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The Maschhoffs: Progressive farming, family style

1 8629 Breeding

The Maschhoffs is the United States' third largest swine producer, harvesting 3.5 million slaughter pigs and 0.5 million feeder pigs per year – and still growing. Keen to learn more about the family business, Pig Progress travelled to Illinois.
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In terms of quality control, audits and assessments are carried out on a regular basis, whereby The Maschhoffs has a layered approach with a field adviser carrying out regular checks at each site. Major audits are carried out every few years. Looking to the future, The Maschhoffs is looking to develop ISO–like animal care quality management programmes.
 
 
The Maschhoffs in figures
The Maschhoffs owns 100% of pigs. Production partners provide the buildings and daily animal care, The Maschhoffs provides pigs and feed.
 
Pig farms can be found in various states throughout the USA. The home farm is located in Carlyle, Illinois. This one houses 12,000 sows and 560 sows farrow here per week. In total, 6,000 piglets are weaned every week. The facility has 11 slurry lagoons, with a total 114,000 m3capacity. Other farms are located in Illinois, Indiania, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia and Alabama.
Feed mills, as of 2010 can be found in three main locations. Carlyle, IL (company headquarters) produces 5,000 tonnes/week and can produce 150 different rations. Other operations are in Buckeye, IA (5,000 tonnes/week) and in Griggsville, IL (5,000 tonnes/week).
A research facility (see photo), called Georgia, is located in New Minden, IL. It consists of a field trials facility the size of 60 pens for 30 pigs each. The operation is used for testing before implementing findings commercially. The site is a tunnel ventilated, curtain sided facility. Areas researched are nutrition, management, environment, genetics, all in conjunction with University of Illinois.
• Near the company’s headquarters, Riverview genetics can be found, spread out over two isolation sheds with 75 pens in each. Here, 300 boars are kept, collected weekly in four rooms. Every day, 2,200 doses of semen are sent via an underground vacuum tube system to the lab after collection. Four genetic PIC lines are used. Two more boar studs can be found in Missouri.
 
 
 
 
The Maschhoffs effluent storage
Manure is stored in deep concrete pits and lagoons, providing long-term storage so that manure can be applied to crop land after harvest or prior to spring planting. Manure applied must balance nutrient needs of the relevant crops, in accordance with state legislation. Application is by dragline injection and centre pivot irrigation. Injection equipment incorporates GPS guidance systems and emergency shut offs. The company has three dragline crews, with each crew applying about 132,000 m 3 of effluent annually.
 
 

 

Photo

by Stuart Lumb

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One comment

  • # 1

    Dan Curran

    I'm from St. Louis, but I was in Koror, Palau on my son's sailboat. We went into town one day for groceries and I found a pork tenderloin in the freezer section. I figured that would be good to grill so we wouldn't have to heat up the cabin area.

    Well was I surprised when I thawed the package and found that this pork tenderloin came all the way to Palau from 60 miles from my home, 10,000+ miles away. Everything available in Palau comes in by way of the Philippines, so figure the route this little pig traveled.

    I just thought you might be interested in the travels of your products. It turned out great by the way.

    Dan Curran

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