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Trump Address to Joint Session of Congress Viewed as Possible Pivot Point for Hog Markets

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 27, 2017

The Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services says tomorrow's address by U.S. President Donald Trump to a joint session of Congress is being viewed as a possible pivot point for North American hog markets.
The past week has seen considerable volatility in the hog market fuelled by the prospects of larger pork supplies and questions related to demand.
Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, says the market expects we'll be looking at three to four percent pork over the next six to eight months and, while all indications over the past six weeks or so have been that domestic demand for pork is quite good, the export side of the equation is uncertain.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services:
Most of the uncertainty in that comes from the possibility of some new trade and tax policy that could result in a de facto trade war with, for example, Mexico.
If that were to happen it would have very negative implications to the livestock markets, in particular to the lean hog market and I think the market has to factor in the possibility of that happening.
There's a lot of "if thens" to figure out what the scenario would be five or six months down the road but anything that leads to uncertainty in the future export trade does get factored into the market.
I think the possibility of him making an announcement when he addresses the joint session of congress, that's kind of possibly a pivot day that a lot of traders are referencing as the time for a possible announcement on a border tax or his new tax policy.

Fulton says that uncertainty is negatively biased on the demand side and is quite likely to be playing a factor in the weakness that we've been seeing.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Canadian Businesses Advised to be Prepared for Changing U.S. Trade Policies

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 27, 2017

The Vice President of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg says Canadian companies that do business in the U.S. need to be prepared for changes in U.S. trade policy.
The World Trade Centre Winnipeg is a member of the World Trade Centre Association headquartered in New York City and its mandate is to promote trade and investment and support Manitoba companies that are interested in doing business internationally.
In response to uncertainty resulting from changing trade policies under U.S. President Donald Trump, the World Trade Centre Winnipeg will host a seminar "What’s in it for U.S. eh?" tomorrow.
Derek Earl, the Vice President of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, says key issues right now relate to talk of ending NAFTA, the implications of expanding the "Buy American" policy, the possible reintroduction of Country of Origin Labelling and other ongoing trade issues such as softwood lumber.

Clip-Derek Earl-World Trade Centre Winnipeg:
Anything that leads to a quote "thickening of the border" will be definite issues that may affect exporters here.
If there's any changes to the NAFTA agreement that affect tariff levels or costs of doing business in the United States and how it might respond if there are more "Buy American" type of policies.
With the new administration being elected in the United States and talk of a different tone and perhaps a different direction when it comes to free trade and a different stance towards NAFTA, these are all areas of vital concern to Canada and to our business community as well.
It's certainly garnered a lot of attention and media coverage.

Earl suggests Canadian businesses that could be impacted by changing U.S. trade policies need to ensure they have access to the right information and that they have strategies in place to deal with any changes, whether that involves diversifying their markets or supply chains or looking at more investment led strategies where they build a presence in the United States as part of the platform to do business south of the border.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Prospects of New Trade and Tax Policy Pressures Hog Markets

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 24, 2017

The Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services blames uncertainty over trade for this week's dramatic drop in lean hog futures.
This week has seen considerable volatility within the hog market.
Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services observes lean  hog futures have dropped significantly, rooted largely in a cash market influence from the pork belly complex.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services:
Pork bellies are the primal cut that is the source for bacon and we were bumping up against near record high prices over the course of the past month or so and there really wasn't a lot of support for it, keeping in mind that pork production numbers and weights have all been significantly up from year ago levels.
So the flow of pork was still flowing quite heavy but there was some speculation in the market that there was a tight supply and quite simply the market couldn't sustain the levels that the pork bellies were trading at.
They were trading at approximately 180 to 185 dollars per hundredweight.
On Wednesday's trade alone they dropped 25 dollars per hundredweight which accounts for about a 12 to 13 percent drop, which is very significant for any one primal cut to make a move in one day.
That really shook the whole hog market and resulted in some significant selling and weakness in both the cash and futures markets.

Fulton says domestic demand for pork is quite good but the question is whether that demand can be sustained where as, on the export side the uncertainty comes from the possibility of new trade and tax policy that could result in a de facto trade war with, for example, Mexico which would be negative for livestock markets, particularly the lean hog market.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Diminishing Role of Antibiotics Expected to Expand Role of Microbiome in Promoting Health

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 24, 2017

A scientist with the University of Saskatchewan suggests, as the livestock industry's reliance on antibiotics diminishes, the role of the microbiome in maintaining health will expand.
The microbiome is a diverse population of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and  archaea, that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract.
As part of research being conducted in association with Swine Innovation Porc scientists are developing feeding strategies designed to enhance the ability of the that population to improve the health of the gastrointestinal tact.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science with University of Saskatchewan, says scientists have been developing the tools to get a better handle on who's present.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-University of Saskatchewan:
It's a very complex consortia of different species and different organisms and we're getting good at understanding who's there but we still don't know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys so the work going forward is really still about understanding which organism are contributing positively and which organisms are contributing negatively outside that group of pathogens that we know are bad guys.
We have absolutely demonstrated that there is a connection between the microbiome and the health of the host.
We probably haven't paid much attention to that relationship in the past where we've been able to use antibiotics to control the microbiome, to prevent any pathogen essentially from coming into the system so we've relied on that relationship in the past.
Going forward, in the absence of antibiotics or at least limiting antibiotics to use only when we have a confirmed infection, we have to rely more on other opportunities and that is really about the microbiome and our ability, can we adjust the relationship between the good and the bad and can we develop feeding strategies that predictably improve the performance and health of the pig.

Dr. Van Kessel says challenge is to develop strategies that promote the good at the expense of the bad.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Manitoba Slaughter Hog Numbers Show Early Signs of Rebounding

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 23, 2017

The General Manager of Manitoba Pork reports the province's pork industry is seeing the first signs of a rebound in the number of hogs available for processing.
Over the past decade a combination of factors has led to a decline in the number of hogs produced in Manitoba resulting in challenges for the province's pork processing plants in accessing the numbers of slaughter hogs necessary to operate at capacity.
Andrew Dickson, the General manager of Manitoba Pork, reports the numbers of pigs on farms, have crept up a little bit so we're back to where we were back in about 2006 in terms of numbers of animals on farms, productivity continues to improve and we've got producers now thinking of expanding their operations.

Clip-Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:
We've got a number of operators looking at whether they should expand their existing operations.
We've got some looking at building new facilities and we've got some service companies that provide, for example, genetics, they're looking at building new facilities here in Manitoba.
Its early days in terms of large numbers but it's a start.
It's better than what we were four or five years ago and we're hopeful.
The credit agencies have come to the table.
They're prepared to lend on new construction costs which has been a big help.
One of the processing plants is offering financial incentives to encourage people to build finishing barns so I think we're starting to see some real opportunities coming up in the next year.

Dickson notes the Canadian dollar is in the 74 to 76 cent range compared to the U.S, dollar so, when you translate the American hog price back into our price, there's margins in there if you're careful in terms of input costs and you lock in some of the higher prices being offered going forward into 2017.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Move to Group Housing Heightens Importance of Individualized Sow Nutrition

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 23, 2017

A Nutritionist with Gestal suggests the move to group housing of gestation sows has heightened the importance of the ability manage feed intake for each sow individually.
The latest update of Canada's Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, released in 2014, commits the pork industry to move to group sow housing.
Dr. Hyatt Frobose, a Nutritionist with Gestal, observes the grand challenge in group housing during gestation is that sows would generally like to eat a lot more feed than they need during pregnancy and this results in aggression around the feeding area if it's allowed to happen.

Clip-Dr. Hyatt Frobose-Gestal:
Some of the major challenges that exist in my opinion within the industry are around properly managing body condition of sows and particularly gilts prior to their first farrowing.
We often times apply general principles rather than applying individual feeding curves or properly targeting sows individual needs, particularly when it comes to over  feeding sows in late gestation which can translate to lower lactation feed intake, higher percentage of stillborns and a greater percentage of sow body weight loss during lactation, which ultimately results in her having a longer wean to estrus interval.
On the same token, if we provide too much feed at the wrong time in gestation, we can create additional feed wastage which, when feed costs are high, that obviously has a cost to the farm's bottom line.
And underfeeding sows also creates problems from additional aggression in gestation, particularly in group housing as well as improper body condition which can result in lower productivity, lower ovulation rates and thereby sows that can develop sores, develop lameness and ultimately get culled out of the herd more quickly.

Dr. Frobose notes a first parity sow will require additional nutrients because she's still growing while developing her pregnancy where as a fifth or sixth parity sow will have a lower maintenance requirement.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Pilot Testing of Canadian Pork Excellence Expected to be Complete by May

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 22, 2017

Manitoba Pork expects pilot testing and final revisions to Canadian Pork Excellence to be completed in time for the first official validations by January of next year.
Pilot testing of the Canadian Pork Council's new on farm food safety and animal care assurance program began early this month on 80 plus farms across Canada.
Mark Fynn, the Manager of Quality Assurance and Animal Care Programs with Manitoba Pork, told those attending Manitoba Pork's 2017 District Advisors Winter Meeting yesterday, Canadian Pork Excellence amalgamates the food safety assurance, animal care assurance and pig traceability programs.

Clip-Mark Fynn-Manitoba Pork:
To deal with food safety we have to understand that there's new expectations from our global market place.
There's a big push globally to really standardize how food safety certification programs are handled, to look at it under one standard and so we developed this program with those things in mind so that we could assure our global markets and our domestic markets that we're meeting a high global standard and provide that continuous food safety assurance that Canadian pork has always provided.
For the animal care assurance program we've incorporated all the requirements that were laid out in the 2014 Pig Code of Practice.
We see that as a document that really strikes a balance on what the animal care expectations should be and develop that with the group that was around the Code of Practice table.
We see that as a very important step to maintain public trust and ensure that all pigs across the country that are on our assurance programs are actually meeting a standard that the Canadian public can be happy about.

Fynn says the goal is finish the pilot testing by May, complete revisions to the program this summer and distribute finalized program materials to producers this fall, in time for the first official validations under the revised program in January.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Essential Oils Emerging as One Alternative to Antibiotics

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 22, 2017

The Head of Perdue University's Animal Science Department says the use of essential oils is emerging as one of the strategies that can help in reducing the livestock industry's reliance on the use of in feed antibiotics.
In Canada and the United States there's been ongoing pressure to reduce the amount of antimicrobials used in livestock feed, particularly for growth promotion but even for prevention of disease driven by concerns over antibiotic resistance that can spill over into human therapies.
Dr. Alan Mathew, the Head of Purdue University's Animal Science Department, says the use of essential oils is a new and emerging field because there are so many of these compounds that are being studied right now.

Clip-Dr. Alan Mathew-Purdue University'
Typically they're plant based.
The have some subtle effects on the gut microbiota, they may help with palatability and intake, which is very important in getting young pigs off to a good start.
Some seem to have beneficial effects.
Some are certainly bacteria killers, at least in the lab but how that plays out in the gut we don't quite understand yet.
There does seem to be some research that indicates they do change the gut microbiota slightly towards the beneficial organisms so they have a place in the strategy and they may help reduce some of the E. coli overgrowth that seems to be occurring when those pigs are troubled nutritionally.

Dr. Mathew says where we need to do better is understanding the complexity of this mass microbiome and vast array of bacteria of the gut so we can fully understand what the effects are when we apply these strategies and, what are they impacting.
He says we need to understand what species we want to facilitate and promote and suggests our newer molecular technologies where we can identify hundreds of species in the gut are helpful in advancing our knowledge and the efficacy of the different strategies.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Canadian and American Pork Producers Recognize Value of Trade

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 21, 2017

The Chair of Manitoba Pork says pork producers on both sides of the Canada U.S. border recognize the value of trade and value the essence of free trade.
Last week trade was among the items on the agenda as pork industry representatives gathered in Minneapolis for the Canada-U.S. Upper Midwest Pork Industry Summit.
George Matheson, the Chair of Manitoba Pork, observes there's a great deal of common ground among Canadian and American pork producers when it comes to the issue of trade.

Clip-George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
The Trump administration and the way the media, I would say, at times blows things out of proportion makes it sound like doom and gloom and it's a wild card in the future.
But for the time being, 20 percent f the pork consumed is American pork, our weanling pigs out of Manitoba, approximately three million a year continue to flow down and are welcomed by Minnesota and Iowa finishers so trade is moving well.
There's a fact that 2.5 to 2.6 million hogs are moving through plants every week, which is a cumbersome amount of pigs, means that demand is good and world wide trade out of this continent has been moving well.
Prices are reasonably good right now and that was not expected three or four months ago and that's mainly due to trade.
We all feel that and hope that Mr. Trump is a business man and realizes the value of free trade and will continue to be as it is today.

Matheson says 12 years of trade missions to the U.S. have put a face to the Canadian industry and U.S. producers recognize Canadian producers are not getting any government handouts and are at the mercy of the market place.
He says producers in both countries realize the importance of trade and value the essence of free trade.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Changing Attitudes to Animal Welfare Increasingly Reflected in Behaviour

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 21, 2017

A Professor with the University of Melbourne says consumers are becoming more involved in animal welfare issues and that involvement is starting to have a greater impact on their behaviour.
"How Public Attitudes Predict Community Behaviours" was discussed earlier this month as part of the 2017 Manitoba Swine Seminar.
Professor Grahame Coleman, a Professor in the Animal Welfare Science Centre at the University of Melbourne, observes the kinds of things people do with respect to animal welfare in the community have increased over the past ten years.

Clip-Professor Grahame Coleman-University of Melbourne:
People are more likely to call talkback radio, to talk to friends and family about animal welfare issues and this probably reflects a tendency for them to have a greater influence in the community about animal welfare matters and so that increases the likelihood that governments and that other bodies are going to respond in a way to address what they see to be the changes in community values.
The distribution of attitudes express much more concern about animal welfare but those concerns tend to correlate more with some of the things that people do.
For example, in pork purchasing generally speaking, concerns about animal welfare are not a major consideration but, if we look at the extent to which peoples' attitudes toward animal welfare are associated with pork purchasing behaviour, that's increased substantially over this last 10 years.
In some the attitudes probably reflect greater concern but, more importantly, those attitudes are now translating a little bit more into outcomes and the same applies to other community behaviours like calling talk back radio or talking amongst their friends or what ever.

Professor Coleman says any changes made by industry in response to changing public attitudes need to be government by both changing values and good science and in a way that makes sense rather than just as a knee jerk reaction to public opinion.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Unresolved Technical Issues Could Delay Canadian Beef and Pork Access to Europe Under CETA

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 17, 2017

The Canadian Meat Council fears unresolved technical issues could delay the movement of Canadian pork and beef into Europe under the Compensative Economic and Trade Agreement.
On Tuesday the European Parliament approved the Compensative Economic and Trade Agreement and the bill has arrived in the Canadian Senate for approval before moving to parliament for Royal assent, at which time a time line can be established for implementation, which could happen by May.
Ron Davidson, the Director of International Trade, Government and Media Relations with Canadian Meat Council, says several technical issues still need to be resolved before Canadian beef and pork processors will be able to take full advantage of the agreement.

Clip-Ron Davidson-Canadian Meat Council:
In the case of pork it would be the application of the Canadian health mark.
There have been discussions with the European Union for the better part of a year now on the application of the Canadian health mark, as that would greatly facilitate our exports to the European Union rather than having to apply a health mark in the cold storage.
When the product is in cold storage it doesn't necessarily all go to Europe.
Companies may decide to take some of that product and ship it to other markets.
Product can come out of the area that's reserved for the European Union.
Nothing goes in there and we would like to be able to use of the Canadian health mark.
Until that gets approved it would be very difficult for pork to take advantage of the
agreement.
We see absolutely no reason why the issues that are affecting pork can not be resolved before that.
We need to have them set up well before that date so the commercial pipelines can begin to be set up.

Davidson says, in the case of beef, the primary issue is Canada's use of antimicrobial interventions.
He says the beef and veal industry is working with the Canadian government to undertake additional research which will be used to apply to the European Food Safety Authority for approval, but that will likely take several months.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Canadian Businesses Advised to Pay Attention to Changing U.S. Trade Conditions

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 17, 2017

Canadian business that have dealings with customers in the U.S. are being advised to pay close attention to changes on the trade front.
The seminar "What’s in it for U.S. eh?" which will be hosted February 28 by the World Trade Centre Winnipeg will look at the uncertainty for Canada's business and trade relations with the United States resulting from the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President.
Derek Earl, the Vice President of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, notes Canada's economic well being depends on a healthy trade relationship and, with talk of a different tone when it comes to trade, this is of vital concern to Canada.

Clip-Derek Earl-World Trade Centre Winnipeg:
The top issues that are getting a lot of discussion relate to the future of NAFTA, linking Canada, the U.S. and Mexico and ongoing questions of market access.
If there's talk of ending NAFTA, what does that mean for privileged and free trade access we have to the market, so that's a big area.
Some other concerns that tend to be voiced is around the issue of "Buy American" and to what extent this policy might be tightened up on the U.S. side or come back into force which is a policy that favors U.S. suppliers in certain situations or whether that becomes more prevalent as a broader attitude with U.S. buyers or importers.
Other questions such as the Country of Origin Labelling  which has affected the ag industry and the pork industry for example and other issues that have always lingered between the two countries like softwood lumber would be other areas where we might expect to see some discussion or some changes around these areas.

Earl says Canadian business that have a U.S. presence need to be paying close attention and for the most part they are because anything that leads to a thickening of the border and any changes to NAFTA that affect tariff levels or costs of doing business in the United States may affect exporters here.
For more on the What’s in it for U.S. eh? seminar or to register visit wtcwinnipeg.com.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Coordinated Canada U.S. Approach Needed for Dealing with Swine Disease

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 16, 2017

The Chair of Manitoba Pork suggests the Canadian and U.S. pork industries can best address the risks posed by swine disease and prepare for the potential introduction of a foreign animal disease outbreak by working together.
On Tuesday pork industry representatives gathered in Minneapolis for the Canada-U.S. Upper Midwest Pork Industry Summit.
The primary focus of the summit was swine health and how stakeholders in the U,S. and Canada can work together to mitigate the diseases that affect swine.
George Matheson, the Chair of Manitoba Pork, says we have a big long open border and we need a continental approach to disease management in North America and we need better information sharing about disease incidence and prevalence.

Clip-George Matheson-Manitoba Pork:
I think over the past 12 years, especially with Manitoba visiting Iowa, Minnesota for their pork congresses and their summer pork expo we've put a face to the industry and helped both sides realize that we're integrated and we have a great many similarities so we may as well battle our foes together so to speak.
In Canada we have the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network.
Its counterpart in the U.S. is the Swine Health Information Center so we're both after the same thing.
I would say the information in North America is very good.
What I think we have to work on though in the future is diseases around the world, where they are, what they are and what the chances are of them moving into North America.

Matheson says there is a recognition that there needs to be a plan in place in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak.
He says it's something everyone hates to think about but a basic plan at least is needed for mass euthanasia and disposal of animals and the feeling is the two industries can collaborate and come up with such a plan together.
For farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




MSU Survey to look at How Pork Producers Access Extension

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 16, 2017

Michigan State University is inviting swine veterinarian, extension educators, applied researchers and genetics companies to participate in a survey to determine how pork producers access extension information.
A survey conducted by Michigan State University to learn how pork producers use behavior in their on farm management found the most successful technique for minimizing aggression in pigs is to allow piglets to intermingle with other litters before weaning and to avoid mixing unfamiliar pigs as much as possible.
Dr. Sarah Ison. a post doctoral fellow in the Animal Science Department of Michigan State University, says a follow up survey is now being conducted to look at how producers access extension.

Clip-Dr. Sarah Ison-Michigan State University:
Over the next eight months we're going to be compiling all the data ready for publication in scientific journals but also each of the key pieces of information, we're going to make into fact sheets which we plan to publish on the MSU Pork extension web site.
We're currently conducting a follow up survey based on the questions to producers about how and where they receive information about pig management.
Firstly we're targeting pig veterinarians, extension educators and applied researchers to see how they're communicating information onto the pork producers regarding research advances in different areas.
We're also going to ask genetics companies about the selection traits they use to breed the next generation of the breeding herd and to find out how well their breeding falls in line with the producers.

Dr. Ison invites anyone interested in accessing the educational materials being developed or participating in the follow up the survey to contact her at shison@msu.edu.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Nutritional Choices Influence Gut Health in Swine

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 15, 2017

A scientist with the University of Alberta says, by considering nutrition, pork producers can foster conditions that will support a more healthy microbial population within the gut of the pig.
The microbiome, a diverse consortium of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and archaea, that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, contains organisms that are both beneficial and detrimental to animal health and productivity.
Swine Innovation Porc has identified strategies to improve gut health as one option for helping reduce the need for antibiotics within pork production.
Dr. Ben Willing, the Canada Research Chair in Microbiology of Nutrigenomics with the University of Alberta, says diet can certainly influence the microbial population within the gut.

Clip-Dr. Ben Willing-University of Alberta:
There's certainly opportunity to support populations of microbes by having things like fibre in the diet that encourage some of the microbes that we know are a bit more favorable to proliferate.
We also know that things like antibiotics are going to have an impact on the microbial population.
Often those impacts of the antibiotics, while they're important in killing the pathogens, sometimes they kill those beneficial bacteria and that makes that animal maybe a little bit less healthy.
There's a lot of early research that's happening now and this has actually been a priority identified by Swine Innovation Porc is understanding which microbes are helping drive beneficial processes, how diets can be used to manipulate and support that microbiome to be beneficial and even finding microbes that maybe we can introduce.
Maybe a little bit different from probiotics in that they're specifically derived or isolated from the pig intestinal tract as, this is an organism that should be there and that maybe some pigs are missing.

Dr. Willing anticipates further advances in the coming years in identifying which dietary components can drive a beneficial microbiome.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Improved Use of AI Offers to Increase Access to Superior Swine Genetics

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 15, 2017

PIC's Global Gene Transfer Centre's Quality Assurance Manager says, by making more efficient use of artificial insemination, North American pork producers can increase the level of access to superior swine genetics.
"How to Make Better Use of Superior Genetics" was discussed earlier this month as part of the 2017 Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg.
Dr. Hanneke Feitsma, PIC's Global Gene Transfer Centre's Quality Assurance Manager, says, by reducing waste, producers can increase access to higher index boars.

Clip-Dr. Hanneke Feitsma-PIC:
That is employing skilled people, train them properly.
Heat detection is key.
Proper heat detection and time of insemination is key as well.
A lot of inadequacies in the breeding management are masked by either more cells in a dose or more does per cycle.
The thing the industry should pick up, I think, is investing in good transport.
I think a lot of damage is done during transport.
Semen is vulnerable, membranes damage and then the storage in the farm, I think there's a lot of opportunity to improve that.
Typically a dose would be useable three to four days and, when you are able to sustain the viability, of the semen longer, there's less waste.
I still think a lot of farms actually use semen when it's older but it will decrease their results, so in fact they ineffectively use the genetic potential that is available.
By getting all these little things and factors and details right, you need less semen.
At this point, in Europe typically they use five doses per sow per year where as here it's about eight or nine doses.
It's a lot more.

Dr. Feitsma says new developments in technology are great but we can gain a lot of opportunities by just doing the basics well.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Early Piglet Nutrition Key to Optimal Lifetime Performance

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 14, 2017

An Associate Professor with Perdue University suggests, by focusing on early nutrition that stimulates gut development, pork producers can increase productivity throughout the life of the pig.
Piglets traditionally make the switch from mother's milk to solid feed at about three weeks of age.
Dr. Kola Ajuwon, an Associate Professor with Purdue University, says that period, prior to weaning, is most critical in terms of gut development.

Clip-Dr. Kola Ajuwon-Purdue University:
The newly born pig has a very immature gut at birth and it's still not ready to start digesting feed.
That's why it is essential that newly born piglet is able to get enough colostrum and milk because those factors help in the development of the gut.
From birth to weaning the gut undergoes critical development stages.
The gut structures expand tremendously in size as well as capacity to digest and absorb nutrients.
So, one of the key factors is that the pig has to have feed as soon as it is born.
It has to have feed because it's that process of ingesting feed, taking colostrum, taking milk, that is what really stimulates the development of the gut.
Producers also have to be aware that, in that litter of pigs, they have to look at the very small pigs, the vulnerable pigs because those are the ones that the larger pigs out compete and those are the ones that go off feed and don't get enough feed.
They need to make sure their pigs eat very well after birth and also keep an extra eye on the smaller pigs in the litter.

Dr. Ajuwon says a good gut sets up the pig up for good health and good growth performance.
He says, if a pig's growth is retarded early on it can be retarded for life so it's essential for pigs to be well fed early on.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Winter Wheat Now in Greatest Demand as Livestock Feed

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 14, 2017

The Executive Director of Winter Cereals Canada reports the bulk of western Canada's winter wheat crop is now moving into the livestock feed market.
Winter wheat acreages increased last fall in Saskatchewan, held steady in Alberta and declined in Manitoba and good snow cover this winter has helped protect the crops that were planted from winter kill.
Jake Davidson, the Executive Director of Winter Cereals Canada, reports an increasing percentage of the winter wheat grown in western Canada is now being sold as feed.

Clip-Jake Davidson-Winter Cereals Canada:
Right now the winter wheat crops tend to be going more into the feed market and more of a general purpose market because that's what the grain companies are buying them for.
Under the old Wheat Board, the Wheat Board promoted winter wheat into the Asian milling markets and so because of its specialty features such as super white flour and so on and that was a big deal.
But the private grain companies are not treating it as a potential high value export crop so it tends to be leaning more into feed.
Protein is not why you buy grain.
The winter wheat crop tends to run in the 10 and a half to 11 protein but has very good starch levels which means the energy levels are good so it makes excellent pig and chicken feed.
Especially with the burgeoning market in the prairies on the soybeans and so on, there's an awful lot of people now processing soybeans, either roasting them or extruding them so protein is not a restricting factor anywhere, easy to get.
So the positive side on the winter wheat crop is a high energy grain source.

Davidson says growers are getting over a dollar more per bushel for winter wheat from pig farmers than they're being offered by the grain companies.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Odor Dispersion Tools Popular for Assessing Potential for Odor from Proposed Livestock Operations

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 13, 2017

The use of computer models to assess the potential dispersion of odor from proposed livestock operations in the United States has become a popular method for predicting the potential of impact of odor.
"Odor Mitigation Strategies" was among the topics discussed as part of the 2017 Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg.
Dr. Erin Cortus, an Environmental Quality Engineer with South Dakota State University, says, in South Dakota, the South Dakota Odor Footprint Tool, a tool similar to one used in Nebraska which originated in Minnesota, is being used to assess the potential for odor.

Clip-Dr. Erin Cortus-South Dakota State University:
The basic concept behind how they work is it looks at what are the odor sources on a farm.
What are the barns, what are manure storages and what types are they?
Then it looks at the surface area of these sources, so it takes the surface area, uses some literature data on odor emissions for those particular types of sources and then it uses that with historical weather data and background dispersion modeling to then estimate, from a source, what are the distances from that source to reach annoyance free levels.
These odor footprint tools are freely available on the different extension web sites for the different states.
As an extension specialist with SDSU, I've had calls in the past from producers wanting to use it at a local government hearing for example.
They want to show that they've made an assessment of what the potential odor impact is.
I've had local county governments contact me to understand what is the odor impact from a facility or type of facility.
As facilities grow, what's the potential impact for odor impacts?
Then I've had neighbors.
They hear an expansion is going to happen at a local farm.
What is the potential impact of odor on them and so I can use that tool or work with them or provide it to them, however they want to work it and can start to look at some scenarios as well.

Dr. Cortus says, once the potential odor footprint has been determined, producers can consider a variety of options to reduce the odor footprint.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork




Livestock Producers Encouraged to Use Available Tools to Demonstrate Commitment to Animal Welfare

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Farmscape for February 13, 2017

The President of the Ag and Food Exchange is encouraging livestock producers to use the tools they have available to demonstrate the emphasis they place on animal welfare.
Social media has dramatically increased the level of discussions surrounding livestock production.
Geraldine Auston, the President of the Ag and Food Exchange, notes opponents of animal agriculture are using a variety of tactics to grab the public's attention.

Clip-Geraldine Auston-Ag and Food Exchange:
They protest or hold vigils outside of processing facilities where animals are being delivered for processing.
The will visit farms of they'll go to restaurants and grocery stores and that sort of thing and go into the isles within those areas within grocery stores that use animal products and their strategy is to make the public aware.
With farmers, on these strategies, what they should be doing is using the tools within their power.
The number one thing that farmers do well is care for their animals and being able to use what they know and how they do those things to make the public aware as well that equally there are people that are concerned about that production and people that don't agree with that production but the farmers are doing a good job in raising animals.
It's a funny thing about farmers.
They're busy doing their job of taking care of things on the farm and they're not always looking out to, we need to be talking to the public about this and sharing what we do.
They do have their provincial organizations.
Some provinces have the Farm and Food Care groups.
In Alberta we've got Alberta Farm Animal Care.
There's a lot of groups that are out there that are available to go out and talk about what farmers do on their farms on a regular basis and bring people back to the farm.

Auston says many people don't understand anymore what happens on a farm so unveiling some of that mystery will help a lot with the consumers understanding that farmers are committed to good welfare.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork