BPEX blog

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Insight into pig farming, American style

It’s been a packed few days on the producer tour. We headed from World Pork Expo to Carthage Veterinary Service, Illinois, where we enjoyed the presentations and question and answer session with the team there (the group is pictured outside the Carthage offices).

Then there was plenty to interest us on all aspects of pig production on our farm visit to Middle Creek Swine. Just a few points to share here…

  • PIC is the dominant genetics, with Camborough females, crossed with Hampshire or 337 line 
  • Farm recently broke down with PRRS but performance is recovering – currently above 25 weaned per sow per year and aiming for 12 reared per litter
  • The US industry has stopped using pig sorters as they were restricting daily gain (as the they are set up so pigs have to pass through sorter to access feed and water
  • US market for hogs is not restricted by P2, so they just want to focus on efficient growth
  • Dead stock are composted, rather than using fallen stock collector 

Friday, 7 June 2013

East Anglian producers start US tour

Our group of producers from East Anglia has arrived safely in the US and, after our first full day at World Pork Expo, there are a couple of interesting bits to mention…

We’ve seen a biodegradable mat that can be used in a farrowing house, which claims to help reduce scour and reduce mortality.

Also found a water additive that is inexpensive and currently being used successfully in Ireland and Holland.

And had an interesting presentation from Elanco, including Dr Keith Hayden who gave us some insight into the US pig industry.

We’ll also be visiting some pig units during the next few days. Please comment below if there’s anything you’d like us to try and find out from the US industry while we’re here.