Time to Prioritize Your People Assets

hog barn employee training

Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa As pork production faces a long-term labor shortage, employee retention is critical. Every day on every hog farm, pigs are the priority. The objective is to meet the pigs’ needs, and it’s up to... (more...)

Nursery or Wean-to-Finish: Finding What’s Best for Pigs and People

Nursery pigs - 'Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa'

Picture Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa Health, mortality rates and more robust pigs have some producers re-evaluating weaned-pig systems. Pork production practices are an individual preference; what works for one person or farm... (more...)

Remodeling: Is it right for you?

wean-to-finish barn with hogs

Structural soundness dictates a hog barn’s remodeling potential, but there is much to consider.   Perhaps you have a hog barn in need of upgrades, or you’re thinking about changing its function or are looking to purchase a building and want... (more...)

Group sow housing: No one size fits all

group sow housing or stalls picture comparison

The key is finding what works for you.       Pork producers continuously surpass productivity levels because of years of trial, error and refinement. Management is key and what works for one producer, the pigs, staff or facilities may not work... (more...)

Uniform pigs: A goal worth setting

weaned piglets with Shelf Feeder

The path to achieving full-value market hogs starts early. A group of uniform pigs is easier to manage, more efficiently utilizes inputs and broadens the opportunity to achieve full value at market. However, it’s no small achievement.   From... (more...)

SLP: The Next Step in Sow Productivity Measures

sows and piglets in farrowing crates with warming panels

Sow lifetime productivity more fully represents total farm impact. Pigs per sow per year (PSY) has become the gold standard of sow productivity measures. But what does it really tell you? If a female pig weans 12 pigs in her first... (more...)

How to Manage Feed Efficiency for the Bottom Line

hogs in wean-to-finish barn

Focus on things you can control. The hog market is cyclical in nature, and during price downturns there’s a renewed urgency to fine-tune management. Anytime red ink begins to flow onto hog-farm ledgers it’s wise to sharpen management and attend to... (more...)

Design a Maintenance Plan to Maximize Performance

hogs in a wean-to-finish pig barn

Preventative maintenance drives the health of the pigs, buildings and equipment.     If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is not a motto to live by on a hog farm. In fact, building and equipment preventative maintenance deserves as much... (more...)

Cost of Heat Stress Has a Long Reach

Farmweld Shelf Feeder with weaned piglets

Research shows negative effects of heat stress in gestation linger in growing pigs.   Regardless of the production stage, heat stress can cause negative outcomes for pigs. In growing pigs, the most likely impact is reduced feed intake and efficiency.... (more...)

Water: You can’t afford to take it for granted

piglets drinking from water nipples

A clean, accessible water supply is critical to keep pigs growing. Feed, vaccinations, medications and biosecurity are all priorities in a producer’s toolbox to keep pigs healthy and growing. Yet water is the nutrient that pigs consume in the greatest... (more...)

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