Access and availability of information is another challenge facing medium-sized pork producers. This is particularly true with today’s speed of technology advancements, and the industry’s continuous change.

Table 6 summarizes the value that producers place on various information sources for specific issues. Keep in mind that 3.5 is the midpoint on this 1 to 6 scale. There are few surprises here. Veterinarians were the preferred source of animal health information and genetic selection, but they ranked low on financial planning. Private feed companies ranked high in terms of swine nutrition advice. Paid consultants (although not specifically defined) ranked high in marketing services. Extension ranked high in environmental and manure management, production records and new technology.

Table 6. Information source for specific topics, medium-sized producers
(1,000-49,999 hogs annually),
(6=very important source, 1=not important source).
























Private Feed Company Local Co-op Paid Consultant Local Veterinarian University Extension
Facilities and Environment 3.27 2.81 3.28 3.79 3.82
Environment, Manure Management 2.46 2.36 3.37 2.82 4.55
Swine Nutrition 4.86 3.79 3.24 3.84 3.65
Genetic Selection 3.12 2.51 3.23 3.73 3.11
Marketing Services 2.96 2.82 3.28 2.40 2.72
Animal Health 3.57 3.03 3.11 5.29 3.30
Employee Management & Training 2.26 1.91 2.81 2.45 3.20
Production Records 3.44 2.70 3.47 3.20 3.53
Financial Analysis & Planning 2.81 2.36 3.84 2.31 3.34
Expansion Planning 2.99 2.39 3.52 2.91 3.45
New Technology 3.73 3.09 3.44 3.72 4.10