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Showing posts from January, 2022

MN Pork Congress - Feb. 15 & 16

Be sure to visit the University of Minnesota’s swine group booth at MN Pork Congress on Feb. 15-16. MN Pork Congress is an annual event sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. This year MN Pork Congress will be held at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato, MN. A number of seminars are held throughout the 2-day event. Additionally, while at MN Pork Congress, stop by the U of MN booth to visit with individuals from the University of Minnesota swine group about current research and other swine-related happenings at the college. Check out for more information, including how to register for Mn Pork Congress.

Research Spotlight - Evaluating the uses of geofencing under field conditions

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog . Adopted from November 12, 2021 Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project Friday rubric Key Points The vertically integrated structure of swine production and the network among swine facilities allow important swine pathogens to spread within and between production sites. This study assessed the use of geofencing technology to monitor personnel movements within multisite production systems. Social network analysis indicate that employees in administrative and technical support roles are an important consideration with respect to increasing indirect connections between sites of different production phases. Read more about this study

Register for 2022 SowBridge program

Is it your New Year’s resolution to stay current with research and management techniques in the pork industry? If so, the SowBridge program is for you. SowBridge is a distance education series for people involved in managing or caring for sows, and/or their litters, and boars, including operation owners, caretakers, technicians, managers and technical service providers. New this year, the series will be provided online through Zoom, although participants will be able to use a call-in option instead if they prefer. SowBridge offers accurate and timely information on a variety of topics from experts. Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up a whole day to attend a meeting. Participants can take part where it works best for them whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And whether or not they can participate in the live session, all sessions are recorded and available to participants after each session f

Organic Pigs and Hybrid Rye

The organic swine research program at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) continues to grow. On September 1, Yuzhi Li, University of Minnesota swine behavior and welfare faculty started a new project titled “Integrating hybrid rye as a winter cover crop into organic pig production.” The goal is to tackle the challenge of high costs of feed and bedding in organic pig production. Read more about organic pigs and hybrid rye.

Manure for sale: How livestock farmers can benefit from high fertilizer prices

By Chryseis Modderman, University of Minnesota Extension manure educator and Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota Extension manure specialist Livestock owners have long known the immense value of their manure. Now, with soaring commercial fertilizer prices, some crops-only folks are starting to see what all the hype is about and are seeking to buy manure from their livestock owner neighbors. Luckily, livestock and crop farmers teaming up can prove to be mutually beneficial. Read the blog post for more .

First on your Farm: Be Ready with First Aid

Farm-related injuries vary from farm to farm. The overall most common hazards include livestock, machinery and slips, trips and falls. First aid kits should be a staple for farm families and workers and be readily available. Be sure your farm has a first aid kit. If your farm does not have one, the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) has a variety of resources on preparing first aid kits. Read more about UMASH’s first aid kit resources.

Recently published

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the Swine Extension Team who have had their work published recently. Hilbrands, A. M., Johnston, L. J., Cox, R. B. , Forcella, F., Gesch, R. & Li Y. Z. (2021). Effects of increasing dietary inclusion of camelina cake on growth performance of growing-finishing pigs. Translational Animal Science, 5(3), txab140. . Schambow. R. A., Sampedro, F., Urriola, P. E. , van de Ligt, J. L. G., Perez, A., & Shurson, G. C. (2021). Rethinking the uncertainty of African swine fever virus contamination in feed ingredients and risk of introduction into the United States. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, . Senay, S. D., Shurson, G. C. Cardona, C. Silverstein, K. A. T. (2021). Big data, data privacy, and plant and animal disease research using GEMS. Agronomy Journal, . Sun, X., Chen, Y., Luo, L. N., Heidari, F., Tiffany D.

Swine & U Column: Reducing Sow Mortality in the Farrowing Room

By John Deen, DVM professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine Originally printed in The LAND – as December 10/December 17, 2021 Swine & U column . Mortality rates are highest in the farrowing room, whether it be for pigs or sows. A lot of farrowing room focus is put on pre-weaning mortality, but reducing sow mortality also needs to receive producer attention. When we include stillbirths, it is not uncommon to see three-quarters of growing pig mortality showing up before weaning. If we take this risk on a daily basis, a pig is 20 times likely to die on a day in the farrowing room than a day subsequent to that. Based on this higher risk, we have studied both stillbirth rates and pre-weaning mortality rates in great detail. We know that there are factors such as birth weight, colostral intake, facility design and facility factors that lead to higher and lower pre-weaning mortality rates. The rates of mortality for sows are also much higher in the farrowing room tha

Swine & U Column: UMN Organic Swine Research Update

By Diane DeWitte, Extension swine educator Originally printed in The LAND – as November 12/November 19, 2021 Swine & U column Today’s consumers seek to know the origin of their food, and in response, more and more small and niche farms are raising pigs to supply natural pork or organic pork for local customers. Very little university research has been conducted in this area of pig farming. The University of Minnesota’s Yuzhi Li, funded by a succession of USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) grants, has investigated alternative feed grains for organic pigs, the prevalence and control of parasites in pastured pigs, and has embarked on a new organic rye and swine research study. WHAT IS ORGANIC All pigs grown in the early 1900s could have been considered ‘organic’ by today’s definition. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages the US organic crops and livestock program and issues certification to farms who meet the organic livestock standards.

University of Minnesota NAMA survey for swine producers

Each year the members of the student chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities compete in a student marketing competition where they present a marketing plan for a product or service that directly benefits farmers. This year, the team's product would directly help pork producers. By completing the survey you will help the students shape their marketing plan to ensure they are meeting the needs of their audience as best as possible. Your responses to this survey are anonymous. Additionally, your responses will not be used in any other way other than to inform the development of their competition marketing plan. Link to survey: We ask that you please complete this survey by Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. If you have questions or issues regarding the survey, please reach out to either the UMN NAMA president or faculty adviser: Ashley Hagenow ( ) President UMN Stu

Farm and rural stress resources

Farming can be a stressful occupation. Minnesota has numerous resources to help with those coping with farm and rural stress. Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline Phone: 833-600-2670 for a 24/7 confidential and free chat with trained staff and volunteers Text: FARMSTRESS to 898211 Email: Minnesota also has two Rural Mental Health Counselors who work with farmers throughout Minnesota. No cost and no paperwork! Ted Matthews: 320-266-2390 Monica McConkey: 218-280-7785 The University of Minnesota Extension’s farm and rural stress programs offer resources for those dealing with farming’s current challenges and struggles.

PQA & TQA certification

Upcoming Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification sessions include the following dates and locations: Jan. 25 - Marshall, MN - AmericInn, 1406 E Lyon St. Feb. 22 - Worthington, MN - Nobles County Government Center Farmers Room, 315 10th St. March 22 - Morris, MN - West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy 329 PQA+ certification is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and TQA from 1 to 4 p.m. at all locations unless noted otherwise. Information for all PQA+ and TQA certification sessions scheduled for 2022 can be found on UMN Extension webpage under courses and events and searching for ‘PQA’ or ‘TQA’. Information can also be found on MN Pork Board's website ( ). Pre-registration is needed by contacting Colleen at Minnesota Pork Board at or call 1-800-537-7675. PQA+ and TQA certification can be completed online in a self-paced course too. Your University of Minnesota Swine Extension Ed