived dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in diets for all phases of pork production. In 1998, when the U.S. ethanol industry was in its infancy, about 1.3 million metric tons of DDGS were produced, and only about 52,000 mt (4%) were fed to swine. Today, more than 37 mmt of DDGS are being produced, of which more than 5 mmt (14%) are being fed to swine domestically and another 13 mmt (35%) are being exported for use primarily in swine and poultry diets in Asia and Latin America. This dramatic increase in DDGS use in swine diets has occurred for three reasons: an abundant supply in major U.S. pork production states, high nutritional and economic v

UMN Swine Extension Podcasts

Episode 6: Investigating development of swine enteroids to be used as a swine nutrition research tool is now available on our UMN Swine Extension Podcasts channel. Sarah Schieck, UMN Swine Extension Educator talks to University of Minnesota Swine Nutrition PhD student, Mickie Trudeau, about research she presented at the 2018 Midwest American Society of Animal Science meetings on investigating the development of swine enteroids to be used as a swine nutrition tool. Mickie helps listeners understand the connection between the lab work she is doing and how it can be used by pig farmers and others in the pork industry. Three ways to listen: Visit to listen directly Open in iTunes to download and subscribe - search for  UMN Swine Extension Podcast Search "UMN Swine Extension Podcast" on your "Podcast" app on your mobile device and subscribe. New to podcasting? Find Answers to your questions.

UMN Extension has a New Website!

If you have visited the University of Minnesota Extension's website lately, you have noticed a huge change. If you have tried getting to the UMN Swine Extension website via, you have noticed Page not Foundmessage. This is because the UMN Extension did a major overhaul of their website. Why you ask? To be "up with the times" and be a more user friendly experience that is accessible to most visitors. If you are looking for swine specific content; from the main UMN Extension page ( ), swine content is housed within "Animals & Livestock" under the "Learn About" dropdown. The following should direct you to swine specific content. UMN Swine Extension also has a blog where many articles, not static on the website, are posted . Some articles on the former website were archived, while popular articles were reformatted for the new websit

HOG THE SUN: Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota

Message from Fritz Ebinger, Clean Energy Resource Teams The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), a statewide energy partnership of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Partnerships, among others, is interested in collaborating with a group of agricultural producers in Blue Earth and/or Martin Counties. CERTs' mission is to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy with Minnesota communities. Part of our work includes offering free assistance to farmers and rural small businesses to understand their clean energy options. CERTs is offering additional assistance to farmers in Blue Earth and/or Martin Counties to advance informed solar decision making and to potentially coordinate a group solar purchase effort to realize project cost savings.

Women in Ag Network's Summer Tour

Join us for Women in Ag Network's Summer Tour to Millner Heritage Winery and Schiefelbein Farms near Kimball, MN. Date: Friday, July 13, 2018 Location: Tour will begin and end at Millner Heritage Winery (32025 State Hwy 15, Kimball, MN 55353) Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., tour bus departs at 9:30 a.m. so be prompt! Cost: $30 (includes lunch, tour and transportation between sites) Registration deadline is July 6. To register and pay for the tour, please visit:

Safe Livestock Transport

By Jason Ertl, Agriculture Production Systems Extension Educator, Nicollet & Sibley Counties Originally printed in The Land - May 23, 2018 Considering production across the different phases, from the movement of replacement females, weaned pigs, or marketing of finishing and culled breeding stock, a conservative estimate for the total number of pigs in transport on any given day in the United States adds up to over one million. With numbers like that, it's fair to say transportation is a significant element to consider within the hog industry. More often than not, those several thousands of transporters can expect to have a typical day with no major issues. These individuals will have completed a livestock transport certification program, Pork Checkoff’s Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) for example, and are prepared to safely handle and ship these animals. Despite following proper procedure and the rules of the road, there has been and wi

Biosecurity Messages Across Minnesota This Summer

By Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator Originally printed in The Land - June 29, 2018 Like most Minnesota agriculturalists, I enjoy the summer's county fairs and their livestock and, of course, the ultimate competition exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair's youth and open-class swine shows. It's terrific to see so many folks who've worked hard to bring the best pigs in the Midwest to compete in classes of optimum quality peers. My recent work has focused on livestock biosecurity, particularly in swine, and it always comes to mind when I'm attending pig shows. Of primary importance is that exhibitors return to their animals at home without bringing along a disease. For this reason, the messages of meticulous biosecurity and careful monitoring of animals' health are integral parts of exhibitor education.

Manure Expo August 15 & 16

The North American Manure Expo is planned for August 15 - 16 in Brookings, SD at the Swiftel Center - 824 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57006 Manure Expo is free to attend (with exception of tours) but pre-registration is recommended to speed up the check-in process. August 15 is tour day - 2018 tours include dairy, beef and swine! Spaces are limited and $20 pre-registration is required. Registration Link Descriptions of tour options can also be found through the registration link. Other Manure Expo highlights include outdoor vendor sets, land application demonstrations, manure agitation demonstrations and educational seminars. For a detailed agenda and more information on the 2018 Manure Expo, visit . Keep checking for updates! Questions can be directed to Erin Cortus, UMN Extension Engineer 612-625-8288 or

Recently Published by Swine Team Members

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the Swine Extension Team who have had their work published recently. Choe, J., Kim, S., Cho, J. H., Lee, J. J. Park, S., Kim, B., Kim, J., Baidoo, S. K., Oh, S., Kim, H. B., Song, M. (2018). Effects of different gestation housing types on reproductive performance of sows. Animal Science Journal, 89(4), 722-726.

Secure Pork Supply Plan

The Secure Pork Supply (SPS) plan is a voluntary initiative to provide commercial pork producers with a workable continuity of business plan in the event of a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) outbreak. In the event of a FAD outbreak, movement of swine will be restricted. In order to maintain continuity of business it will be critical for producers to be able to move pigs to the next stage of production or to market. Preparing for such an event by participating in the SPS plan offers producers the best opportunity to meet the expectations of animal health officials and demonstrate that their pigs are safe to move.

Recertify for PQA Plus and TQA Online

Do you need to recertify for PQA Plus and/or TQA but a face-to-face training isn't at a convenient location or time for you? You can recertify for PQA Plus and TQA online! In order to get online training access, a person must contact a PQA Plus Advisor or TQA Advisor  to be granted access to those respective programs. Your University of Minnesota Swine Extension Educators Sarah Schieck and Diane DeWitte serve as PQA Plus Trainers and TQA Advisors so feel free to reach out to us to gain access to online training for PQA plus and TQA. Diane DeWitte - or 507-389-5541 Sarah Schieck - or 320-235-0726 ext. 2004