Pork Insight Articles

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

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It’s The Brand Folks!

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on June 19, 2018 | No Comments

Author: Harry Siemens

Publication: Prairie Hog Country, June/July 2018

Summary: Verified Canadian Pork is the brand that focuses the many things that producers do, including the Canadian Quality Assurance Program. This brand has aided in selling pork to markets such as Japan. Traceability, which is mandatory within Canada, is one of the key components to the successful brand. Another component aiding in the development of verified Canadian pork is that it is developed hormone free. These aspects have helped to increase the acceptability from consumers, such as the Japanese, who are unable to be self-reliant. This creates a lucrative opportunity for the export of pork.

Pine Haven Processing Plant Resumes Production After CFIA Recall

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Author: Brenda Kossowan

Reference: Prairie Hog Country, June/July 2018

Summary: Pine Haven processing plant in Alberta will resume production after being shut down due to an outbreak of E.coli 0157:H7. The outbreak resulted in the infection of 37 individuals, one being fatal. Pork products from several Alberta retailers were also affected, including K&K Foodliner and Irvings Farm Fresh.

The company is following the example set by Maple Leaf President Michael McCain during their production of listeria contaminated meat, and being transparent. The company is making sure to be upfront in dealing with the situation at hand. When taking samples at Pine Haven, E. coli was only found on one of the samples of more than 100. This sample was of raw meat, all of the cooked meats had tested negative for the presence of E. coli.

HyLife Finishes $176 Million Expansion at the Neepawa Processing Plant

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Author: Harry Siemens

Publication: Prairie Hog Country, June/July 2018

During an open house HyLife displayed the $176 million dollar expansion, which mostly focused on the Neepawa processing plant. The company installed leading edge technology as well as added 100 thousand square feet to the processing plant.

This $176 million also includes the establishment of a feed mill in Killarney and hog barns in western Manitoba. Through the upgrade and expansion HyLife created 165 jobs for Canadians. The majority of the meat that is produced by HyLife is exported to Asian markets in the form of fresh chilled pork.

The expansion added technology that will aid in increasing the shelf life of this pork as it is essential being as there is a significant amount of travel time for these markets. Most of the pork that HyLife exports the company produces, however they do purchase some of it from producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

On Farm Biosecurity: Auditing Best Management Practices

Posted in: Centered on Swine, Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on June 12, 2018 | No Comments

Author: Ken Engele

Centred on Swine Spring 2018, Volume 24, Number 1

Summary: When reviewing the management practices on 24 farms throughout Canada it became apparent that overall producers are doing a fairly good job at implementing procedures regarding biosecurity within their operations. However, there were some potential areas of improvement, including: being relaxed when it came to a visitors audit (over 50% not up to date) and 1/3 of facilities did not have proper signage pertaining to biosecurity protocols.

Almost all of the facilities kept the supply of animals entering their facility from only one source, over 80% have adopted biosecurity measures for entering the premise (ie. taking a shower and changing) and all of the facilities ensured that staff were properly trained with regards to biosecurity.


Fermented soybean meal for newly weaned piglets

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Authors: A.D. Beaulieu, A.G. van Kessel, P. Leterme, and D. Gillis

Centred on Swine Spring 2017, Volume 23, Number 1

Summary: Due to the presence of anti-nutritional factors soybean is limited in its inclusion in young piglet diets. Fermentation of soybean meal has been shown to effectively remove the tryspin inhibitors. This study compared the effects of feeding soybean mean and fermented soybean meal to piglets. When comparing piglets who received soybean meal to those who has received fermented soybean meal it is evident that the piglets consuming the fermented soybean meal had a reduced body weight.  The diet that was included soybean meal also demonstrated the highest average daily gain. From this study they concluded that there is no advantage of using fermented soybean meal to using soybean meal. They also concluded that more research has to be done pertaining to the palatability of fermented soybean meal.

Grower/Finisher Feeders: Design, Behavior and Performance

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Authors: H.W. Gonyou and Z. Lou

February 28, 1998

Summary: Researchers categorized commercial feeders into four groups which were analyzed for their influence on different style. It was determined that anything smaller than 34 cm restricted market pigs and larger than 39 cm allowed for two smaller pigs to feed at the same time. They also anaylzed the effect of different feeder types on feed intake and average daily gain (ADG). It was apparent that feed intake and ADG were 5% higher in wet/dry feeder than the dry feeders. Feed efficiency did not differ among any of the different types of feeders. When feeders provided protection for the pigs it resulted in the pigs being removed by other pigs through force. All feeders were in the range of 2-5.8% for spillage with no statistical differences between the different feeders. It was also concluded that pigs eating wet feed ate at a rate 3 times faster than those consuming dry feed.

Through the use of an adjustable feeder (adjustments could be made to lip height, feeder depth, width and feeding shelf height), they determined that the depth of the feeder had  the most significant influence on the amount of times the pigs stepped into the feeder. It was also concluded that pigs prefer to feed at an angle of 30°.

Grower-Finisher Feeders – Design, Behaviour and Performance

Nutrition Updates from Canada’s Top Researchers

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Prairie Hog Country June/July 2018

Summary: Researchers described their current goals and strategies pertaining to nutrition in the swine industry.

These goals include:

  • Improving milk production from hyper-prolific sows. Research by Chantal Farmer has discovered the benefits of adding flax seed to gestating sow diets. The flax see aids in mammary development of both the sow and her female piglets.
  • The use of prebiotics as an alternative to antibiotic use for promoting gut health.
  • Maximizing the use of dietary co-products such as canola meal and distillers’ grains



Feeding wheat dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to weaned pigs

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Authors: Lifang Wang, Eduardo Beltranena, and Ruurd T. Zijlstra. Western Hog Journal Fall 2016.

Summary: This experiment evaluated including up to 20% wheat DDGS in weaned piglet diets. It was found that including high quantities of wheat DDGS in the diet reduced weight gain and increased feed conversion in the first week on test. The researchers recommended that when the price of soybean is quite high that slowly including wheat DDGS progressively into the diet.

Cooling systems for pigs a hot topic

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Author: Swine Innovation Porc. Canadian Hog Journal Spring 2018.

Summary: When pigs are being transported ventilation with in the trailer occurs through passive ventilation, there is no use of a cooling system. When the vehicle is not moving pigs have no way to cool down, which can have a fatal outcome. Trailers have been equipped with sprinkler systems that are turn on when the vehicle is stationary, however this in turn increases the humidity which can be more detrimental then just the high temperatures. Currently research focuses on combining the sprinkler system with mechanical ventilation. The mechanical ventilation aiding in decreasing the humidity of the trailer. This experiment resulted in nonuniform results as poorly designed compartments did not receive as much air flow as  the open compartments.

These researchers are also studying vibration rates within trailers. They are looking at whether rates of vibrations vary between compartments within the trailer.

Cooling Systems for Pigs a Hot Topic

EGF helps piglets get growing

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production, Swine Innovation by student on June 11, 2018 | No Comments

Author: Swine Innovation Porc. Canadian Hog Journal Spring 2018.

“We now have the ability to boost the growth of early weaned pigs and decrease the chance of infection while reducing the use of antibiotics and blood plasma”. – Dr. Li

Summary:  Naturally produced in the sows milk is EGF or epidermal growth factor which supports the development of the piglet’s intestine. Piglets are being weaned around 21 days which results in a decrease in milk consumption, as well as EGF. This decreased milk consumption can slow their growth and development. Through the use of a three week trial researchers were able to demonstrate the benefits of EGF supplementation of intestinal development. EGF supplementation enhanced piglet growth, body weight gain, and gain to feed ratio.

EGF Helps Piglets Get Growing

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