USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has completed phase I of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) focused on swine, is now entering phase II, and organizers need pork producers’ help.

The names of who have participated in phase I, have been turned over to USDA’s Veterinary Services. “Those producers can expect to be contacted this fall beginning now,” says Eric Bush, veterinary epidemiologist with USDA NAHMS.

Producers will be invited to participate in Phase II, which involves completing a 45-minute phone interview on swine health and management. “We depend on the collaboration of hundreds of people, not the least of which will be the selected producers that agree to participate this fall,” Bush adds.  

“I wholeheartedly encourage any producer who can participate in the NAHMS Swine 2012 study to do so,” says Jim Niewold, Illinois pork producer.

All individual information will remain confidential. The data will be compiled to provide an industry overview.

“Producers also have the opportunity to sign up for free testing, including testing a grain sample for particle size analysis, testing blood from sows or finishers for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, and/or testing fecal samples for Salmonella,” Bush explains.

All of the individual test results from feed, blood, and/or feces samples will be returned to the producer.

Known as the NAHMS Swine 2012 Study, this year’s effort marks the fifth national swine study conducted since 1990. “It will be exciting to look at the changes in the national estimates regarding health, management and productivity for almost 25 years of pork production,” Bush told Pork Network. 

The information collected through the NAHMS swine study aids the industry in numerous ways. For example, the National Pork Board (NPB) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) will use the data to identify producer research and education needs, as well as facilitate trade and inform policy debates with science-based information. 

“People throughout the food chain and around the world want to know about pork production in the United States,” Bush notes. “NAHMS helps to tell that story from an objective vantage point with science-based methods to generate a national picture.”

You can find more information on the NAHMS Swine 2012 Study here.