In this file:


·         State veterinarians work to prevent 'nail in the coffin' for pork industry

·         Biosecurity: It Takes Everyone

·         African Swine Fever Still Rampant a Year Since Outbreak in China, Magnitude of Its Impact Still Unknown



State veterinarians work to prevent 'nail in the coffin' for pork industry


By: Dana Ferguson, Grand Forks Herald

Aug 7th 2019


MORGAN, Minn. — State and national veterinary and agriculture experts are working to prevent a deadly illness in swine from entering the United States.


A panel of veterinarians and agriculture industry officials on Wednesday, Aug. 7, said the United States needs to beef up detection and security efforts to prevent African Swine Fever from penetrating the country.


The state's veterinary diagnostic lab and state veterinarian are taking steps to prepare for the disease should it hit Minnesota's swine herds, but they're hoping detection efforts will make their work unneeded.


“We’re trying to get as ready as we can in case this terrible virus hits close to home,” Dr. Jerry Torrison, director of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, said. "This is the worst thing a pig can get. It ravages the pig. They bleed out of everything."


African Swine Fever has decimated China's swine herds, the experts said, and the elimination of those herds has depressed the demand for soybeans that feed the swine. The disease has been detected in China as well as in parts of Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, Poland and Russia.


“It is definitely not a China problem any longer," Michael Nepveux, American Farm Bureau economist, said. "It’s a Southeast Asia problem."


ASF can't be spread to humans or to other species.


Aiming to stave off potential spread in the United States, the National Pork Producers Council canceled its Word Pork Expo in Iowa. Mark Schultz, marketing analyst at North Star Commodities, said...





Biosecurity: It Takes Everyone


Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

August 7, 2019


For Jarrod and Shari Bakker of Dike, Iowa, understanding “pig germs” is an important part of their operation’s success. Not only do the Bakkers run a 2,400 head contract wean-to-finish barn and have a herd of 50 showpig sows, but they also have three young children.


Shari says helping the kids understand biosecurity and how germs are spread is critical to their operation’s success. Their wean-to-finish barns are located six miles from where their showpigs are located. From day one, the kids have learned that they always wear different clothing to and from the finishing site, shower immediately after returning from the finishing site and make sure they always wear different shoes/boots.


“Our kids are still young, so we teach them biosecurity in terms of ‘germs.’ We talk about how important it is to limit new germs from being introduced to our pig herds. The kids get to pick out separate chore shoes to keep at the grow to finish building, as well as at our showpig operation, which gives them some ownership in biosecurity practices,” she says.


They’ve also taught their children about the dangers of driving from farm to farm and how easy it is to transfer diseases on truck tires and car mats.


“They have fun reminding each other about washing hands, changing clothes and shoes and taking showers in between farms right away,” she says. “When we attend livestock shows, the kids practice putting their show boots into bags and keeping them in the trailer, rather than wearing them into the truck or right back into the house or home barns. We teach them about keeping our show pigs separate from the gestational sows until we are sure they have come back healthy.”


At the end of the day, maintaining good health in their sow herd translates into healthy baby pigs that can then be sold to customers across the country, as well as to market. Getting those baby pigs off to a healthy start gives them a huge advantage in terms of growth and longevity for show stock, as well as breeding stock in the herd, Shari says.


“On our farm, biosecurity isn't limited to preventing diseases from entering our farm, but also to minimizing the exposure our hogs have to outside influences. This not only improves things like growth and lung function, but it also translates into healthy skin and hair, strong feet and legs and the ability to perform in the show ring and on the grow floor,” she adds.


African swine fever on the mind ...


more, including video report [1:39 min.]



African Swine Fever Still Rampant a Year Since Outbreak in China, Magnitude of Its Impact Still Unknown


Oklahoma Farm Report

07 Aug 2019


One full year has elapsed since African Swine Fever first appeared in China. Twelve months later, the situation continues to develop with new outbreaks spreading throughout Asia as well as other parts of the world. Good fortune and extreme vigilance has kept the disease from cropping up in our own country. Still, the devastating impacts to the global pork industry that have been left in the disease’s wake have been impossible to escape - some of which interpreted as positives for the domestic industry and potential export growth. Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, sat down this past week with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn during the 2019 Oklahoma Pork Congress to discuss those impacts and the current status of the ASF situation. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.


According to China’s government, ASF has infected approximately 1.2 million hogs within its herd. It also claims to have the disease contained. However, Lindsey is skeptical of whether or not the Chinese government is being totally forthcoming in exactly what is happening on the ground there. Instead, he is paying closer attention to what analysts at Rabobank are speculating - who suggest that China has probably lost up to 50% of its swine herd to the disease. With no vaccine for the deadly virus and given the relentless spreading of the disease as observed in other affected nations, it is doubtful China actually does in fact have the disease under control.


“So, there is a huge hole coming into the world’s pork supply. China is the world’s largest pork producer and by far the largest pork consumer. With the losses they’ve seen - you do the math - it’s a significant amount of the world’s pork supply,” Lindsey said. “I think the disease is just endemic in China and this is a very hardy virus that is difficult to clean up and will survive in the environment for an extended period. So, it will be very difficult to repopulated and get production ramped back up. Most projections say they are four to five years from being able to replace and grow their herd back to where it was and that’s assuming they get the disease under control now.”


While speculation swirls about just how significant the overall impacts will be, there is also consideration for the opportunities that this catastrophe presents.


According to Lindsey, because of the losses incurred from ASF, the world is expected to have 5% less protein on the global marketplace this year compared to last. He says this holds tremendous opportunity for US producers to fill that demand. Regardless if China buys it from the US or a competitor, he says there will still be holes the US is well-positioned to fill and capitalize on. The easiest solution, Lindsey offers though, is for the US and China to resolve their trade differences and begin filling their freezers with American pork. Of course, that is a decision that continues to be negotiated...


more, including audio [7:36 min.]