Hidden Opportunities: Vita Plus Swine Summit 2016 Recap

Posted on April 12, 2016 in Swine Performance

About 200 pork producers, Vita Plus employee owners and industry peers met in Morton, Minnesota for Vita Plus Swine Summit 2016 on March 30 and 31.  In addition to networking with their peers, attendees learned about the latest trends in pork production, management and markets from industry experts. 

Preventing sow lameness is a wise goal

Posted on February 4, 2016 in Swine Performance

By Dr. Leah Gesing
Generally, a replacement gilt does not pay for herself until she has farrowed at least three litters  For each additional litter a sow has beyond the third, the fixed cost of piglet production drops drastically.  As a result, increasing longevity and reducing sow culling must be a key focus of any profitable pork operation. 

Managing market weights can have significant profit impacts

Posted on January 18, 2016 in Swine Performance

By Nate Brown
It wasn’t very long ago when it seemed pork producers couldn’t get pigs heavy enough because the base price was so good the marginal income over feed continued to drop profit into the bottom line. 

Times have changed.

Better margins with increased feed efficiency

Posted on December 1, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing During periods of slim margins in swine production, this may be the best time to place a sharper focus on the “small things” you can do to improve feed efficiency, thereby improving the profitability of your operation. Two ways to impact feed efficiency are to make changes to the actual form

More clarity on upcoming antibiotic rules

Posted on October 27, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing 2017 seems like a long way off, but we know “time flies” and it won’t be long before the full effect of the upcoming rules regarding antibiotics and the veterinary feed directive (VFD) are felt by producers. Beginning on January 1, 2017, all antibiotics deemed medically important by the Food and

Engage Your Team to Retain Quality Employees

Posted on October 5, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing The list of challenges facing pork producers can sometimes seem overwhelming.  The threat of new or emerging diseases, impending new rules on the use of antibiotics, and the ongoing challenge of maintaining profitability top the lists of many producers’ concerns. Another crucial challenge for swine operations is the need to find

Effectively using mold inhibitors and mycotoxin binders

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Some parts of the Midwest experienced extended periods of both rainfall and drought this summer.  It is expected that affected areas will have a higher prevalence of molds and mycotoxins in harvested grains this fall.  In fact, Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. recently tweeted that, since June 1, more than 60 percent of

Stay safe: Protect yourself from the dangers of pit gases

Posted on August 18, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing During the past few months, tragedy has struck two farm families in Iowa and Wisconsin.  Two father-son pairs were killed when they were overcome by pit fumes while working in a pig barn.  These tragic events serve as a reminder of the need to frequently educate all people involved in the

Maintain performance through summer heat – Part 3

Posted on July 30, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Although pig losses during any phase of production are costly, pig losses near the time of marketing are the most expensive. It has been estimated that approximately 1 percent of pigs in the U.S. are classified as “transport losses.”  Transport losses refer to pigs that die or become non-ambulatory (injured or

Maintain performance through summer heat – Part 2

Posted on July 15, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Leah Gesing Heat stress can result in lost profits during the summer months and its after effects may be felt into the fall.  Proper diet formulation to compensate for decreased feed intake can moderate the customary summer dip in carcass weights.  Correctly utilizing supplemental fat, crystalline amino acids, chromium and ractopamine in diet formulation

Maintain performance through summer heat – Part 1

Posted on June 26, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Summer is upon us and with it comes characteristically higher market hog prices accompanied by lower average market weights. To mitigate potential lost profits due to reduced harvest weights, it is important to prepare barns for the summer months by ensuring thermostats, fans, air inlets, sprinklers, and drip coolers are all

Quality ingredients matter

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing As a pork producer purchasing feed ingredients, you are faced with choices about where to source those ingredients and how much to pay for them. Obviously, it is tempting to pick the cheapest source of an ingredient.  Buying ingredients cheaply means that diets will cost less and you’ll profit more… right?

Drive Forward: Vita Plus Swine Summit 2015 Recap

Posted on April 8, 2015 in Swine Performance
  About 200 pork producers, Vita Plus employee owners and industry peers met in Morton, Minnesota for Vita Plus Swine Summit 2015 on March 26 and 27.  In addition to networking with their peers, attendees learned about the latest trends in pork production, management and markets from industry experts.  Follow the links below for complete

Responsible antibiotics use in swine production

Posted on March 24, 2015 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Leah Gesing Swine producers use antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of disease, as well as positive impacts on growth promotion and feed efficiency. In the U.S. swine industry, most antibiotics are administered via feed and, according to 2012 sales data, most antibiotic use was for production and/or therapeutic purposes. These uses have

Tips for Success This Show Pig Season

Posted on May 15, 2014 in Swine Performance
By James Thompson It’s that time of year! Youth across the country are rounding up their swine projects. These projects go a long way in teaching youth about responsibility.  Whether you’re competing at county, state or national levels, the swine project is a great way to build quality family time and a valued work ethic

Navigating Uncharted Waters | Vita Plus Swine Summit 2014

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Swine Performance
More than 100 swine producers, Vita Plus consultants and industry peers came together March 27 and 28 for Vita Plus Swine Summit 2014 in Morton, Minnesota.  Keep reading for complete event coverage, including articles, videos, photos and speaker presentations. Biosecurity Panel:  Where Are You Headed? | Mitch Christensen, Norsvin USA; Pat Albright, Albright Swine Farms;