Prairie Swine Centre

 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:


Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by PSCI on July 6, 2017 | No Comments

Four pig farms were studied to assess the barn workers’ exposure to hydrogen sulphide (H2S) while pulling pit plugs and power-washing production rooms. Results indicated that plug pulling generated high concentrations of H2S reaching 1,000 ppm in some cases. All the farms studied had plug pulling events that exceeded limits defined by the Occupational and Safety Regulations of Saskatchewan. The H2S released when a plug was pulled did not follow a predictable pattern over time and within the room space. Power washing generated lower H2S concentrations than plug pulling but workers were exposed for a longer time period. Based on this study, swine barn workers may be exposed to H2S concentrations that exceed acceptable limits when pulling pit plugs and power-washing rooms. Personal monitors should be provided to all barn workers and training and standard operating procedures are needed so workers can learn how to deal with routine operations and emergency situations when high H2S concentrations are generated .



Posted in: Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by PSCI on | No Comments

Variation in bodyweight has a large impact on the profitability of pork production in western Canada.

Variation is measured as either standard deviation or coefficient of variation.

Reasonable targets for CV are 20% of weaning weights, 12 to 15% for nursery exit weights and I 0 to 12% for weight at first pull from the finishing barn.

The number of animals that must be weighed in order to accumtely estimate CV is greater than that required to estimate the avemge weight.

More animals must be weighed at younger ages, because variation as a proportion of the mean is much higher.

If the CV for bodyweight in the feeder barn is above I 5%, reducing it is a reasonable possibility, and probably includes increasing access to feed and water and addressing health problems. if present.

If the CV in growout is less than 12%. then the best strategy is to management variability, as reducing it will be very difficult.


Focus on the future conference schedule 2003

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by PSCI on July 5, 2017 | No Comments

This document outlines the speeches that were held at the 2003 Focus on Future conference.

Focus on the future conference

Tallow and Energy for Grow-Finish Pigs -Monograph

Posted in: Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Uncategorized by PSCI on | No Comments

This experiment was conducted as a follow-up to a previous experiment conducted at the Prairie Swine Centre, which showed that pigs are able to achieve equivalent performance across diets of quite differing energy concentration. These results flew in the face of conventional wisdom, which suggests that increasing dietary energy concentration, notably through the additional of fat, will result in faster growth. This experiment was therefore conducted to re-evaluate this question, and determine if increasing dietary energy concentration would improve pig performance. The experiment was also designed to evaluate the impact of dietary energy concentration on carcass quality and on the uniformity of growth.

The results of this experiment, conducted on a commercial piggery, confirmed that higher energy diets
can be successfully fed without an adverse effect of carcass quality. Despite the fact that the DE content
of the diet increased by 10%, there was no impact on backfat thickness, lean yield or carcass index.
Indeed, the higher energy diet tended to increase loin thickness. Based on performance, carcass quality and financial return, the lower energy feeding program was once again equal to, or superior to, the higher energy programs. In this experiment, the same energy level was fed throughout; it would appear from the data that the most effective feeding program would be one that employs higher energy levels in the growing and early finishing phases, perhaps up to 80 kg, with lower energy levels used thereafter. This would take advantage of the improved growth on the higher energy diets observed during the first 6 weeks in this experiment, and save money by lowering energy during the final phase of growout, when energy did not elicit a growth response. Since 56% of the feed consumed by pigs on this experiment occurred beyond 80 kg bodyweight, substantial savings could accrue from feeding the lower energy diets after 80 kg.

Alternative Housing Systems

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Uncategorized by PSCI on June 14, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation shows changes to the barn layout at Prairie Swine Center.

Alternative Housing Systems – B Andries

Prairie Swine Centre Antibiotic Benchmarking Project

Posted in: Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by PSCI on June 13, 2017 | No Comments

• Antibiotic benchmarking projects – 2013/2015
• Data

  • All antibiotic used for a year
  • Feed, water & injectable
  • All stages of production
  • All types of antibiotics
  • Treatment records
  • Farm inventory at various stage


• 2013 antibiotic use at PSC low
• Were able to reduce further, without compromising welfare

Henry Gauvreau – Prairie Swine Centre Antibiotic Benchmark- Nov 2016


Bringing Precision Agriculture to the Pork Industry

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Press Releases by PSCI on June 6, 2017 | No Comments

Precision farming is now a commonly accepted term. In a decade, it has become the standard in pursuit of best management practice. Precision agriculture is a way of thinking about your farm and it is raising the bar for the whole industry on what is possible to measure and thus manage. It includes all aspects of arable farming, from seeding rate to spraying only spots that require it, to continuous yield monitoring on combines replacing the grain weigh buggy. The data stream coming out of this technology places resources such as fertilizer or pesticide just where its required-and creates a database that allows analysis for impact of environmental (soil, moisture)  conditions. In short, allocation of expensive resources linked to collection of yield data. I expect that nothing will push net income up quicker on well-managed farms, and thus reinforce to management the value of the technology.

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From Field to Feeder – Dealing With Mycotoxins

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

Mycotoxins of concern in Canada are:
– Trichothecenes
• Deoxynivalenol (DON), Nivalenol (NIV), T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin
– Zearalenone (ZEN)
– Fumonisins
– Ochratoxin (ochratoxin A (OA)
– Ergot
– Aflatoxins (primarily in imported feeds)

This presentation outlines a series of studies into reducing or eliminating the effects of mycotoxins as well as the effects of various mycotoxins.

From Field to Feeder – Dealing with Mycotoxins – Denise Beaulieu Prairie Swine Centre 

Management strategies for the farrowing sow and her piglets

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

• Needs of the sow & her piglets
• Wild vs Domestic life…
• What can we do for the sow?
• What can we do for piglets?
– Basic care in farrowing
– Preparation for weaning
• Conclusions

• In farrowing: consider the sow- her feeding, comfort and behaviour
• For piglets: the farrowing room is an important learning environment!
• Increased experience of feed, social interaction and varied materials will reduce fear and help prepare pigs to grow

Novel Management Strategies for the Farrowing Sow and Her Piglets – Jennifer Brown, Prairie Swine Centre [Compatibility Mode]

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