PRRS diagnostics not always straightforward

When it comes to porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRS), high sow death rates, abortion storms and poor nursery performance grab the headlines. But less familiar are milder cases and even those where a positive test is hard to find. Bottom line, there are many PRRS virus strains, and a strain can behave differently in different settings. “It’s easy to

Management is the best defense against Histophilus somni and sudden death in feeder calves

It’s something no one wants to see: You go out to check feedyard calves and find a nice one lying dead. Overall, the cattle look fine, just as they did yesterday. If another calf or two die the next day, Histophilus somni (H. somni) could be the culprit, and it’s time to call your veterinarian. The challenge is that this

Swine nutrition tips during a down market

There’s no question the US swine industry is struggling through a down market cycle. Jason Woodworth, Research Professor at Kansas State University, spoke to attendees at the Annual Four Star Pork Industry Conference held in Muncie, Indiana in September about nutritional strategies for feeding pigs during a down market.   “Unfortunately, the goal may be to lose the least amount

Adapting to industry changes keeps NC swine veterinarians moving forward

North Carolina was known to be a dream location to raise pigs. But now, according to veteran swine practitioner, Randy Jones, DVM (NCST ’85), doing business in a highly regulated state combined with the inflated cost of feedstuffs, fuel, labor, and the high rate of litigation, makes pig ownership a burden that seems only accessible to the biggest of integrators.

Step-by-step guide to recruit US farm labor from Mexico

Taylor Rock, production supervisor at Heimerl Farms based in Johnstown, Ohio, spoke at the Annual Four Star Pork Industry Conference held in Muncie, Indiana in September. Rock shared his experience working with TN visas used to recruit and secure on-farm labor in the US.   “I have experience and an idea about how to help you save some money and

Meeting consumer needs: what consumers want from their food and pork

Paul Kalmbach, Jr., President with Kalmbach Feeds, spoke to attendees at the Annual Four Star Pork Industry Conference held in Muncie, Indiana in September about consumer trends and their impact on the pork industry and what producers can do on their farms to meet consumer and industry needs.   Kalmbach challenged the audience to think about their farm and the

Independent practice owners need expansion opportunities to stay viable & grow

While Daniel Hendrickson, DVM (Purdue ‘14) entered the veterinary medicine segment after graduation from college and running a family swine operation for five years, he saw the opportunities veterinarians could have if they focused on making sure the family farm prospered and livestock opportunities were seized. Growing up in East Central Indiana, Dr. Hendrickson was immersed in the commercial- and

Four Star Veterinary Service adds two new veterinarians to its lineup

Always searching for opportunities to expand and enhance its services, Four Star Veterinary Service (FSVS) has brought two new veterinarians on board. Lucas Buehler and Alexander Strauch will both be based out of FSVS’ Minton Veterinary Service clinic in Chickasaw, Ohio. The addition of Buehler and Strauch brings the FSVS lineup to 25 veterinarians working from eight clinics located in

Heat stress is about more than temperature and humidity

Each summer high temperature and humidity are inevitable, and cattlemen try to prepare for those extreme periods. But many other factors can trigger heat stress in cattle and add to their overall stress, impacting the outcome, said Taylor Engle, DVM, Four Star Veterinary Clinic (FSVS). Producers should start by monitoring their 7-day weather outlook every day. Fortunately, there are many

Mentoring pays off BIG when attracting young swine vets to the industry

Laura Carroll, DVM (NCST ‘16) is a prime example of the trend in veterinary medicine. She grew up in the suburbs and had no ag background. Her original career path was heading toward human medicine when fate landed her a part time job at a veterinary clinic while in undergrad school. She developed a passion for veterinary medicine. “After graduating

How to manage sows with uniform body condition technique

Dr. Mark Knauer, Swine Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University, spoke at the Four Star Veterinary Pork Industry Conference held in Fort Wayne, Indiana in mid-September about the importance of maintaining ideal body condition in the sow herd. “Thin and fat sows reduce profit,” said Dr. Knauer. “With thin sows, we have animal wellbeing concerns and if you look

Hemorrhagic tracheitis requires attention

Swine producers may be facing an emerging respiratory condition without really knowing about it.