A team of Iowa State University researchers, along with a Kansas State colleague, will delve into the sow lameness issue with the assistance of a 4-year, $700,000 grant from USDA’s Agriculture Food Research Initiative. Anna Johnson, an Iowa State University animal scientist and animal well-being expert, will lead the research project.

She points out that lameness is a production, economic and animal well-being issue, and that the research team will look for prevention answers as well as how to help sows that become lame. While economic-impact estimates vary due to fluctuating cost factors, current estimates put sow lameness costs at $23 million a year industry wide.