Editor's note: This article was written by David Newman with North Dakota State University's Animal Sciences Department.

Pork is selling for record-high prices, but production costs also are at record highs, making swine producers concerned about profit margins.

"This market volatility creates a need for producers to focus on efficient production methods, improved benchmarking and working to find areas of improvement in their operation," says David Newman, North Dakota State University Extension Service swine specialist.

"Some simple examples include purchasing new feeders or monitoring and adjusting existing feeder systems," Newman adds. "Finding an additional 0.1 pound in improved efficiency could lead to a $3-per-head improvement. This improvement could quickly help pay for these simple adjustments or new feeders."

To help swine producers improve their operations, NDSU has launched North Dakota Swine News, a quarterly newsletter that provides information on topics such as nutrition, swine health, marketing issues, the latest research and what's happening in the swine industry in the state and nationally.

"The North Dakota swine industry has a lot of potential for future growth," says Newman, the newsletter's editor. "Our swine producers are passionate about producing great-tasting pork products in a safe, responsible manner and do so extremely well."