Episode #52: Fall Health Update

Dr. Spencer Wayne welcomes Dr. Adam Schelkopf, Health Director for Pipestone Management, for a discussion on the overall health status of PIPESTONE-managed farms. Historically, this time of year brings an increase in illness in barns, especially PRRS infections. Dr. Schelkopf reports less than 10% of PIPESTONE-managed farms breaking with PRRS over the last two years, which is far better than in the past. He attributes the improvement to compounding interventions over time. Feed mitigation is the most recent strategy implemented at PIPESTONE, having been in place for 2-3 years it correlates well to the reduction in PRRS over the last 2 years. Over the last 15 years air filtration has been implemented in nearly 70% of farms. And lastly, location selection. The good health reported from an isolated sow farm pays dividends.

On the wean-to-finish side, Dr. Schelkopf stresses the importance of alternatives to antibiotics – management, environment, sanitation, and biosecurity. Though the availability of generic drugs may be greater, the introduction of new antibiotics is not expected. Dr. Schelkopf recommends this recipe for success: “Start with a high-health pig and protect it through the wean-to-market phase with biosecurity.”

PIPESTONE’s mission is “Helping Farmers Today Create the Farms of Tomorrow.” The SwineTime podcast was created for pig farmers and individual pork producers around the country. Hosted by Dr. Wayne, the podcast contains pork industry news, advancements in animal care and how to enhance your productivity.

Monthly podcasts are available on Spotify, Google Music, iTunes, and on Pipestone.com.