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;

Spray-dried porcine plasma and PEDv

Posted on February 14, 2014 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Dean Koehler As our industry continues to react to and manage the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreak, we’ve received many questions regarding spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) and the potential for the virus to spread through this feed ingredient.  Following are answers to a few common questions we’ve received to help bring some

Get ready: Winter is on the way

Posted on November 7, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Spencer Jones Winter is drawing near and that means that pork production operations have quite a few projects to check off the list before the snow falls.  As we’re busy wrapping up harvest, it’s easy to overlook the simple things.  Let’s take just a couple of moments to brush up on some of the

Top harvest priority: Stay safe

Posted on October 22, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Scott Hall, Vita Plus safety director Grain harvest is quickly approaching.  As we get ready for the season, let’s take a moment to remember the number one priority:  stay safe. With Mother Nature often in the driver’s seat, harvest is naturally a stressful and exhausting time.  Don’t add to that stress with the tragedy

Give your nursery pigs the right start

Posted on August 30, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Brendan Corrigan It’s common to observe significant differences in the activity levels, average weights, weight distributions within groups, and health statuses of groups of newly weaned pigs; and typical observations for these factors certainly vary from herd to herd.  These differences result from multiple variables, including disease exposure and immune development, genetic makeup of

PED update: Disease spread appears to be slowing

Posted on July 22, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Dean Koehler Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) continues to be a big concern in the pork industry.  Dr. Darin Madson of the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory presented a PED update at the recent Iowa Swine Day. He reported that the number of confirmed positive premises in the U.S. had risen to 210. 

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) Facts

Posted on June 12, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Dean Koehler By now, everyone associated with the U.S. swine industry has heard about the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) outbreak that first hit the United States in mid-April.  This disease is caused by the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). The severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration symptoms of PED are indistinguishable from TGE, which

The profit opportunity of increased ADG

Posted on June 4, 2013 in Swine Performance
By Nate Brown Over the past several years, pork producers and consultants have increased focus on concepts such as optimum market weight, Full Value Pigs© and other measures that attempt to define the dynamics of optimizing profits based on hog market weight. No matter what model or calculations are used, the process of defining what