Swine Reproduction Workshop

Terry L. Steinhart, Larry McMullen, Tom Miller Field Specialists-Swine, Southeast Area


The trend in the Iowa swine industry has been to move away from farrowing sows due to reproductive problems and health issues and trending more to contract finishing.  With this workshop, producers received management information that will help them in the future to maintain a profitable herd of sows for pig production.  For a robust swine industry in Iowa, sow farrowing operations are very much needed to produce the feeder pigs. Future opportunities are bright for the Iowa swine industry!


A Swine Reproduction Workshop was held in Iowa City for all interested swine producers.  The workshop featured Dr. Robert Knox, Swine Reproductive Physiologist, from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Knox made a presentation and demonstration on the reproductive anatomy and physiology of the female pig.  He also presented a discussion on the impact of boar libido and sow synchronization.  Dr. John Mabry, Director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center, discussed the topic of Internal Multiplication focusing on breeding strategies that maximize profitability of a swine production system.  Dr. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University Swine Extension Specialist, discussed sow longevity and the visual appraisal of sow and gilt structure.  Tom Miller, Terry Steinhart, and Larry McMullen, Iowa State University Swine Field Specialists gave presentations on swine industry updates, Denmark gilt development and cross-fostering, and sow feeding respectfully.  A PHD panel, comprising of Dr. Knox, Stalder, and Mabry, was also included in the workshop.  The PHD panel provided a forum for a group questions and discussions on sow reproduction concerns and problems.


Thirty two swine producers attended the workshop.  The age of those producers in attendance ranged form 21 to 65 years with the average of 38 years.  The number of sows managed by each these participants were approximately 1230 head.  The economic value of this workshop was rated by 63% as less than $10,000 while 21% indicated the economic worth as between $10,000 to $100,000.  Five percent said the value was over $100,000.  One participant made the comment A direct way to see cause and effect of reproduction problems after viewing the demonstration with sow reproductive tracts by Dr. Knox who was explaining the anatomy of the female pig as it relates to artificial insemination, heat detection, and swine reproduction problems.  The PHD panel was well appreciated by the participants as indicated with the participant statement Learned a lot thanks for the help. The workshop was rated as excellent by 31% of the participants, 46% stated very good, and 23% indicated good.

150 Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: April 16, 2007
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