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The new African Swine Fever (ASF) breaks that have been reported in South Korea this week and recently in the Philippines demonstrate the recent progression of the disease. As you can see, there have been many herds infected in a relatively short period in Vietnam, with the entire country being red. There was a report of a herd depopulation on the border of Thailand with Myanmar, but this herd was not confirmed to have broken with ASF. A high number of herds have been affected and ASF continues to move through Asia.
A headline in an Australian publication reads “One-Quarter of the World’s Pigs killed by African Swine Fever as disease spreads to South Korea”. Just imagine… 1 in 4 (25%) of the world’s pig population was lost to ASF in the last year. These are incomprehensible numbers and continue to remind us to remain vigilant in keeping this virus out of the USA.
There were several speakers at Leman conference that spoke about dealing with ASF, including repopulating herds and the extensive clean-ups required. In Russia, the farms have essentially been taken apart and everything cleaned. So far in China, they have not gone to this level but have been doing very extensive cleanup and disinfection, including the grounds.
With the recent breaks, the possibility of contaminated products making their way to the USA increases and the list keeps getting longer. Producers need to know the sources of the products from Asian countries coming to the farm. Consider adding feed mitigants to diets to limit risk (this also reduces risk for PEDv and PRRS as well).
ASF Preparedness Exercise
USDA and 14 major swine states conducted a complete exercise to look at overall preparedness in the case of an outbreak and to identify any gaps that need to be addressed going forward. Some of the SVC veterinarians attended these exercises and we’re all hoping the skills learned are something we’ll never have to use.
We are soon coming upon the peak season for PRRS. Historically it has been the end of October or the first part of November according to the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project (MSHMP).
We’ll want to make sure we have everything ready from a biosecurity standpoint going into this time frame. We particularly don’t want to add more stressors to the situation such as environmental stress.
This fall looks to be a challenge with warmer afternoon temperatures and cool nights. Make sure your ventilation system is working properly. Check the controls so you don’t have wider fluctuations than necessary. Find out if your curtains are functioning properly and verify that soffit inlets are clean, open and ready for use. You can reference fall checklists published in previous newsletters or contact the Swine Vet Center office if you’d like us to send them to you.
Interesting Highlights from Leman Conference
Vaginal Microbiome and litter size performance: In the reproductive workshop some interesting work was shown by researchers at ISU. Nick Serao demonstrated that there was a perfect correlation with populations of vaginal microbiome and high and low performance of gilts, allowing for possible earlier selection in herds as more is understood in the future with more detailed research.
Batch farrowing: In the “Everything old is new again” session, Dr. Daryl Olson reviewed the performance of herds that had changed from weekly production to batch production. His comment was that farm size doesn’t matter. Most have been 1200-2500 sow farms but they’re now looking at trying it on larger sites up to 5000 sows.
Some of the comments discussed during this presentation:
- Better sow performance (once everyone gets their head around the change)
- Better task specialization
- Improved pig performance and big improvements in health at the sow farm by having true all-in/all-out…breaking the viral disease chains as well as the well-known effects downstream in the wean to finish
Batch farrowing may be food for thought for some farms. If you have questions, let one of the SVC vets know and we can give you some more details.
Return of the nursery —> finisher model of production from wean to finish: In this talk, Jim Moody from Hanor detailed their change back to this model and the ability to focus on pig care in the nursery. Their experience was that not everyone is cut out for wean to finish production. He believes that a blend is a good place to be with the ability to have flexibility in the flow, but doing most of their production in a traditional nursery and finishing model has improved their overall performance.
Understanding the labor market and projections: This session was an interesting review of the numbers detailing that we are in a true labor-short market. When calculating the labor availability (unemployment) and labor needs, you are only mathematically able to hire 0.8 of an employee to fill a position. So currently, based on the statistics in Minnesota, you can’t even hire a full-time person.
SVC Vets Presentations at 2019 Leman Conference
Dr. Alyssa Betlach: “Surveillance of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in Minimal Prevalence Scenarios”
Dr. Laura Bruner: “Monitoring Mycoplasma-Negative Sow Farms”
Dr. Jake Schwartz: “Silent estrus in gilts: A case investigation”
Dr. Paul Yeske chaired the session: “ Batch farrowing in large farms: Why we are implementing
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