GFM Network News


Federal candidates need to understand the challenges facing today’s hog industry

Federal candidates need to understand the challenges facing today’s hog industry

Market access, labour and financing issues threaten to undermine its future

Over 7,000 pig farms in Canada produce 25.52 million animals a year and generate over $13 billion in economic activity, making the country’s swine industry the fourth-largest source of farm cash receipts of any agricultural commodity. In 2014, over 1.14 million tonnes of pork and pork products valued at over $3.7 billion were exported to

Four men sitting at a conference table

Immunity is the first step in PEDv fight

Heat may prove effective for some producers seeking to eradicate the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus

Getting barns that have been infected by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) back to normal is possible — but not easy, a panel of industry officials told Manitoba pork producers last week. “We’ve been told it will happen over time, but it will take a lot of time,” said Greg Boerboom of the Minnesota Pork


Dr. Billy Flowers speaking at the Banff Pork Seminar.

Understanding factors affecting sow longevity

A speaker at the Banff Port Seminar analyzes the differences between two farms with different average longevities


High replacement rates for first- and second-parity sows have skewed current parity structures on many sow farms towards younger, less productive females, Dr. Billy Flowers of North Carolina State University told the recent Banff Pork Seminar. He said that as a result, herd productivity is being limited because females are culled before they reach their

Gerbert Oosterlaken standing in a production facility.

Dutch farmer finds animal health and welfare go hand in hand

Gerbert Oosterlaken wants animal welfare advocates on his side instead of the opposition

Some have described the Netherlands as a living laboratory for sustainable intensive livestock production. With 16.7 million people living with 11 million hogs, 80 million chickens and 400,000 cows in an area that is one-fifteenth the size of Manitoba, it is impossible for the animal industry to operate below the public’s radar. Growing public distaste

Editorial: Everybody is responsible

The livestock industry in the Netherlands has had to make a lot of changes to comply with growing public pressure for more environmentally sustainable and humane practices. But it hasn’t had to do it alone. That fact was inescapable during a recent whirlwind tour of Netherlands livestock operations by a Canadian delegation, courtesy of the


Farrowing rates : going back to basics and paying attention to detail

Maximizing farrowing rate requires a focus on the basic aspects of management and close attention to detail, Steinbach, Manitoba-based veterinarian Dr. Blaine Tully told delegates at the recent Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop. He was describing the findings from his work carrying out fertility assessments on swine farms across Canada over the last three years.

It’s important to pen gilts separately in ESF systems to reduce competition from bigger sows

Electronic sow feeding first choice for productivity

When considering group sow-housing systems, electronic sow feeding (ESF) is likely the best choice for pig producers with high productivity expectations, according to Thomas Parsons at the University of Pennsylvania. “We now have farms pushing above 30 pigs weaned per sow per year and thus the technology itself, if properly managed, is not a barrier

PED is a virus spread by fecal matter, and when a swine herd is infected, 70 to 100 per cent of newborn piglets typically die. FILE PHOTO

Deadly new hog disease has officials on high alert

Deadly new hog disease has officials on high alert Keeping an emerging and devastating swine disease out of Manitoba will require a team effort, says the Manitoba Pork Council’s point man on the issue. That means truckers, gathering yards, and farmers need to work together to keep Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) out of the province,


Time for a change

If you were trying to find someone to promote your cause to the general public, it’s not likely that you’d choose someone with the nickname “Dr. Evil” and had a reputation as a high-priced lobbyist fighting in favour of smoking, junk food consumption and drinking and driving. But that’s who the Manitoba Pork Council hired

There are many ways to improve farrowing rates

There’s a large variation in farrowing rate between farms, ranging from as low as 75 per cent to around 92 per cent. Many producers still view 85 per cent as being an acceptable target and figure it can’t be improved much further. But close attention to a range of management factors can often result in