The first 2021 edition of Pig Progress is now available online. Between the covers of this edition is an exploration of wild boar farming in Finland, a considered approach to breeding for robustness as a way forward, and a look towards the USA, where a new administration took office.
The 2019 ASF outbreaks in China resulted in losses of at least 40% of the country’s sow herd, but it also meant record prices and profits. The country is now on the rebound and new swine facilities are being built. But, there’s reason to believe that the epidemic is far from over… Read the article on pages 6-8.
The EU PiG Innovation featured in this edition is the focus on meat quality and the union of the local Basque pork breed, land and men. Correspondent Natalie Berkhout reports on the innovation on page 9 where can be read about the work done by the ambassador, pig breeder and artisan producer, Pierre Oteiza, in France.
A new batch of pigs is typically managed based on historical data from previous batches. Could real-time data replace historic data, and might this approach be more valuable? On pages 10-11, Dr Katarina Nielsen Dominiak in Denmark discusses a trial that set out to answer these questions.
Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek, describes long-standing contributor and columnist, John Gadd, as a “remarkable character, whose contributions reflected his many passions”. Sadly, John passed away in August 2020, and this article on pages 12-13 reflects on the journey that the magazine enjoyed with this well-known and highly respected pig expert.
There have been many discussions and inquiries on vitamin deficiencies, says columnist and president of the Sunswine Group, Casey Bradley. On page 15, she talks about whyit is important to rethink what is truly optimal in our diets – what might’ve been optimal 2 years ago could be deficient tomorrow.
The 2021 edition of EuroTier was not held in November, nor was it held in Germany, nor were there halls to walk through and explore. The show did go on, however, it all took place on a virtual platform. On pages 16-17, Pig Progress editor, Vincent ter Beek, picks several highlights.
Wild boar are farmed in Finland, where their meat is considered a delicacy. Although the country is free from ASF, the virus has been detected in nearby Russia. Correspondent Matti Turtiainen visits Korpikarju Game Farm to discover how wild boar are farmed and protected. Read more on pages 18-20.
Breeding for robustness is the method of selecting individual pigs with improved response to a specific pathogen, or to several diseases. Pig Progress editor, Vincent ter Beek, discussed this concept with Dr Jenelle Dunkelberger, geneticist at Topigs Norsvin, to learn more. Read these insights on pages 22-23.
Genetic selection in pigs typically focuses on economically important traits. Balanced breeding programmes, however, increasingly include and improve societally important traits and contribute to improved animal welfare and reduced environmental impact. Read more on pages 24-25.
A new administration was installed in Washington, DC, on 20 January 2021. Biden’s selection for agriculture secretary is Tom Vilsack. The reaction from the US agriculture community – and beyond – has been both swift and negative. Read more on pages 26-27.
Performance trace minerals can assist the immune system, thereby helping swine producers reduce losses associated with clinical and subclinical ileitis. Pages28-29.
An enzyme can help optimise feed usage, and multiple enzymes can reinforce each other. Phytases and carbohydrases are the most regularly added enzymes to pig diets. Read about using combinations of carbohydrases, the antinutritional impact of dietary fibre and sustainable improvements on pages 30-31.
Columnist Irene Camerlink, an interdisciplinary researcher focusing on pig behaviour, welfare and production, discusses on page 34 how opportunities for specialisation have greatly expanded and how pig farmers can benefit.