Assessing the need, project development and impact of the National Swine Reproduction Troubleshooting and Management Guide

Wednesday, July 23, 2014: 11:30 AM
2102A (Kansas City Convention Center)
Donald Levis , Levis Worldwide Swine Consultancy, Lincoln, NE
Mark Estienne , Virginia Tech, Suffolk, VA
William Flowers , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Rodney Baker , Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Robert Knox , University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
Kenneth Stalder , Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Timothy Safranski , University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Mark Knauer , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Wayne Singleton , Purdue University, Lafayette, IN
David J. Meisinger , Validus, Urbandale, IA
Chelsey Branderhorst , US Pork Center of Excellence, Clive, IA
William Winkelman , National Pork Board, Clive, IA
Abstract Text:

An assessment of university Cooperative Extension swine programs in the United States revealed lack of a tool for troubleshooting reproductive problems at the farm level.  Moreover, there are an extremely small number of extension specialists academically trained in reproductive physiology of pigs who are able to conduct troubleshooting and on-going educational programs at the farm level.  Thus, pork producers rely on themselves, veterinarians, or other consultants to improve reproductive performance of the breeding herd.  A major role of university Cooperative Extension/Outreach is to provide scientific based information to help pork producers and consultants solve swine reproductive problems.  The United States Pork Center of Excellence organized a group of nine university Extension swine specialists to develop a National Swine Reproduction Troubleshooting and Management Guide (NSR-TMG) for use by all pork producers and pork industry consultants. The NSR-TMG uses a question and answer format. The NSR-TMG has three main areas:  (1) Problems with replacement gilts, (2) Problems with sows, and (3) Problems with semen quality.  The replacement gilt segment focuses on problems associated with attainment of puberty and expression of estrus, problems resulting from a gilt pool that is too small, and problems that lead to poor litter size or reduced farrowing rate of gilts.  The sow segment focuses on problems associated with reduced longevity due to high culling rate, low farrowing rate, low litter size, prolonged weaning-to-service interval and high pre-weaning mortality of pigs.  The semen quality segment focuses on record keeping, semen delivery and storage, semen evaluation, and on-farm semen collection and processing.  The program has answers for over 1,000 questions.  The answers are supported by a list of 648 references.  Some references are available by linkage. The NSR-TMG is a web-based application, user-friendly, applicable for use by any size of sow farm, and easily accessed through personal computer, smart phones and tablets.  Because the NSR-TMG is web-based, it will be easily updated. The project was partially funded by numerous pork industry partners.  There is a yearly license fee to obtain access to the NSR-TMG.  University and college instructors have free access to train students.  The NSR-TMG is being used to improve reproductive performance of the sow herd by independent pork producers, large corporate swine operations, swine genetic companies, veterinarians, swine nutrition consultants, and university instructors. The actual financial impact of the NSR-TMG is difficult to measure at the farm-level.

Keywords:  Swine Reproduction Troubleshooting