A National Animal Health Monitoring System survey revealed that 21 percent of U.S. hog operations had some form of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infecting their herds.

NAHMS then evaluated costs for all different stages of production within a pork operation. In the breeding-farrowing phase, PRRS tallied a loss of $74.16 per litter. Pigs that died early accounted for $45 of the cost, while $29.16 was attributed to a reduced farrowing rate.

In the nursery, the cost of PRRS came in at $6.01 per head. This was mainly due to increased mortality, reduced feed conversion and reduced average daily gain.

Costs in the grow/finish stage were found to be $7.67 per head on PRRS-infected farms, because of increased mortality, poor feed conversion and reduced average daily gain.

Using this data along with USDA data on national hog production, researchers estimated that PRRS costs the U.S. pork production sector $66.7 million annually in the breeding/farrowing phase, $201.34 in the nursery phase and $292.23 million in the grow/finish segment.

You can review the study at http://bit.ly/UmWO0a .