Sow productivity takes a dip

One of the surprising numbers in USDA’s June Hogs & Pigs Report was found in the pigs per litter category for the second quarter. While pork producers saved 0.6 percent more pigs per litter, previous trends had that number near 1.5 percent and beyond. FULL STORY »

Researcher optimistic on battle against PRRS Play video

While porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is still costing the U.S. pork industry about $1.8 million per day, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future, says Derald Holtkamp, DVM, Iowa State University. He cites regional PRRS virus elimination programs and herd closure and rollover methodology as positive steps in eliminating the virus. FULL STORY »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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