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Showing posts from May, 2024

Research spotlight - Detection of Mycoplasma hyophneumoniae viability using a PCR-based assay

Reprinted as posted on Swine in Minnesota blog April 9, 2024 What if a PCR test could give us some information regarding the viability of the pathogen targeted? This new publication from the MycoLab led by Drs. Albert Canturri and Maria Pieters, is sharing the development of a new mRNA-PCR to answer this question. Results: This new PCR targets the M. hyopneumoniae gene mhp165. Limit of Detection: 1 bacterial genome copy equivalent per μL was the lowest amount of genome reliably detected. This corresponds to 8 bacterial genome copy equivalents per assay. No other Mycoplasma species was detected by the assay. The assay was found to be highly repeatable with very low inter and intra-essay variation. RNA-based PCR was negative in cells inactivated via formaldehyde addition or autoclaving. In cells kept room temperature or standard incubation conditions, RNA detection remained consistent for up to 20 days (end of the study). In the formaldehyde-inactivated culture, Ct values increased ove

May is mental health awareness month

May is mental health awareness month, a national initiative to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Extension has many resources for mental health - whether you work in agriculture and need stress management resources for the ups and downs of farming, or you're a parent seeking information on supporting your child's mental wellbeing, a caregiver looking for ways to help a loved one, or a professional working with families. Check out the many resources for the audiences of agriculture or family, health and wellbeing .

Vet to Vet (V2V) African Swine Fever Workshop report

By Rachel Schambow, Postdoctoral Researcher UMN College of Veterinary Medicine Center for Animal Health and Food Safety With its continued spread to new regions in 2023 and 2024, African swine fever (ASF) remains a significant threat to the U.S. swine industry. Though greatly needed for preparedness, field-based and practical knowledge are not always readily available online and may be sensitive to share openly. To help address this need, the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) hosted their first Vets to Vets (V2V) workshop in September 2023 with support from the National Pork Board. At the V2V workshop, 10 U.S. swine veterinarians connected with six international veterinarians from three ASF-affected countries who had extensive, first-hand ASF experience. Together, they discussed and shared important information for biosecurity, surveillance and more. To learn more about the V2V event and read a summary of the lessons learned, visit the CAHFS websi

Organic Swine Field Day

Join us on Thursday, May 30 at the UMN West Central Research & Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris for the Organic Swine Field Day. The event will showcase how integrating hybrid rye into organic swine production may help reduce feed and bedding costs in organic pig production based on data collected at the WCROC over the last two years. The field day is from noon to 3 p.m. The event will start with a free lunch and short seminar and end with a tour of the organic swine facilities and organic hybrid rye field. The event is free of charge, but RSVP is requested. Visit the WCROC website for more information and to register.

Swine & U column: Healthy pigs & discussion of virus & bacteria spread

By Diane DeWitte, UMN Extension swine educatorOriginally printed in The LAND - as April 12, 2024, Swine & U column A few summers ago, two UMN Extension colleagues and I hit the road with the University’s BEET (Biosecure Entry & Education Trailer) teaching 4-H members and their families the basics of biosecurity. Pig folks had already heard the term, and we had a great time working with all 4-H livestock exhibitors, showing them how easy it could be to prevent disease in their animals. And conversely, how easy it is to spread viruses & bacteria from people and equipment to animals. Currently, exhibitors are picking out pigs for the summer’s shows, and it’s time to review some of the key points to keep the pigs healthy, in addition to youth and their families. SHOW PIG CARE Quarantine new pigs for 14-30 days after you bring them home. Do not mix them with “home” pigs until the time has passed and you know that they are healthy. Get recommended vaccinations for your pigs.

Midwest Farm Energy Conference

The 2024 Midwest Farm Energy Conference is scheduled for June 26 - 27 at the West Central Research & Outreach Center, Morris, MN. The theme of the conference is “Pathways to Decarbonizing Agriculture”, and will cover the topics of electrifying the farm, utility transmission, ammonia as a farm fuel, E-fuels, reducing methane emissions and agrivoltaics. Check out the conference website for further details including cost and registration information.

Save the date: MN Nutrition Conference


Pig farmers needed for ASF survey

You have a chance to get $25 for a 15-minute survey focused on understanding the biosecurity adoption among swine producers in the U.S. This survey is being conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Vermont and is funded by a USDA|NIFA grant. Your input is crucial to preventing a potential outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in the U.S. Your participation is important! Please complete the ASF survey.

PQA & TQA certification

A few in-person Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certification sessions are scheduled for this year. The sessions in 2024 include the following dates and locations: June 12 - Lafayette, MN - Lafayette Community Center, 540 7th St. August 13 - Morris, MN - UMN West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy 329. November 5 - Mankato, MN - MN Pork Board Office, 151 St. Andrews Ct., Ste 810 December 17 - Preston, MN - Fillmore County Office Building, 902 Houston St. NW PQA+ certification is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and TQA from 1 to 4 p.m. at all locations unless noted otherwise. Pre-registration is required by contacting Colleen at Minnesota Pork Board at or by calling 507-345-8814. If you need to renew your PQA+ or TQA certification and a date listed above does not accommodate your schedule, or if your farm has a large group of employees needing certification, please contact Colleen Carey at the Minnesota Pork

Recently published

Congratulations to the following swine faculty and educators from the swine Extension team who have had their work published recently. Archer, C., Hilbrands, A., Johnston, L. J. , Mote, B. E., Schmidt, T. B., & Li, Y. Z. (2024). Influence of Group Size on Performance and Tail Damage Caused by Tail Biting in Undocked Growing-Finishing Pigs . Journal of Animal Science, 101(suppl. 2), Abstract 182. Doi: 10.1093/jas/skad341.004. Hammers, K. L., Law, K., Urriola, P. E. , Gomez, A., & Johnston, L. J. (2024). Effect of Water Delivery System on Intestinal Microbial Populations of Nursery Pigs . Journal of Animal Science, 101(Suppl. 2), Abstract PSIII-14. Doi: 10.1093/jas/skad341.346. Hammers, K. L., Urriola, P. E. , Schwartz, M., Ryu, M.S, Gomez, A., & Johnston, L. J. (2024). Timing of dietary zinc additions during gestation for improved piglet survival . Translational Animal Science, 8. Doi: 10.1093/tas/txae030. Hammers, K. L., Urriola, P. E. , Schwartz, M., Ryu, M. S., Johnsto

Farm & rural stress resources

Farming can be a stressful occupation. It is important for farmers to take care of themselves and their families. 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.

Upcoming events calendar

May May 1: SowBridge program - “Issues with successfully breeding gilts and sows” May 29: SowBridge program - “Herd veterinarians: what do they want to know?” May 30: Organic Swine Field Day , Morris, MN June June 5 - 6: World Pork Expo , Des Moines, IA June 12: PQA+ & TQA Certification, Lafayette, MN June 26-27: Midwest Farm Energy Conference , Morris, MN July July 3: SowBridge program - “Implementing of precision feeding in the sow herd” August Aug. 7: SowBridge program - “Feed biosecurity for the sow herd” Aug. 13: PQA+ & TQA certification, Morris, MN Aug 22 - 25: 4-H Livestock Encampment at MN State Fair, St. Paul, MN Aug 26 - 29: Open Class Swine at MN State Fair, St. Paul, MN September Sept. 4: SowBridge program - “Sow foot care” Sept. 18 - 19: MN Nutrition Conference , Mankato, MN Sept 21 - 24: Allen D. Leman Conference , St. Paul, MN