Iowa State researchers awarded grant to study PRRS

The researchers, led by Jack Dekkers, professor of animal science, will seek to identify genes in pigs that make them less susceptible to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). FULL STORY »

Smithfield continues conversion to group housing

Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced that at the end of 2012 it had successfully transitioned 38 percent of pregnant sows on its company-owned farms in the United States from individual gestation stalls to group housing systems. FULL STORY »

Risk to increase for producers in 2013

December’s USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released last Friday indicates higher risk levels await U.S. producers in 2013. Expected reductions in the U.S. swine herd due to record high 2012 feed prices have not materialized, according to industry analysts following release of the report. FULL STORY »

Arby's makes position statement on gestation stalls

Arby's Restaurant Group Inc., an Atlanta-based company comprised of more than 3,400 restaurants, has released its viewpoint on sow gestation stalls in a statement posted on the firm's website. FULL STORY »

New measures in assessing sow lameness

The ability to identify the risk factors affecting sow welfare and longevity in the herd becomes increasingly important for animal well-being, and economic viability, especially in transitioning to group housing for gestating sows. FULL STORY »

Proper heat placement in farrowing facilities critical

Heat placement for young pigs is a critical component for getting animals started quickly and maintaining optimal health. In farrowing facilities, piglets must be kept from becoming chilled, which often leads to scours, more tail-enders, and less healthy, thriving piglets. FULL STORY »

PRRS research focuses on swine genome

Swine genomic markers, phenotypes, chromosomes and genotyping are playing an increasingly important role in the latest efforts against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus. The science of genetics will play a vital role in the development of PRRS-resistant pigs and eventual elimination of the disease. FULL STORY »

AASV Board amends sow housing position statement

At the request of the leadership of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the Pig Welfare Committee reviewed the association’s position on pregnant sow housing approved in July 2002 and adopted a revised statement. FULL STORY »

Vitamin D essential in promoting sow health and piglet growth

The changing of seasons may result in seasonal Vitamin D deficiency in sows. Research shows that supplementation of the “sunshine vitamin” becomes especially important in sow performance as the hours of natural sunlight dwindle into winter. FULL STORY »

New mantra for pork producers: “Hold on”

While pork industry observers expected a big push by producers to liquidate sows, it just does not seem to be happening. Instead, it seems that the new mantra for many producers is “hold on until spring.” FULL STORY »

EU faces pork price “shock wave”

With a ban on gestation-sow stalls set to become law on Jan. 1, EU hog producers are warning that pork prices will rise significantly as the production mandate is expected to force many farmers out of business. Meanwhile, U.S. pork producers face growing domestic pressure from restaurant and grocery chains that are demanding elimination of gestation-sow stalls. FULL STORY »

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