Better Pork Featured Articles

Better Pork is published bimonthly. After each edition is published, we share two feature articles online. Each magazine includes much more content. If you enjoy reading the Better Pork articles below, be sure to subscribe to the magazine!

Take control of on-farm data

Swine producers use a range of technologies on their farms to increase efficiency. Learn how to maximize the benefits from your data.

by Kate Ayers

In the ag industry, and especially in the swine sector, producers can collect a dizzying amount of data from their operations. As a result, farmers can face challenges when they try to manage, interpret and best use this information.

However, when properly managed, operational and environmental data can benefit all types of swine production systems.

How to succeed with succession

Industry experts and a pork producer share tips to get the ball rolling on what is often seen as a daunting – albeit important – process.

by Geoff Geddes

Like taxes and rumours of an early frost, passing the farm to the next generation is a topic we’d rather avoid. Given the high stakes and the size of today’s farming operations, however, dodging the subject is just not an option.

Fortunately, if you prepare properly, consult with experts and take it in bite-sized pieces, succession planning can be a life-changing experience.

Fuelling up: optimizing body condition during lactation

Farmers must ensure that their breeding animals meet daily nutrient and energy requirements to maintain healthy herds and litters.

by Kate Ayers

Breeding sows can be likened to Formula One race cars, says Mark Bodenham, the swine business manager at Masterfeeds at the London, Ont. office.

This company provides farmers with animal nutrition solutions.

Manage risk or it will manage you

The Canadian pork industry can draw on a range of risk management tools; finding the right mix for your operation is key.

by Geoff Geddes

As bomb defusers can attest, some jobs are riskier than others. While pork producers may not risk life and limb, their livelihoods are on the line when times get tough.

In an ideal world, we could eliminate risk and farming would be stress-free. But, for those forced to live in the real world, the next best thing is risk management.

Getting at the ‘guts’ of piglet health

Producers can review biosecurity, nutrition and animal husbandry practices to get their pigs off to a good start.

by Kate Ayers

A strong swine herd begins with good piglet gut health, says Dr. Ben Willing, an associate professor in the agricultural, life and environmental sciences department at the University of Alberta.

Indeed, “intestinal health is the foundation for systemic health in all animals,” he says.

Improving sow longevity

Industry experts recommend ways to maximize sow lifespans.

by Lauren Arva

As the industry moves toward group housing for sows, farmers and other industry reps continue their quest to improve sow productivity.

Smart technology may leave you dumbstruck

The swine industry continues to innovate and adopt new tech, which helps to streamline production, at an almost dizzying speed.

by Geoff Geddes

As night descends on the barn, a high-pitched squeal pierces the silence. Panic-stricken, a worker makes a frantic dash to the farrowing room. The noise is one he knows only too well: the sound of a life draining away from another crushed piglet.

Barging through the door, the worker grits his teeth, sucks up his courage and peers into the pen to find the poor, defenceless animal … fast asleep.