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Showing posts from March, 2021

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

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.

USDA Launches 2021 NAHMS Swine Survey

 By Diane DeWitte, Swine Extension Educator Originally printed in The LAND – February 5/February 12, 2021 The USDA Ag Census is taken every five years, in those years ending in 2 or 7.  The agriculture census recently has yielded a lot of important information about the age of our farming community, and the participation by female operators and immigrant farmers.   There is an additional type of census that has taken place in agriculture since 1983 which has a tremendous impact on perspectives of livestock health in the United States.  Conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) this study takes an in-depth look at livestock operations, their management and their health.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) oversees the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS).  NAHMS works with the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) to collect the data and evaluate it.   The 2021 NAHMS Swine Study was originally slated for launch in the summer of 20

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. Holen, J., Johnston, L. , Urriola, P., Garret, J., & Shurson, G. (2020). Comparative digestibility of polysaccharide-complexed zinc and zinc sulfate in diets for gestating and lactating sows. Journal of Animal Science, 98(S3): 171 Abstr. PSII-16. Doi: 10.1093/jas/skaa054.303. Holen, J., Urriola, P., Schwartz, M., Jang, J., Shurson, G., & Johnston, L. (2020). Effects of supplementing late gestation sow diets with zinc on pre-weaning mortality of pigs under commercial rearing conditions. Journal of Animal Science, 98(S3): 36 Abstr. 21. Doi: 10.1093/jas/skaa054.065. Hung, Y., Zhu, J., Shurson, G. , Saqui-Salces, M., & Urriola, P. (2020). Influence of viscosity and fiber on nutrient digestibility and intestinal physiology in growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 98(S3):67 Abstr. 156. Doi: 10.1093jas/skaa054.121. Jang., J., Zeng, Z., Urriola

Episode 22: Water Quality to Nursery Pigs, Looking at Growth Performance and Health

  In this podcast swine Extension educator, Sarah Schieck Boelke speaks with recent University of Minnesota swine nutrition graduate student Brigit Lozinski about her research. Brigit’s Master’s Degree looked at water quality to nursery pigs and the effect it has on the pigs’ growth performance and health. Listen to episode 22 podcast (recorded February 23, 2021) Learn more about the research featured in the podcast Article published in National Hog Farmer June 11, 2020 Research summary posted on grant funder MN Pork Board's website Abstract published in Journal of Animal Science , Volume 98, Issue Supplement 3, Page 89.