By Cheryl Wachenheim, Professor, NDSU Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department
Most of us would agree that it is good to have goals. In reality, however, there are plenty of us whose experience in goal development is limited to the confines of an assignment in school, a workplace requirement or an organizational exercise.
Loose sow housing for both the North America pork industry is now part of most new sow facility construction and renovation discussions. The majority of major retailers, and food buyers are imposing requirements, pushing swine producers in that direction.
We’ve seen the impact they can cause – grain dust explosions sparked when certain conditions come together to create a combustible situation. And those conditions can develop much faster than many know, according to a Kansas State University grain scientist.
A recently completed two-year trial by the University of Guelph showed a 1.7 pig per litter increase in subsequent litters for lactating sows using free choice feeders versus other lactating sow feeding methods.
The research was conducted by Dr. Paul Luimes of University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus and Greg Simpson of Hypor Inc. on a commercial farm. View the trial report.
There are lots of ways to raise pigs and with proper management, nearly all of them can be productive and profitable. Because several packers have resolved to move away from individual gestation stalls, some producers are building new facilities with group housing for sows.
In a recent SowBridge presentation, Lee Johnston with the University of Minnesota discussed feeding and management of sows in pens. He says producers need to feed for biological changes in the sow in terms of her true nutritional needs.
It’s a continuous race against time and money in the pig barn. Striving for the ultimate goal of getting pigs to market weight as quickly as possible; producers are also racing against the ever-growing cost that comes with each additional day the pigs are not sent to market. Poor gut health can delay marketing, adding further time to reach the desired finishing weight and money for the extra feed that must be purchased.
When the temperature dips below freezing, it’s critical to protect your skin from cold-weather health risks. Frostbite occurs when the skin – and sometimes the tissue beneath the skin – freezes due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Depending on how long and how frozen the tissue, frostbite can result in severe, sometimes permanent, damage.
Healthy and productive sows form the basis of efficient and profitable pork production systems.
That’s why Canarm AgSystems has been providing housing and feeding systems for sows for almost 80 years. Getting it right for sows means larger litters and heavier piglets at weaning, more kilograms of finished pork per sow, and those sows being ready to reproduce quickly and efficiently, every time.