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New Pork Checkoff tools help producers evaluate, measure, benchmark

June 6, 2013
Contact: Cindy Cunningham
National Pork Board
CCunningham@pork.org
(515) 223-2643

New Pork Checkoff tools help producers evaluate, measure, benchmark

The Pork Checkoff today announced new and improved tools to assist pork producers in evaluating the financial impact of sow housing choices, improving workplace safety, reducing their environmental footprint and identifying problems within breeding stock.

Sow Housing Calculator
A new Sow Housing Calculator will assist producers in making important decisions about remodeling or other facility or management choices on the farm.

Created in the context of remodeling sow barns, this new calculator can also be used to model the financial impact of any management or facility choices to a sow farm, including:

· Changes in nutrition

· Changes in herd size

· Remodeling or replacing housing choices

Once the data is added, the calculator generates a report of the needed cash flow and cost per pig information that may be required by a lender.

"Pork producers have many options available to them, each with its own cost and benefit," says Chris Novak, National Pork Board CEO. "The new Sow Housing Calculator will help producers look at the facility and management choices that are best for them and the pigs in their care."

The Sow Housing Calculator is available free of charge to producers and can be found online at pork.org.

Benchmarking Workplace Safety
A new website to provide reliable methods of benchmarking workplace safety is being developed by the Pork Checkoff to track and compare workplace safety data across farm systems and between peer companies.

"You cannot improve what you cannot measure. This new benchmarking system will provide producers quantifiable indicators that will allow them to compare workplace safety on their farms with others in the industry. More importantly, producers can use this benchmarking tool to evaluate various actions that can reduce future accidents and injuries," Novak says. "With strong participation from the industry, we will be able to measure the improvements that we make over time as we work together to reduce the most common injuries on our hog farms."

"Our industry has adopted a set of ethical principle that includes our commitment to enhancing workplace safety for our families and employees. Improving workplace safety can reduce costs and improve performance, but most importantly, it is the right thing for us to do."

The Benchmarking Workplace Safety system will be available June 17 and may be accessed via pork.org.

Environmental Footprint Calculator
A second-generation environmental impact calculator is now available to producers. This new calculators expands the existing Live Swine Carbon Footprint Calculator by allowing producers to calculate their water footprint. The Pig Production Environmental Footprint Calculator version 2.0 is available by calling the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-7675.

National Swine Reproduction Guide
Just released by the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence, the Swine Reproduction Guide is an analytical tool that provides producers with a decision-tree for identifying breeding problems within gilts, sows and boars. The web-based guide will be available online through Iowa State University Extension and at pork.org.

About the National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.

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