Tom J. Baas Iowa State University

Resources Authored

Factsheets

Purchasing vs. Closed Herd System

Publish Date: 04/09/2010

One of the biggest decisions that must be made in a pork production system is the determination of the source of replacement breeding stock, especially females. Purchasing all replacement females is popular because it is simple to manage, maximizes terminal market hog production, and the producer depends on the genetic supplier for all genetic improvement. Closed herd strategies or internal multiplication programs are popular due to decreased health risks compared with frequent introductions into the breeding herd. The use of artificial insemination also makes closing the herd to boar introductions relatively easy as semen is readily available from numerous sources. Purchasing all female replacements or raising them in a closed herd system can be a challenging decision to make.


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References

Composition and Value of Loin Primals.

Publish Date: 06/04/2006

Pork producers today are interested in adding value over and above traditional commodity markets to the hogs they produce and market. This can be accomplished through such avenues as niche markets and other value-added opportunities that may include direct marketing or retained ownership of pork products further up the pork chain. Information on the true value of a market hog and specifically, its components is crucial in developing these additional profit opportunities.


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Resources Reviewed

Factsheets

Evaluating Genetic Sources

Publish Date: 04/09/2010

Identifying and evaluating alternative genetic sources can be a daunting task for producers. Large numbers of live animal and semen suppliers exist, and all claim to have the ideal genetic package to meet the industry needs. While the claims may indeed be true, producers must be able to understand the fundamental process of evaluating genetic “value” and how genetic improvement principles can be applied when choosing among alternative sources. This fact sheet will guide the producer through a step-wise process that can assist them in identifying the optimal genetic source for their operation.


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Factsheets

Non-genetic factors influencing sow longevity

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

The way that sows are housed during gestation and lactation has moved towards more intensive systems so that sows can be more easily managed and production maximized. At a minimum, some of these factors have contributed to a decline in the productive life of sows in commercial pork production systems. A sow remaining in the breeding herd for fewer parities is likely to produce fewer pigs in her lifetime, compared to a sow that remains in the breeding herd for a longer period of time. This reduces the opportunity of a sow to be sufficiently productive (pigs weaned and sold per lifetime) to achieve a return on the replacement gilt investment cost.


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Factsheets

Genetic Improvement of Sire and Dam Lines for Enhanced Performance of Terminal Crossbreeding Systems

Publish Date: 06/03/2006

Profitability of a pork production system relies on reducing the cost per unit of output that is achieved. There are opportunities to increase the profitability of the pork production system by genetic improvement of performance traits. Selection of superior individuals as parents within breeds and choice of breeds or composite lines to be used in crossbreeding systems are the general tools that breeders have available to bring about this genetic improvement. The use of genetically selected sire and dam lines enhances the performance of terminal crossbreeding systems. In this publication, the potential for greater genetic improvement through the use of specialized sire and dam lines is discussed.


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