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Showing posts from January, 2023

Evaluation of internal farm biosecurity measures combined with sow vaccination to prevent influenza A virus infection in groups of due-to-wean pigs

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog November 29, 2022. Recently Montse Torremorell’s lab published a paper regarding the impact that internal biosecurity measures can have on influenza A infection in piglets when combined with sow vaccination. Methods Six Midwestern farrow-to-wean farms, positive for swine influenza. No vaccination in the six months prior. Five farms used biosecurity measures and whole herd vaccination. One served as control. Added internal biosecurity included stopping piglet movement after day 3 and no nurse sow and switching of equipment between litters for example. All sows and gilts received two IM injections of farm-specific autogenous influenza vaccine. Thirty udder wipes were collected for three weeks (90 udder wipes total), starting six weeks after the second vaccination. Environmental samples were collected each week as well. Results Following these interventions, four of the five treatment farms had significant reductions in Influenza A Virus (IAV

Survey for alternative and outdoor pig farmers in Minnesota

As you may be aware, there are more alternative pig farms in Minnesota than there are large commercial farms. These farms are important for sustainability and make the food supply chain more resilient by providing pork locally but not a lot is known about the production and marketing practices. It is important to characterize these as there may be improvement opportunities that can aid in maintaining your pigs health. My name is Miranda Medrano and I am a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. I am conducting a survey to learn more about the different farming, management, biosecurity, and marketing practices used on farms that raise pigs outdoors or allow pigs outdoor access at least partially during the year in Minnesota. The information gathered through this survey will be used as part of my PhD thesis exploring the risk factors for and potential spread of high impact swine diseases, such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (

Register for 2023 Sowbridge

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. SowBridge offers accurate and timely information on a variety of topics from experts. Sessions are generally scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Central Time. One exception this year; the fifth session is moved up one week to May 31 to avoid conflicts with World Pork Expo. “Each registration provides a link to participate via Zoom and all program materials provided by presenters. During each session, participants can ask questions directly to the presenter from the comfort of their home, office or swine unit,” Schieck Boelke says. Cost for the series is $200 for the first regis

Working in the cold resources

I know we just went through a frigid cold spell, but that doesn’t mean we might not see those temperatures again this winter. The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) has a Cold Stress Toolkit for working through the winter. The tool kit offers fact sheets for working in the cold weather and posters about preventing cold stress. Check it out on UMASH’s website . Emily Krekelberg, University of Minnesota Extension farm safety and health educator along with Hannah Lochner, University of Minnesota Extension communications assistant have created the above infographic for dressing to stay warm in the cold.

Swine & U: Minnesota pig farmers invited to improve on-farm sustainability

By Diane DeWitte, UMN Extension swine educator Originally printed in The LAND - as December 2, 2022 Swine & U column In today’s culture we hear the term sustainability used in many different contexts, from concerns about the environment and food production to fashion and cosmetics. In basic terms, sustainability relates to a method of using a resource so that it is not depleted or permanently damaged. In agriculture, producers with an eye to continuous improvement and retaining productivity have long operated in a sustainable manner—it’s always been important to farmers to not « mine the farm », to ensure that nutrients are returned to the soil after a crop is harvested. Livestock farmers are uniquely situated to maintain soil fertility through application of manure. PQA+ and We Care® In the pig business, producers have been participating in the Pork Quality Assurance program since 1989. At that time PQA was established through the industry’s producer-led group, the National

Protect Our Pigs, Fight ASF

USDA has created a one-stop African Swine Fever (ASF) resource, called Protect Our Pigs, to help pig farmers keep the deadly disease off their farm or facility by providing: Easy-to-understand biosecurity tips Downloadable fact sheets to educate others on the threat of ASF Helpful videos to alert visitors on expectations before coming to a farm site Attention-getting posters to hang at farm site Ready-made graphics on protecting our country’s swine and food supply to share on your social channels Timely USDA disease email alerts sent to your inbox Get the resources.

What are "feral swine" and why do we care about them so much in Minnesota?

By the Minnesota Board of Animal Health Originally appeared in MN Board of Animal Health’s Animal Bytes November 2022 Is a pig, just a pig? Well no, there are many different terms for members of the suidae family of mammals. What many people think of when they hear "pig" is a portly animal raised in a pen. However, sometimes those farm animals can break out of their fence and find a new home in the wild, which is not a good thing for our state. Pigs can cause significant damage to ecosystems and introduce disease concerns for domestic pigs. They are also difficult to remove once established. These are some of the terms you may hear when we talk about pigs in the wild: Feral swine: swine that live in the wild. Wild boar: generalized slang term used to reference anything from loose domestic pigs (any gender) to confined or unconfined swine of the species Sus scrofa, native to Eurasia and Northern Africa. Eurasian Wild Pig: swine with Sus scrofa genetics. Russian Wild Boar:

Women in Ag Network Conference

The Women in Ag Network is pleased to host the 2023 Women in Ag Network Conference: Building Resilience on your Farm and in your Family. This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, February 7 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Willmar Conference Center, Willmar, MN. Highlights of the conference include: Keynote speaker, Monica McConkey , will speak about how difficult times can make us stronger and more resilient and how to implement strategies to manage our stress, improve our mindset, and feel inner peace amongst chaos. Three breakout session tracks will focus on business, production and safety/health . With sessions ranging from building resilient soil to financial tools for resilient farm business, attendees are sure to find a session that sparks their interest! Preregistration through January 16 is $75 with a special rate of $25 for students. Registration after January 16 is $100. Visit the conference website for more information and to register. Event contacts are Betsy Wieland ( e

MN Pork Congress February 21 & 22

Be sure to visit the University of Minnesota’s swine group booth at MN Pork Congress on February 21 - 22. MN Pork Congress is an annual event sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. Once again, 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 more information, including how to register for MN Pork Congress.