Pork Exports Rely on China

World pork markets were disrupted the last couple of years, first by African swine fever in China, followed by a U.S.-China trade dispute. Then, in 2020, came COVID-19.

ASF drastically reduced pork production in China starting in 2018 and continuing into 2020. This reduction created a tremendous opportunity for the U.S. to increase pork exports to China to help fill the animal protein void in Chinese consumers’ diets. So, what has taken place in 2020?

Despite pork supply chain disruptions in the U.S. resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. pork exports have increased dramatically. From January through May, exports rose 21% above the prior year. But it’s clear that exports would have been even larger without the disruptions that occurred as COVID-19 infections caused processing plant closures and slowdowns. Continue reading

USDA Enhances African Swine Fever Surveillance Efforts

Source: USDA Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is furthering its overall African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness efforts with the implementation of a surveillance plan. As part of this plan, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will work with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF has never been detected in the United States. Continue reading

ASF Outbreak in China Could Create a 12 MMT Global Meat Shortage

By: Tyne Morgan, US Farm Report

African Swine Fever continues to spread through China, but the tallies on death tolls are misleading to some analysts. The disease hit a major livestock production province of Shandong. Even though there’s been one reported case, Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStonesays the official reports aren’t accurate.

“We see the breeding herd in Shandong down 42%, even though they’ve only had one reported case in Shandong,” said Suderman. Continue reading

U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress

By: Cindy Cunningham, National Pork Board

America’s 60,000 pig farmers and their veterinarians are ending 2018 with recognition of their diligence to use medically important antibiotics in a strictly responsible way. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s newly published Annual Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals cites 2017 data that shows a 33 percent decline in this most critical class of antibiotics intended for use in food animals. When added to the decline found in the 2016 data, it confirms a reduction of 43 percent in this class of antibiotics from the 2015 level. Continue reading

Basic Ventilation System Design for Producers

By Joe Darrington, South Dakota State University Extension

Within swine production barns, the management and mastery of ventilation systems can be viewed as both a science and an art. As the days change throughout the year, the ventilation requirements at barns also shift. The challenge lies in balancing the indoor environmental conditions with the varying needs of the pigs. Continue reading

Can Show Pig Genetics Be Used in Commercial Production?

By: Mark Knauer, Dalton Obermier and Zack Peppmeier, North Carolina State University

The show pig sector of the swine industry is often thought to be quite different than modern commercial production. While show pig breeders tend to focus on the appearance of an animal, swine geneticists focus on selecting for traits of economic importance. Hence, in theory, modern commercial genetic lines should have superior economic value when compared to show pig genetics. Continue reading

Key Facts About African Swine Fever

By: Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net

Despite the Chinese government’s control efforts, the spread of African swine fever (ASF) continues in China. The official reports from the World Health Organization (OIE) now say there have been more than 40 cases confirmed in 11 provinces, including one in the far south of the country. Despite this geographic advance, some pig movement has been allowed to help with China’s domestic demand for pork. Continue reading

Pork Powerhouses® 2018: Ramping Up

By: Betsy Freese, Previously published by Successful Farming online

New sow barn going up.

A plague of locusts is about the only thing that hasn’t afflicted the swine industry this year, but if you were wondering whether the largest producers are selling sows and closing farms in light of the challenges, don’t hold your breath.

The exclusive Pork Powerhouses® ranking of the 40 largest pig producers in the U.S. shows that 192,980 sows were added in the past year. That brings the total to more than 4.2 million sows, or two thirds of the breeding herd in the U.S. (Download the table with specific sow numbers here.) Continue reading

New Research Confirms: Flies Can Spread PEDV

By: JoAnn Alumbaugh, Previously published Farm Journal’s Pork online

Flies have been part of pig operations as long as people have been raising pigs. But now producers have another good reason to think about fly control: A study conducted earlier this year confirms that even a few flies have the ability to infect pigs with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). Although PEDV isn’t zoonotic, it can be devastating for herds that contract the virus because of high death loss, particularly in baby pigs. Continue reading