The Power of Continual Learning

As pig farmers, we have an ethical obligation to provide care for the animals entrusted to us. With this obligation comes a commitment to continual learning. As the hog industry continues to evolve, our practices, research and conversations need to evolve as well.

The Right Thing to Do

by Valerie Duttlinger As a pork producer I can relate to the challenges that occur on farms every day, as well as the satisfaction of raising healthy hogs that supply nutritious pork for a growing world population. I also am an analyst for Swine Management Services (SMS) in Fremont, Nebraska. There I review swine production […]

Factors to Consider, Actions to Take

A familiar pattern is materializing, which is another reason why pig survivability is a renewed priority. From the late 1990s to early 2000s, the industry was expanding and sow mortality started moving higher. Replacement-gilt demand was high and supplies were tight – similar to today. This was followed by a period of rising mortality and […]

Step Up Your Record-keeping

“What isn’t measured or measured accurately is hard to change,” said Valerie Duttlinger, an Indiana producer, analyst for Swine Management Services (SMS) and member of the Pig Survivability Working Group. “Until farms are committed to identifying why a pig was removed, it will be hard to make improvements.” Improved data accuracy for pig removals doesn’t […]

Look Beyond Averages to Find Answers

While pork production records help flag trends, the numbers don’t tell you why the trend occurred or identify a solution. A case in point is the Pork Checkoff’s U.S. Pork Industry Productivity Analysis, 2011-2016. The findings show that mortality rates across all production stages increased during that time. Yes, the 2013 PEDV flare-up contributed to […]

Moving the Needle on Pig Survivability

Pork producers pride themselves on productivity, and over the years, their efforts to improve it have paid dividends. Pig farmers send more hogs to market faster and at heavier weights than ever before resulting in more pounds of pork per sow per year. From 2003 to 2013, pigs per litter increased an average of 1.4 […]

Pork Checkoff Report Newsletter – November 2017

Inside: How to improve pig survivability on your farm. This special-topic newsletter is sent periodically to you by the Pork Checkoff. Editor: Jan Jorgensen, JJorgensen@pork.org • Contributing Editors: Mike King and Marlys Miller • Art Director: Chris Oldt

Be Proactive about Farm Safety

by Jan Miller Jan Miller, chair of the Pork Checkoff Producer/Public Health and Workplace Safety Committee, Belden, Nebraska Safety is one of the non-negotiables in pork production and also is a never-ending learning process. As pork producers continually adapt to new technology, research and innovations, it’s important that safety remains a focus. On our farm, […]

Protect Your Hearing

by Carrie Webster Hearing loss from exposure to loud noises is another key safety concern for America’s pork producers and one where prevention can pay big dividends. Loud noises, or “auditory hazards,” are found in every phase of pork production. An auditory hazard zone exists during any phase of pork production where noise levels are […]

Prevent the No. 1 Cause of Worker Injuries

Animal handling is the leading cause of worker injuries on pig farms. This includes moving pigs from gestation to farrowing, moving sows to breeding at weaning, loading and unloading trailers, and treating and vaccinating pigs in open pens. “Learning how pigs perceive and react to their environment in these situations can help producers become more […]