The impact of PRRS on the cost of pig production

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One of the most prominent health issues in the pork industry is the porcine reproductive and repository syndrome virus (PRRSv). It causes extended days to market for growing pigs and reproductive problems in the breeding herd, such as increased aborted pregnancies and stillborn piglets.

In a survey done by the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) it was revealed that 21 percent of hog operators had some form of the virus infecting their herd. The paper attempts to explain the costs of PRRSv for swine producers.

Costs were explained for all different stages of production in a swine operation. The costs of PRRS in the breeding-farrowing phase was found to be $74.16 loss per litter. $45 of this cost was due to pigs that died early, while $29.16 was from reduced farrowing rate. The costs of PRRS in the nursery was $6.01 per head, this was mainly due to increased mortality, reduced feed conversion and reduced average daily gain.

The costs in the grow finish stage was found to be $7.67 per head on infected farms, because of increased mortality, poor feed conversion and reduced average daily gain. Using this data along with data released by the USDA on national hog production, researchers estimated that PRRS was costing the swine industry $66.7 million per year in the breeding-farrowing phase, $201.34 million per year in nursery pigs and $292.23 million per year in finishing pigs.

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