Terry L. Steinhart, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast area
The pork industry is facing high feed cost and low market prices. As a result many producers are concerned about how they can survive low margins or even negative margins in the swine industry. Animal handling has hit the news and public in a big way and producers need to examine their operating procedures to insure proper care and handling of swine.
The Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC), Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension cosponsor this annual series of five meetings at different sites around the state. This year’s speakers helped producers learn how to apply financially sound lessons and strategies to their own operations. Producers learned the tactics that support pork industry survival and development in Canada and learned how to have a greater sense of control over their feed costs. The presenters talked about approaches to assessing the magnitude of disease risks and evaluating whether investments to reduce risks are justified. In addition, participants learned about handling techniques and their importance for public confidence and exceptional meat quality.
More than 70 attendees representing almost 600,000 pigs attended the regional conferences. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating, evaluated the presentation on current drivers that supported Canadian pork industry growth with 4.26. Keeping control of feed cost was rated at 4.21 and Risk assessment factors for the herd and the pocketbook earned a rating of 3.82. The presentation on animal handling and wellbeing earned a 4 rating. One of the major changes producers said they will make after this meeting is to examine their euthanasia procedures. Fifty percent of the attendees will monitor the feed consumption of their pigs more closely. Fifty three percent of the producers understand that the price risk is greater today than eight years ago.
150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
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April 28, 2009
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