Gestation-stall debate is not clear cut

Pork producers and consumers alike are increasingly talking about gestation-sow housing since some major U.S. grocers and restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, have cited plans to stop buying pork that can be traced back to gestation stalls. However, lost in the conversation is why pork producers began using stalls in the first place. FULL STORY »

United States hog inventory up 1 percent

In the quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report, USDA indicates that the U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2012 was 65.8 million head. That's up 1 percent from June 1, 2011, and up 1 percent from March 1, 2012. FULL STORY »

Help sows attain their productivity potential Play video

Dr. Gawain Willis, director of nutritional services, Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, points out that improvements in sow genetics over the past five years have resulted in a total increase of around 2.5 pigs per sow per year, or about a half pig per year. FULL STORY »

Sow nutrition program launches Facebook page

The social media page offers tips on proper sow nutrition and management as well as industry insights for swine producers working toward the goal of 30 pigs per sow per year. FULL STORY »

Rhode Island bans sow gestation crates

The law passed with broad support and was signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee earlier this week. Also passed by the state were laws eliminating crates for veal calf production as well as routine tail docking of cows. FULL STORY »

Next stage, pen farrowing and branded product

"You always have to have a new goal,” Gerbert Oosterlaken, a pork producer from Biers, Holland, told a delegation of American visitors this week. “The pig farmer’s goal is never really reached.” FULL STORY »

Keep sows cool, comfortable and productive

Summer always presents a challenge to sow productivity and this year’s early exposure to high temperatures could raise the bar in terms of keeping sows cool. A comfortable sow is a productive sow. FULL STORY »

Sonic Drive-In joins gestation stall-free list

Sonic- America’s Drive-In will join the growing list of U.S. food retailers and restaurants that have announced their intention of accepting pork products only from suppliers that do not use gestation-sow stalls. The company has about 3,500 drive-ins in the United States. FULL STORY »

Add Cracker Barrel to the list

On Thursday, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store joined the growing list of food companies that want their pork supplies to come from systems that do not use gestation-sow stalls. The restaurant chain announced that it will begin formulating plans to source its pork from such operations. FULL STORY »

Brumm Speaks Out: An interesting question at Expo

At the World Pork Expo last week the hot topic of conversation (other than corn condition ratings and pig price expectations) was the ongoing gestation housing debate. FULL STORY »

Hog Outlook: 17% of sows in open pens

Lately, there have been a few restaurant chains saying they will require, at some time in the future, all of their pork to come from farms that use open pen gestation facilities. At the request of the National Pork Producers Council, I have just completed a survey of 70 large hog firms which have 3.6 million sows (roughly 62.6% of all U.S sows). FULL STORY »

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