Canada’s hog herd continues to shrink, but at a slower
and slower rate, according the the quarterly Hog Statistics report
released last week by Statistics Canada.
Canada’s breeding herd numbered 1.298 million head on Oct.1. That is
3.8% lower than one year ago and the first time since April 1,1998, that
Canada had less than 1.3 million head of breeding swine on farms. The
October inventory is also 6,500 head lower than the inventory on July 1,
which was slightly larger than the March breeding herd.
The decline brings the combined Canada-U.S. breeding herd on Oct. 1 and
Sept.1, respectively, to 7.068 million head, down 2.2% from last year.
That herd is the smallest on record and is very likely the smallest
since sometime before the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865).
But Canada’s “all others” inventories (e.g., market hogs) continue
to get closer and closer to year-ago levels (Figure 1). There were
10.556 million head of market pigs on Canadian farms on Oct.1, only 0.5%
lower than last year. The number of pigs weighing over 132 lb. (60 kg)
was 2.5% larger than last year. That marks the third straight quarter in
which finishing hog inventories have been larger than a year earlier –
and that is in spite of lighter weight inventories that continue to run
2-3% lower than year-ago levels.
– An Ongoing Challenge to Young Pigs
Rotavirus is a disease agent that all pigs are repeatedly
exposed to early in life. The virus can cause gastroenteritis in pigs
that ranges in severity from severe to subclinical.
There are many different strains of the virus. Pigs can be infected and
potentially be made ill from rotavirus multiple times because there is
poor cross-protection among different strains of the virus. Therefore,
immunity against one strain doesn’t necessarily protect against
A group of researchers at the University of Minnesota Veterinary
Diagnostic Laboratory, led by Dr. Kurt Rossow and Doug Marthaler,
developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to detect the three most
common rotavirus groups circulating in pigs. Designated Group A, B or C,
these tests have been used for testing diagnostic cases over the past 15
months. Figure 1 summarizes the distribution of the viruses from these
These data are not necessarily representative of the prevalence of these
viruses in pigs, generally. However, the graphs illustrate a trend in
prevalence by rotavirus group among the various age groups of pigs
submitted to our laboratory as enteric disease cases.
Everyone in Washington, DC, is focusing on tomorrow’s
election. They will be following the election results to determine what
the make-up of Congress will be and what messages the voters will send
to the administration and Congress. Republicans are expected to gain
control of the House of Representatives and the Democrats are expected
to maintain control of the Senate by a very small margin. There are
over 100 House seats in play going into the election and many are
represented by members of the House Agricultural Committee.
Historically, there are only 20-30 seats in play at this time. A number
of Senate seats are also considered toss-ups. They include Colorado,
Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia. Both
parties are placing a great deal of attention on Nevada where Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid is battling for reelection against Sharon
Angle. We can expect some upsets and surprises on Election Day. Next
week’s column will include an election wrap-up and what it means for
Welfare Symposium Targeted for Nov. 30, 2010
The handling of disabled or non-ambulatory animals and
euthanasia are two emerging issues for the livestock industry that will
be addressed at the 2nd Annual Animal Welfare Symposium, Nov. 30, 2010
at the Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center in Columbus, OH.
Featured speaker is Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at
Colorado State University and well-known animal-handling expert, who
will explain how to humanely handle farm animals, including handling of
ill, injured, non-ambulatory or compromised animals. There will be an
extended time period available for questions and answers.
Jan Shearer, professor and dairy Extension veterinarian at Iowa State
University, will review proper methods of euthanasia and when euthanasia
Nov. 4, 2010: : Compost Workshop,
Illinois State Fairgrounds
for more information contact: Randy Fonner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike
Rahe at email@example.com.
Nov. 4-5, 2010: : Iowa State University Swine
Disease Conference for Swine
Practitioners, Scheman Building, Iowa State University
for more information contact:Julie Kieffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or(515)
Nov. 11-17, 2010: United States Animal Health
Association and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory
Diagnosticians Annual Meeting, Minneapolis Hilton Hotel
for more information contact: www.usaha.org or www.aavld.org.
The proposed USDA GIPSA ruling will impact contract terms,
restrict marketing arrangements, create legal uncertainty and limit the
ability to negotiate prices — a recipe for chaos for U.S. pork
to send comments to GIPSA.
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