Specialists at Purdue Extension's Southern Indiana Pork Conference will address producers' concerns about fertilizer and manure regulations, production changes and economic challenges.

The conference will be held at the Dubois County 4-H fairgrounds near Bretzville, on March 11 from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST). It will also concentrate on proposed changes in national environmental standards, feed costs and other production inputs.

One specific focus will be the recent changes in fertilizer licensing and environmental standards and the way they affect the swine industry.

"There's a lot of interest in recent regulatory changes that affect local pork producers, especially the new Category 14 fertilizer licensing, as well as proposed changes in national environmental standards," said Ken Eck, educator, Purdue Extension Dubois County. "These regulations, as well as changes in feed costs and other production inputs just as the industry is about to emerge from a market slump, has farmers concerned."

Sessions include:

  • "Category 14: The Fertilizer and Manure Rule, and How It Affects You," by Matt Pearson, Office of the Indiana State Chemist.
  • "Swine Health Issues -- PRRS Virus Free Zones -- Can They Be Done in Indiana?" by Darryl Ragland, DVM, Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • "DDGS and Other By-Products: How High Can You Go and How Much Does it Save You?" by Brian Richert, Purdue Extension swine specialist.
  • "Indiana Pork Update," by Josh Trenary, Indiana Pork
  • "Antibiotic Resistance and Antibiotic Free Programs: How Does the Use of Phages Fit In?" by Paul Ebner, Purdue Extension animal scientist.
  • "Manure Management Regulations -- What's on the Way?" by Brad Joern, Purdue Extension agronomist.
  • "Value of Large Litter Sizes," by Nichole Olynk, Purdue Extension agricultural economist and Allan Schinckel, Purdue Extension animal scientist.

"The goal is to get pork producers in front of university, industry and trade professionals who can help meet their individual production needs and concerns," Eck said. "We have a strong base for swine production in southern Indiana. We see this event as a way to keep producers knowledgeable in current and upcoming challenges in the industry."

The conference will conclude with Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) training for participants needing to update certification.

There is no fee to attend, but participants must register by March 4 for materials and meals. Contact the Dubois County Extension office at (812) 482-1782 to register. Additional conference information is available at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/dubois