Regional Swine Conference

Terry L. Steinhart, Field Specialist/Swine, Keokuk, Eastern Iowa

Problem

Reducing cost and improve marketing techniques is a goal of all producers.  Feed is the major expense of any swine production system.  In general, a farrow-to-finish operation will spend 75 percent of total expenses on feed, compared to 50 percent for farrow-to-feeder operations, and 65 percent for feeder-to-finish operations.

Buying stations and sales direct to a major packer are popular options for marketing slaughter hogs. Commodity marketing is important when looking at the price of necessary raw products to raise a pound of pork. Controlling corn, soybean meal, L.P. gas and transportation costs can be less painful if you utilize the modern technology of commodity marketing.

High health pigs are critical to longevity of your operation. In today’s pork business PRRSV has created so many obstacles and production hurdles that have cost the industry millions of dollars in lost production and empty inefficient building utilization. High health status is priceless when evaluating the cost reductions that can be made due to better growth rates, feed conversions, cost per pound of gain, building turns and medication costs.

Response

Iowa Regional Swine conferences were set up across Iowa, in cooperation with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa Pork Industry Center.  Iowa pork producers were invited to learn about improving profitability.  The conference focused on ways to reduce cost and increase profit.  Producers learned about strategies for managing feed costs and how to understand and reduce disease costs in their operations.

Speakers and their topics included Ken Stalder from Iowa State University (ISU), "Factors Influencing Sow Longevity"; Gerald Shurson from the University of Minnesota, "Strategies for Managing High Feed Costs"; Locke Karriker from ISU, "Understanding and Reducing the Cost of Disease"; and Dale Durchholz with AgriVisor, "Advanced Marketing Concepts."

Impact

Regional conferences were set up at 5 locations across Iowa.  Seventy-one percent of the respondents rated the overall program as “excellent” or “superior.”  Seventy-two percent of the conference attendees said that the knowledge they gained would increase the operation’s income level by $1,000 or more.  Some of the written comments include; good subjects close to home; (Today’s meeting helped me) learn about disease and save money on feed;  (Today’s meeting helped me) reduce disease cost and marketing (cost).

 

March 17, 2005
108 -- Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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