Pork plays such an important role in producing a healthy protein for consumers around the world. As we celebrate October, National Pork Month, Summit Engineering and Construction, who designs and builds innovative housing for swine and poultry, beef and dairy producers, salutes the pork producers who make such a contribution to feeding the world.
As if COVID wasn’t enough to make you anxious about the safety of your family and farm, here’s another piece of news once again rearing its ugly head. The African Swine Fever (ASF) virus added another country to its hit list. Germany is the latest western country to discover ASF in a wild boar carcass in Bradenburg state – in the area surrounding Berlin close to the Polish border.
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African swine fever (ASF) does not affect humans; however, this rapidly spreading animal disease is causing widespread threats to pork production and food security globally. Experts estimate that ASF has caused the death of at least 25% of the world's pigs population in China and ten other Asian countries over the last two years.
Sows and gilts experience heat stress as summer temperatures rise. The effects of heat stress continue well beyond managing those few steamy summer days. Heat stress may reduce breeding success and reduce the upcoming litter size and health.
Who could predict all that it means to hog producers during a pandemic? Especially when it comes to processing facilities shutting down and not able to take your pigs. Pork producers are challenged with keeping pigs on the farm longer and are dealing with relieving the stress in crowded pig houses.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all, regardless of where you are in the food/meat protein supply chain. Start with baby pigs in your operation, raise them to market weight, and the market has suddenly diminished when workers at the pork processing facility are home with the virus.
“We must ‘lead well’ and think beyond the farm.” That’s the recommendation made by two University of Minnesota (UM) veterinarians, Dr. Jeff Bender, and Dr. Montse Torremorell. In their work at UM College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Public Health, they have published several resources to help keep livestock workers healthy as they care for animals.