Two State Swine Conference

David Stender, Field Specialist-Swine, Northwest Area

Problem Statement:

Reproductive rates and non-productive sow days results in an enormous amount of lost revenue to swine producers.  Gilt development, feeding the sow, selection, artificial insemination techniques and disease management are all key in improving reproductive rates.

Programmatic Response: 

A two state conference was held in S Sioux City, NE to address common swine reproductive issues as outlined in the problem statement.


79 producers and swine industry personnel attended the conference.  The 37 that filled out the survey have influence collectively over 381,575 sows.  That is about the same number of sows that are in NW Iowa.  At the post meeting survey n=37 they listed the most important ideas learned from the seminar:

Breed on 2nd heat cycles for gilts;  The gilt development process;  Thinking backwards to begin  boar exposure;  Gilt breeding systems;  Boar usage;  I have gained a few ideas for AI and replacement gilts;  Gilt development;  PRRS vaccination program, circo virus;  Intense, practical gilt into & management ideas;  Pheromone matching 95% breeding challenges are people related (management, environment);  There were a lot of things that were touched on that I know, but there is always things that you learn more about on every topic;  Management influence is still the key;  How and when to choose gilts;  PRRS life span and a little about circo;  How to handle gilts;  How to improve our gilt management practices;  Herd health and developing gilts;  Dr. Baker was very informative; reproduction problems and causes;  PRRA; semen; breeding.

Identifying gilts heat cycle;  Heat no service protocol;  Gilt development and quality boar exposure;  AI technique;  Selection of gilts, breeding of gilts, boar importance;  Reproductive improvements;  1 boar in front of 4;  Management of gilts;  More careful handling of delivered semen;  Topics of gilt selection and diseases;  Reproductive performance usage of semen, storage and handling;  Breeding of gilt and sows,  Making detailed things more attainable;

Gilt estrus detection;  Seeing studys that others have documented doing controlled properly managed studies. This was by far the best overall swine seminar I have ever attended.


The following lists several examples of changes in swine herd management that producers plan to implement as a result of the seminar:

- Record heat no serve dates on gilts.
- In general it will be basic tips conveyed to my client base.
- Gilt selection.
- AI process and how to use boars for heat checking.
- Changing a few semen and AI procedures.
- Gilt development.
- Gilt development.
- Better gilt management & PRRS management.
- Old gilts P1-P2 exposure is isolated with gilts instead of old sows. Get farmers to use stock stocks monitor all semen handling practices.
- Continue to fine tine gilt GDU program.
- Breed gilts sooner.
- Look at changes in gilt management.
- The age and weight at which we start implementing our breeding strategies.
- Time when selecting and breeding gilts.
- Better boar for heat detection.
- Need to implement better gilt management.
- Grouping gilts, weighing, circo virus.
- Gilt development.
- AI tech.
- Breeding practices, gilt selections, biosecurity.
- Gilt replacement, AI, feeding programs.
- Stink stick take more time heat checking.
- Changes in the way and time spent selecting replacement gilts.
- Create records for semen arrival, temp and any returns.
- Manage and small things better.
- Reproduction/management of gilts into herd.
- Start gilt estrus detection program.


Twenty-five operations could calculate the financial impact that implementing the management ideas would be worth; the average value was $5,100 total $127,500 benefit for the sample of 25 producers that calculated financial impact.

150 - Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: April 16, 2007
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