Mark H. Whitney University of Minnesota

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Feeding for Niche Swine Production

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

The market for natural, organic, and other “niche” produced foods represents a small, but growing segment of the food market. Organic food is produced using methods aimed at enhancing the environmental health of the farm ecosystem. The philosophy of organic farming is that farmers work with nature and natural systems to enhance soil, plant and animal health, which leads to a better environment and improved human health. One of the driving forces behind the fast growth of niche food markets is increased public concern over the safety and quality of foods produced from conventional food production systems and an interest in buying locally-produced products. Niche foods are perceived by some consumers as foods that are safer for consumption, better in nutrition, or healthier to the human body than foods produced by conventional production, and having a reduced environmental impact. Regardless of the reasoning for purchasing, these products garner higher prices in the marketplace due to the increased management and production costs required for their production.


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Factsheets

Lactating Swine Nutrient Recommendations and Feeding Management

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Many factors influence sow productive efficiency and sow herd profitability, but inadequate feeding programs for the sow are major contributors to problems with high sow attrition and poor productivity. The primary challenge of feeding highly productive sows involves minimizing the negative nutrient (energy and protein) balance during lactation in order to minimize short-term and long-term reproductive performance problems. The lactating sow needs energy and nutrients to maintain body tissues and support milk production, while allowing for maternal growth. Excessive negative nutrient balance during lactation can be minimized by increasing sows feed intake or, to a lesser extent, increasing nutrient concentrations of the diet. Understanding the different factors that affect nutrient requirements and feed intake can assist in developing a successful lactating sow feeding program.


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Factsheets

Breeding Boar Nutrient Recommendations and Feeding Management

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Boars have a profound influence on the swine breeding program. Not only do they provide a source of genetic improvement, but they also affect farrowing rate and litter size. Although nutrition of the boar is often given the least amount of attention compared to pigs in other phases of production, it serves as an important factor in determining reproductive performance of the breeding herd and overall animal well-being. Nutrient status influences libido (sex drive), structural soundness and longevity, sperm production, and semen quality. Factors affecting nutrient requirements include age and stage of maturity, body condition, environmental conditions, and ejaculation frequency. Many farms feed boars the sow gestation diet(s), but this feeding program may neglect some of the unique nutrient requirements that must be accounted for to optimize breeding herd performance in working boars. Scientific research regarding the nutrition of boars is lacking. Therefore, feeding strategies used in the pork industry and those presented in this paper are based on a minimal amount of research.


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Factsheets

Factors Affecting Nutrient Recommendations for Swine

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Efficient and profitable swine production depends upon an understanding of the concepts of genetics, environment, herd health, management, and nutrition. These areas interact with each other, and their net output determines the level of production and profitability (1). Many factors affect a pigs requirement for specific nutrients, impacting subsequent performance. Taking these factors into account, which differ across various production units and systems, will allow the development of farm-specific diets and feed programs that more closely meet nutrient needs of the herd while optimizing performance and economical return.


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Factsheets

Example Diets for Swine

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

The ability to properly formulate diets to achieve production goals and optimize profitability is essential for the success of any pork production operation. Swine diets are increasingly more complex with the emergence of improved nutritional technologies and greater availability and use of alternative feed ingredients. This factsheet is intended to teach key practical concepts and principles of swine nutrition and diet formulation through the presentation of diets made for various classes of swine.


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Resources Reviewed

PIG How-To's

How To Give Injections

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Modern health practices in swine production require numerous injections which provide pigs with antibiotics, vaccines, bacterins, hormones, drugs, vitamins, and iron compounds, and other products. To minimize the pig’s pain and avoid illegal residues of the products, proper injection techniques should be followed.


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PIG How-To's

How to Move and Handle Pigs

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

An important factor associated with animal welfare is the proper movement and handling of pigs. Pigs can be hard to move if frightened or not accustomed to being moved. Improper handling decreases animal welfare by causing stress and fear, may increase safety risks for both the pig and handler, and also results in a decrease in meat quality (i.e. bruising; PSE pork, a meat that is pale, soft, and exudative; or DFD pork, a meat that is dark firm and dry) that can cost the industry millions of dollars each year.. In short improving animal handling improves animal welfare, safety, meat quality, and may improve your bottom line.


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PIG How-To's

Managing Human Resources - Team Building

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Team building is a constant process that helps work groups evolve into an organized unit. The team members not only share expectations for accomplishing group tasks, but trust and support one another and respect one another's individual differences. The managers role as a team builder is to lead employee teams toward cohesiveness and productivity. With good team-building skills, managers can unite employees around a common goal and generate greater productivity.


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PIG How-To's

How To Develop a Biosecurity Plan

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Many diseases that negatively affect a herd are carried into the farm through fomites (items that can carry a disease organism), introduction of infected pigs, contaminated supplies, trucking and even via aerosol spread (through the air). For example on the financial impact of a disease, the introduction of the Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive virus (PRRSv) costs producers upwards of $560 million dollars due to disease related production losses. However, PRRSv is not the only disease that can cause significant production losses. Disease prevention can be achieved by having an effective biosecurity plan outlined for all aspects of farm operations.


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Factsheets

Nutritional Effects on Swine Nutrient Excretion and Air Quality

Publish Date: 03/25/2010

Animal production involves the feeding and care of animals to obtain usable end products, such as meat or milk. Since the efficiency with which animals use nutrients is less than 100%, a portion of the nutrients supplied to the animal is excreted as feces. The end/byproducts of metabolism are excreted in urine. Traditionally, these excreta were used as fertilizers for crops and thus were an integral part of the nutrient cycle. Over the last decade, animal production has expanded significantly in areas without adequate local feed production. To sustain expanding animal agriculture, feed ingredients were shipped in from major crop producing regions, initiating the import of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus into animal producing regions. Due to the bulk of animal manure relative to its weight, shipping it to the feed producing regions for use as a fertilizer was not economically viable. Alternative methods to deal with manure were thus sought. Some are focused on different processing and storage techniques after manure production, while others deal with reducing the excretion of nutrients in manure. This factsheet outlines some of the underlying principles for modifying pig diets with the objective of reducing nutrient excretion and ammonia and odor emissions.


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