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National Hog Farmer Weekly Preview
November 9, 2009
In this issue:
  “Swine Flu” – It’s Time to Move On
  Minimizing Non-productive Days
  Ohio Passes Issue 2
  University of Minnesota Joins Team to Prevent World Pandemics

“Swine Flu” – It’s Time to Move On
Something bad has happened to you. It wasn’t deserved and it wasn’t’ fair. The people who did it are callous and heartless (at least in regard to you), and lazy, or they would not have done it. But they did it. It’s over. It’s done. You can whine and wallow in self-pity and martyrdom or pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with life and the business of raising quality pork.

Yes, that’s easy for me to say and write about, but that makes it no less true. Swine flu (yes, I used the “s” word) is a done deal, but two truths are now clearly evident:

    1. You are not going to change the name any more than you already have, and
    2. It is pretty clear that the term “swine flu” is having very little impact now (see below).


Minimizing Non-productive Days
In the Swine Management Services (SMS) database, “mated female non-productive days” averages 36.4 days. The top 10% of farms average is 31.4 days, the top 25% of farms averages 30.4 days, and the bottom 25% of farms average is 41.8 days.

We also track “first service-to-repeat-service interval,” which is the time it takes to find recycling females after first-service breeding. The top farms find over 60% of regular returns in heat by Day 25 after mating. Our data shows 20-40% of the non-productive days come from females that fail to conceive on the first service. A female that fails to conceive can accumulate from 20-120 non-productive days if she is not identified early through heat checks or pregnancy checking. Farms that have dealt with a health problem such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) or swine influenza virus (SIV) may increase non-productive days to 70-80 days, on average, due to late-term abortions, female deaths and late term NIP’s (not-in-pig females).


Ohio Passes Issue 2
The voters in Ohio passed, overwhelmingly, a statewide constitutional referendum known as “Issue 2,” which creates a board of experts to oversee development of livestock care standards in the state. The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will establish standards for the care, treatment and welfare of livestock and poultry raised in Ohio, based on ethics and science. The board will be chaired by the Ohio director of Agriculture and will include three family farmers, two veterinarians, a food safety expert, a representative of a local humane society, two members representing statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two consumer representatives.

Ohioans for Livestock Care Political Action Committee, who supported the referendum, said: “Ohioans have spoken and clearly understand that a board of experts is the appropriate entity to make decisions on behalf of animal agriculture and food production in our state. Passage of Issue 2 is a win for everyone who acknowledges the essential relationship between excellent farm animal care and a safe, affordable, locally grown food supply.”


University of Minnesota Joins Team to Prevent World Pandemics
University of Minnesota swine researcher John Deen, DVM, will direct work at the University of Minnesota as part of a multidisciplinary effort to implement a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USAID) cooperative agreement to help developing countries better respond to emerging animal diseases that pose a threat to human health.

The $185-million project, called RESPOND, is one of five that will work together to counter the first stages of emerging zoonotic pandemics – diseases that can spread between animals and humans.

Faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the Medical School, the College of Education and Human Development and College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences will be visiting hot spots around the world to try to prevent the next pandemic. Their objectives will be to improve the ability of countries to recognize and respond to new epidemics in areas where ecological relationships between humans, animals and the environment are unstable.


Nov. 9-11, 2009: Joint International Educational Symposium on Animal Welfare, The Kellogg Hotel; Conference Center, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI; contact:

Nov. 10, 2009: University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture Program’s Swine Institute, Courtyard by Marriott, Columbia, MO; contact: for registration, Erica Lovercamp at (573) 882-9552 or or for programming, Katrina Turner at (573) 882-0378 or

Nov. 11-13, 2009: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Strategic Planning Conference, Marriott City Center, Denver, CO;
contact: Jackie Boubin at USMEF at (303) 623-6328 or


M2P2, LLC, is accepting applications for the following position:
Quality Control Coordinator: Responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining bio-security quality standards, policies, and processes. Responsible for performing routine bio-security inspections, and assessments of but not limited to livestock trailers, finishing barns, and all functions of raising livestock.

Ideal candidates must have the following qualifications:
    • Animal Science Degree or equivalent experience.
    • Able to travel using cost effective and timely commercial and private modes of transportation.
    • Proficient in MS Word, Excel, and Power Point.
    • Agribusiness experience preferred.
    • Must have excellent communication skills-verbal, writing, and tech ability.

    Competitive wage and benefit package includes medical, disability, life insurance, 401K, vacation and paid holidays. To apply, contact Tracy at the M2P2 Corporate Office or mail, fax, or email resume to the address below before November 30, 2009.

    Tracy Rogers, Human Resources Coordinator
    M2P2, LLC
    1615 Golden Aspen Drive, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010
    Office 515-598-4640 ~ Fax 515-956-3226

    M2P2, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other status protected by law or regulation. It is our intention that all qualified applicants be given equal opportunity and that selection decisions be based on job-related factors.

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The volatility of feed prices in recent years has heightened producers' awareness of the need for continual improvement in the efficiency of feed use. Click here for the complete Blueprint archive.

When two leaders come together, expect great things to happen. One-dose protection from wean to finish. That’s Ingelvac® CircoFLEX-MycoFLEX™. The only circovirus and Mycoplasma vaccines USDA-approved for mixing. The result? A true dose of confidence from two powerful leaders. Call Boehringer Ingelheim at 1-800-325-9167or click here for more information.


This month's focus: biosecurity
Pinpointing the Principles of Biosecurity
A broad application of a comprehensive biosecurity program across farms may also aid in reducing viral spread within a region, and enhance the success of area-based control and eradication programs.
Building Functional Biosecurity Plans
Biosecurity efforts cost considerable resources, both human and financial, and must be predicated on economic considerations.
Routine Sampling Helps Keep Herd Health Stable
Biosecurity programs, designed to prevent new disease entry and control diseases that already exist, have two parts:

Suvaxyn® PCV2 is proven to be a safe and efficacious way to control circovirus. And it controls viremia, too. Suvaxyn PCV2 also provides what no other circovirus vaccine can: the option of one- or two-dose regimen to meet the needs of your operation. Either way, you’ll take more pork to market. Ask your Fort Dodge representative or your animal health supplier about Suvaxyn PCV2.Click here for more information.


National Hog Farmer offers 10 posters targeting key production areas, offering guidance in critical areas such as feet and leg soundness and reproduction traits soundness in replacement gilts. Others include pig anatomy, heat detection, sow condition, etc. All posters are in English. Select posters are translated to Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.


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Our breeding technology is delivering what your operation demands, high production results across a wide range of environmental conditions. Count on the industry leader. Go to the trusted source. Click here for more information.

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