Pork Insight Articles

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Swine Innovation Porc – Lead User Program

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Swine Innovation by katrina on April 30, 2012 | No Comments

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The objectives of the lead-user program are to build upon the Canadian Swine research and Development Cluster research program (funded through growing Forward 1), through speeding the rate of adoption of new technologies.  Early adoption of some of these new technologies are designed to enhance the competitiveness and differentiation of the pork industry throughout Canada.

Lameness Assessment

Take home messages from the sow longevity workshops Translated into French

J Brown Sow temperament presentationL Connor Housing Design impacts on Lameness and LongevityJohn Deen PresentationSow lameness longevity temperament workshop final

Farmscape online J Brown 2013-10-28  Farmscape online J Brown 2013-10-28 FR

Farmscape online J Deen 2013-10-30  Farmscape online J Deen 2013-10-30 FR

Farmscape online L Connor 2013-10-24  Farmscape online L Connor 2013-10-24 FR

Profit - Farmscape template Reducing Lameness in the Sow Herd Improves P...  Rentabilité Farmscape - Réduire la boiterie des truies améliore la renta...

Farmscape online Y Seddon 2013-11-06  Farmscape online Y Seddon 2013-11-06 FR

Trim- Farmscape template Research Shows Hoof Trimming Helps Reduce Lamen... Visual Farmscape - Évaluation visuelle de la boiterie -étonnamment fiabl...



The Zephyr Brochure The ZephyrFRE_Zephyr Book

Volume 1 Issue 1 - Zephyr Volume 1 Issue 1 - Zephyr_French

1007-New Device Eases Stress of Euthanasia 1007-La cheville percutante non pénétrante Zephyr

B.12--8 - Farmscape online 1007 J_Brown27122012  B.12--8 - Farmscape online 1007 J_Brown27122012_FRE MV

B.12--21 - Farmscape 1007 15022013  B.12--21 - Farmscape 1007 15022013_FRE MV

B. 12  Page 28 Zephyr et balance pour la boiterie 1007 + 1004 - Copie


Air Filtration

Volume 1 Issue 12 ATU Volume 1 Issue 12 ATU_French

Air Filtration

BioTrickling Air Treatment


Water Sprinkling

Sprinkling system

Design guidelines for the development of a water sprinkling systems for transport trailers

SIP Vol. 1 Issue 10 Sprinkling Volume 1 Issue 10 Sprinkling_French


Novel Nutrition

Nutrition Webcast Invite

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Presentations from the seminar are also available on-line. Please click the following link to view the archived presentations

PorkMaster can be downloaded free of charge.  Please click on the PorkMaster logo for download instruction and a copy of the user manual.



Volume 1 Issue 17 Wheat DDGS Volume 1 Issue 17 DDGS French

Volume 1 Issue 5_Concentrating Energy In Young Pig Diets Volume 1 Issue 5 Expeller Canola Meal_French

A.1--11 - Farmscape online 1012 15102012  A.1--11 - Farmscape online 1012 15102012_FRE MV

A.1--12 - Farmscape online 1012 E_Beltranena 8112012  A.1--12 - Farmscape online 1012 E_Beltranena 8112012_FRE

Precision Feeding

Funding for the project has been provided in part through Industry Councils from Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan (principal), the Conseil pour le développement de l’agriculture du Québec, Ontario Agricultural Adaptation Council and Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta Which deliver the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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New Feed Processing Technology that May Influence Feed Efficiency

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by katrina on April 24, 2012 | No Comments

This presentation by Dr. Tom Scott of the University of Saskatchewan was presented at the 4th in a series of 8 webinars on Feed Efficiency hosted by Prairie Swine Centre. To access the presentation scroll down and click on Download PDF

Loading Facilities for Market Hogs: Saskatchewan’s Top 10

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by katrina on April 18, 2012 | No Comments

For swine producers, loading pigs at marketing can be one of the most stressful and time-consuming experiences. Problems at loading also affect the welfare of animals and have a significant economic impact as they may cause death losses, carcass damage and meat quality problems. The objective of this project was to identify components of swine loadouts that have the greatest impact on pig stress and loading time.  Ten swine loadouts in Saskatchewan were visited, and the facility design and handling methods at each facility were documented by photographs and video footage.

This study found that there is a large variation in facilities and handling skills across the swine industry, and often little opportunity for producers or barn employees to gain new knowledge. Lighting, flooring, alley and ramp dimensions, and animal handling techniques all have the potential to cause problems when moving pigs through a facility. The best loadouts in Saskatchewan are ones which take these factors into account.  The results highlight the fact that handling of pigs can be improved by a variety of measures, ranging from extensive load-out renovations, to simple changes in lighting and handling techniques.

Developing Strategies for Water Conservation for Producers

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by katrina on | No Comments

Animal drinking and cleaning are the top uses of water in swine barns. Using water conservation strategies to reduce water use will ultimately lower cost of production and contribute towards a more sustainable environment as less manure slurry is created. In order to find out which water conservation strategy is most effective, experiments were performed using different animal drinkers and cleaning strategies. It was found that about 60% less water wastage was achieved when a trough with side panel and constant water level was used compared to the nipple drinkers. Also, at barn clean up, the use of a conventional nozzle led to lesser time and water consumption during high pressure washing.

The results suggest that the use of the trough with the side panel and constant water level for drinking has the greatest potential for water savings without affecting pig performance. High pressure washing using the rotating turbo nozzle led to lesser time and water consumption during the cleaning process. Also, high pressure washing in fully slatted concrete flooring can be done without prior water sprinkling (soaking).

Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Modulate the Immune Response of Pigs?

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by katrina on | No Comments

Our experiments demonstrated that feeding n3 fatty acids to sows can affect piglet responses to immune challenges at weaning. We also showed that feeding piglets’ starter diets with n3’s in the nursery can also modulate their inflammatory reactions. Altering the n6:n3 fatty acid ratio in either sow or piglet diets can affect febrile and inflammatory cell responses of piglets when challenged with E. Coli LPS post-weaning.

When sows consumed an n6:n3 ratio of 1:1, their piglets had elevated body temperatures and a greater response to the immune challenge compared to piglets from sows consuming the other diets. When fed to piglets, a ratio of 5:1 n6:n3 tended to increase production of some inflammatory cells, but did not affect body temperature.

Based on these results we hypothesize that either the n6 fatty acids are not as inflammatory as we originally thought; or alternatively, that there is an ‘optimal’ n6:n3 ratio in the diet. Going below this ‘optimal’ ratio, the energy required to generate the immune response takes nutrients away from growth and can actually be a hindrance to piglet productivity and health.

Based on our preliminary results, we can recommend that pork producers include plant based n3 fatty acids such as those found in flaxseed, into the diets of lactating sows or newly weaned piglets, but to ensure that the ratio does not go below 5:1 n6:n3. Further experiments are being conducted to determine the consequences of generating immune responses, and the implications on animal health and performance.

Focus on Feed Efficiency in Pork Production

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by katrina on | No Comments

Feed represents the largest proportion of cost of production, contributing up to 70% of the variable cost of production. This is nothing new. However in the past couple of years we have seen feed costs rise to historically high levels, while costs may retreat somewhat, it is highly unlikely in the short term that we will see feed costs dip to levels experienced in 2004 and 2005.

Since feed costs represent the largest portion of cost of production, it also represents the greatest opportunity for reducing costs in particular the grower-finisher barn.  With the higher feed costs there has been a greater push towards managing feed efficiency within operations. At current feed costs an improvement in feed efficiency of 0.1 kg of feed per kg of gain will result in a greater than $2.00 net income per pig marketed.

There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account when examining feed efficiency in pork production: These are environmental (temperature, humidity, air circulation), social (space allocation, group size, re-grouping), immunological (disease, pathogen concentration), and management (particle size, feeder adjustment).

While this is not an inclusive list, it gives us the perspective of the multi-disciplinary approach that is required to achieve the full potential of managing feed efficiency. One of the ways in which Prairie Swine Centre is delivering this message is through a series of webinars specifically dedicated to a Focus on Feed EfficiencyThis series of eight Feed Efficiency webinars are being delivered in partnership with the Farm Leadership Council starting March 5 and concluding June 19. Webinars will run on two week intervals by well-known experts in the area of feed efficiency discussing a wide range of topics including: feeding and barn management, whole herd factors, feed processing, new technologies and health impact on feed efficiency.


Swine Innovation. What Does It Mean for Producers?

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Swine Innovation by katrina on | No Comments

The pork industry is no stranger to change. While the change in the industry has garnered most of the headlines in recent years, Canadian pork producers have always been on the leading edge of incorporating new technologies and management practices that enhance the competitive position of their business. One of the roles researchers play is ensuring producers have all the tools available to remain competitive.

Research is addressing some of the questions of the pork industry through the Canadian Swine Research and Development Cluster.  The Canadian Swine Research and Development Cluster rebranded as Swine Innovation Porc is a multi-year $9.6 million program established within the Growing Canadian Agri-Innovation Program – Canadian Agri-Science Initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in addition to receiving financial support from private sector and provincial government organizations.

Swine Innovation Porc objectives are to facilitate research, technology transfer and commercialization initiatives designed to enhance the competitiveness and differentiation of Canada’s pork industry.

Prairie Swine Centre turns 20 in 2012, time for thinking outside the box – again

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by katrina on | No Comments

During the past 20 years of operation Prairie Swine Centre with its funding partners and research collaborators world-wide has developed a reputation for practical solutions addressing global competitiveness through developing technologies, personnel and knowledge products. Since inception the research objectives for the Centre spoke a language that both the industry and researchers could embrace and pursue.  After nearly 20 years the Centre has trained 48 graduate students, plus summer students, post-doctoral fellows and employees that every day work in academia, commercial production, government and supplier industries.  Our compliments and thanks to those pork producers, university and government leaders who foresaw the need, attracted the necessary people, funding and leadership to make Prairie Swine Centre happen.

Herd Management Factors that Influence Whole Herd Feed Efficiency

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by katrina on April 11, 2012 | No Comments

This presentation by Dr. Aaron Gaines of The Maschoffs was presented at the 3rd in a series of 8 webinars on Feed Efficiency hosted by Prairie Swine Centre. To access the presentation scroll down and click on Download PDF

Feeding and barn management practices that improve feed efficiency

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by katrina on March 30, 2012 | No Comments

This presentation by Dr. Goodband of Kansas State University was presented at the 2nd in a series of 8 webinars on Feed Efficiency hosted by Prairie Swine Centre.  To access the presentation scroll down and click on Download PDF

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