Are you ready for PRRS season?
This is the time of year that PRRS historically starts to move!
Since 2009 every year the PRRS epidemic begins either at the end of October or the beginning of November. As shown by Cesar Corso from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring project.
Spring of 2021 was the exception over the last 13 years of SHMP re-porting, with the number of spring PRRS breaks exceeding the number of breaks each of the last 3 falls. With this history its likely we’re expecting more breaks this fall. Now is a great time to review biosecurity protocols for your farm.
- Do you have all your bases covered?
- Is there something that your are not doing correctly?
- What can you change to help improve your odds?
- Do you know what is in your neighborhood?
Generally, when we refer to biosecurity, we refer to bio-exclusion (keeping bugs out) which is the ultimate goal of the program. Remember the for-gotten part of biosecurity is bio-containment, if positive make sure we don’t carry the virus off site with the things we do. Make sure to shower out, change boots and coveralls and clean hands and any exposed skin. The goal is to not move the virus any further.
Questions about your farm? Interested in a comprehensive biosecurity audit? Swine Vet Center offers support and service. If you haven’t already, it may be a good time to do your Secure Pork Supply plan which takes your biosecurity to the next level even for foreign animal diseases also.
TIPS FOR BIOSECURITY SUCCESS
- Supplies brought into farms should be removed from cardboard packaging and pass thorough a quarantine room to allow temperature and time to kill pathogens.
- New animals are properly isolated and tested before entry.
- Ventilation settings are properly made so that this is not an additional stress to the animals, especially tunnel barns at the curtain end with the cooler temperatures is easy to chill these animals.
- Barn temperatures don’t fluctuate too much.
- Feed mitigants in place to reduce this risk of entry due to feed or ingredients.
Good breeding season
October doesn’t bring all bad news. As we start into October, we enter the best breeding time of the year!
Sows in Heat
With the day length shortened, mother nature tells the sows it is time to be pregnant. Sows may come into heat a little quicker and less sows that have extended wean to first service intervals. We can also expect some of the best conception rates in the quarter going forward. Just want to make sure we take advantage of this as much as we can.
Watch the 30–35-day preg check to make conception rates and be ready to adjust breeding targets so we don’t over push the far-rowing resulting in very young wean age.
There are many factors to con-sider that can affect conception and farrowing rates season just being one. So, you want to be careful with making these adjustments but always good to be looking at the numbers and adjusting accordingly.
Look for Not-In-Pig (NIP) sows
Now that we are through the seasonal infertility time of the year as we get to the sows that will farrow in the mid-November to mid-December time frames there can be sows that lost their pregnancy early even after having preg checked positive once. These animals will often not cycle even if heat checked daily in their spot. Now we can visual-ly see them and double check with the preg checker to be sure that they are still pregnant.
If they are not you can choose to rebreed them or cull them from the herd. If the choice is to re-breed them, want to make sure to move them back to the open pool area. The move will get them to cycle and most of these will be in heat 4-7 days after the move.
The quicker we identify these sows we can reduce their impact on nonproductive sows days and overall herd performance.
Weighing feed boxes
Now that harvest is well underway and new crop corn is moving into feed mills on a regular basis, many herds are now seeing new crop corn in the feed. The addition of new corn can change the bulk density of the feed and change how much gets dropped to sows via the volumet-ric boxes. To make sure we can maintain a consistent sow body condition, it’s important to check with the feed mill and see for sure when the mill has changed over to new crop corn. Its also a good time to weigh multiple boxes through the breeding and gestation barns to know for sure how much feed is being delivered to sows.
A spring scale can be used to measure box weights. Check feed weights from boxes set at different settings to confirm box settings match with amount of feed being dropped. This will help to make sure box settings still are correct to deliver the proper amount of feed to maintain condition.
Celebrate National Pork Month!
Erin Krug, Anderson Farms, is 1 of 6 farmers showcased on the Minnesota Pork social media pages! Over the next year they will share stories and how they implement the six WeCare principles on their farms.
Erin is a 5th generation farmer on her family’s farm. They have a farrow-to-finish pig farm, fee out beef cattle and raise sugar beets, kidney beans and corn. Erin is primarily involved in the pork production department. She takes pride in being able to provide their pigs with all the great resources to ensure the animals are healthy and happy.
Congratulations Drs. Henry & Katharine!
Joined in marriage on September 11 at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg, IL. A reception was held at The Wagon Wheel Barn, a beautiful vintage restored barn, located in Burlington, WI.
Dr. Henry Johnson is part of our veterinarian team and Dr. Katharine (Kancer) Johnson is a veterinarian at Minnesota Valley Vet in Le Sueur. Both veterinarians graduated from the University of Illinois.
We wish them much happiness!
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