Better Pork |December 2023


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3 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 Better Pork is published six times a year by AgMedia Inc. 1-888-248-4893 ext 281 ISSN 1497-2271 (Printed) Canadian one-year subscriptions: $22 (six issues; includes $2.53 HST). Two-year: $40 (12 issues; includes $4.60 HST). Single-copy back issues are $12 (including $1.38 HST). U.S. subscriptions: $39.30 annually. International: $66. GST Registration #868959347RT0001 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to AgMedia Inc. 90 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, ON N1H 1B2 Publications Mail Registration No. 1156 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40037298 Copyright © 2023 by AgMedia Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content without written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute endorsement of the advertiser, its products or services, nor do Better Pork, AgMedia or endorse any advertiser claims. The publisher shall have no liability for the omission of any scheduled advertising. Jodie Aldred photo 1-888-248-4893 90 Woodlawn Road West Guelph, ON N1H 1B2 PUBLISHER & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR PAUL NOLAN ext 202 ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR LESLIE STEWART ext 265 EDITORIAL TEAM EMILY CROFT GEOFF GEDDES CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS EDITION MOHSEN ABEDIN MOE AGOSTINO HAYLEY BOWLING XIAOPENG GAO ABHINESH GOPAL JEANINE MOYER ARGENIS R. GONZALES MARIANNE STEIN ADVERTISING TEAM GLENN RUEGG JENNY LONGSTREET DESIGN & PRODUCTION TEAM TANYA MYERS GREG MARLOW SHAUN CLARK ANDREA WILLIAMS LETTER FROM THE EDITOR SOLID PED PLANNING; OPC AGM HIGHLIGHTS Manitoba Pork has announced that the Manitoba PED elimination plan has become operational. With a goal of eliminating 96 per cent of PED infections from the high-risk area (HRA) of Manitoba by 2027, the organization is reaching out to all farms and service providers in the High-Risk Area to ensure they know about the Plan, understand how to implement the preventative measures in their operations, and recognize their role should new cases of PED be confirmed. You can find a clear and insightful summary of the virus and this plan at ped. A good read for all producers across Canada. Swine Health Ontario and the Ontario Pork Industry Council are hosting their Big Bug Day on Dec. 6 in Elora, Ont., and they’ve put together an excellent agenda. Topics include current disease updates on influenza, PED and sapovirus, along with trends in sow mortality, and the U.S. health outlook. To end the day, OPIC will offer its insights on group sow housing, as well as Proposition 12. SHO manager Jessica Fox says they are “excited to host Big Bug Day 2023 along with the group sow housing special interest meeting. Big Bug Day presents a wide variety of speakers covering the latest in swine health topics, followed by an informative session on group sow housing and impacts of California Proposition 12 on Canadian pork production.” At its recent AGM, the Ontario Pork Congress announced that president Kirk McLean would return for a second consecutive term. At the meeting, McLean told our Glenn Ruegg that his focus would be on “staying relevant and continuing to be integral to the pork industry.” A highlight of the event was former OPC president Joe Dwyer presenting the Pork Industry Leadership Award to Murray Schlotzhauer, a former Stratford area pork producer. Paul Nolan cutline Cover: Jodie Aldred photos We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. In this edition, Trouw Nutrition's Mohsen Abedin writes about alleviating piglet stress during the post-weaning period. Read more on Pg. 6.

4 The Business of Canadian Hog Farming Better Pork | December 2023 national pork HEADLINES NEW BIOSECURITY TECHNOLOGY USES FACE RECOGNITION Farm Health Guardian debuted Protocol, its new facial recognition technology, at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in September. The company presented a working demo at the Woodstock, Ont. event, which showed how the facial recognition technology can control entry points in livestock barns, including swine barns. This could help manage disease risk and protect animal health. “With Protocol, there is never a question of who is entering your barn or if they have met your biosecurity requirements,” said Rob Hannam, Farm Health Guardian CEO, in a recent release. “We’re excited to demonstrate Protocol, a biosecurity game changer when it comes to managing barn access and simplifying biosecurity.” Farm Health Guardian is a digital biosecurity software that has been based in Guelph, Ont. since 2020. The company's goal is to provide real-time disease monitoring and response technology that improves health and sustainability on livestock farms. The Protocol technology factors in data such as previous visits, downtime between barns, and farm health status. The technology adds biosecurity context beyond traditional locks, keypads, and RFID cards. “Producers want assurances that any person entering their barns are disease-free, especially with the recent threats of diseases like African swine fever and avian influenza that have become major concerns,” said Hannam. “We’re proud to offer the most innovative controlled access system available today.” In addition to the biosecurity information that the software manages, it is adjustable for barn flow and biosecurity protocols for individual barns. It also accounts for roll-up doors and fumigation rooms to increase the safety of delivered products. BP Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are looking for alternatives to antibiotics for treating diarrhea in grower-finisher pigs. A team from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), led by Dr. Matheus Costa, are developing the alternatives in response to rising rates of antimicrobial resistance in pigs. “The antimicrobial resistance pandemic is here, and one of the ways veterinarians can help address that is by using antimicrobials judiciously when treating animals,” said Costa in a release from WCVM Today. Grower and finisher pigs can develop diarrhea symptoms due to disease or stress, slowing gain, reducing feed efficiency, and harming overall pig welfare. This increases the cost of production and threatens economic sustainability for pork producers. “It’s cheaper to grow healthy pigs than to grow sick pigs, and producers strive to do that,” Costa explained. “If pigs are sick and we have to reduce (how much pork) we produce, or we don’t have enough pigs to supply a market, it means that people may not have access to pork, and pork is the most consumed protein worldwide.” The team is investigating vaccine development and looking at using host peptides, antimicrobial proteins naturally produced by the animal, as alternatives to antimicrobial pharmaceuticals. Another approach is the research of molecular cascades as a mechanism to block how bacteria cause diarrhea. The group of researchers hope to determine if these alternatives can keep cells from infection. Currently the university is focusing on in-vitro assessments, which, if successful, will proceed into investigations in live animals. “Not only will it be a major scientific and medical breakthrough, but we’ll also directly affect Canadians because producers will have a new tool that will hopefully replace or at least reduce the need for antibiotics,” said Costa. The current study is funded by the Government of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund and by the Government of Alberta’s Results Driven Agriculture Research fund. BP USASK SEEKS ANTIBIOTIC SUBSTITUTES Jodie Aldred photo

Swine Research Trial Results Advanced Animal Nutrition for Improved Human Health AB/SK: 1-866-610-5770 MB: 1-866-626-3933 1-877-625-4400 Effect of Assure® on Sow Milk Yield (kg)1 Effect of Assure® on Piglet Body Weight (kg) A trial was undertaken in a 2019 Thailand Pork Program using Assure® in all feeds during farrowing and gestation between a 14 — 24 week period. White mycotoxin mold beginning to form on the tip of a corn cob. Effect of Assure® on Litter Statistics Average weaned/Litter 9.4 11.0 P=0.001 12 11.5 11 10.5 10 9.5 9 8.5 8 1After Wang et al., 2018. J. Anim. Sci. 96:206–214 Day 0 Day 7 Day 14 P=0.0001 P=0.0010 P=0.0010 Control Assure kg 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Day 0 Day 7 Day 14 Day 24 P=0.0001 P=0.0001 P=0.0001 1.65 2.8 4.21 1.76 6.52 7.69 P=0.0005 4.9 3.1 kg Control Assure These feeds contained low to moderate levels of mycotoxins. Control Assure

6 Story Idea? Contact Better Pork | December 2023 ACID BINDING CAPACITY A KEY PARAMETER IN WEANED PIG DIET FORMULATION. ACID BINDING CAPACITY-4: By MOHSEN ABEDIN, PHD. The post-weaning period is a critical and often stressful phase in a young pig's life, drawing significant attention to optimizing the gastrointestinal tract for improved lifetime production and overall health. Newly weaned piglets experience a substantial shift in their dietary composition, transitioning from a liquid milk, rich in highly digestible nutrients, to a dry, plant-based diet. The acidic environment in the stomach plays a crucial role in facilitating the digestion and absorption of nutrients from feed. However, the stomach of young piglets has limited acid-producing capacity during this critical period. The inadequate production of gastric acid in piglets during this phase can have detrimental consequences, resulting in reduced performance and compromised intestinal health. In Canada, particularly in the eastern regions, it's common for pigs to be weaned between 18 and 21 days of age, at a stage when their gastrointestinal tract is still relatively underdeveloped. Figure 1 illustrates that the production of hydrochloric acid in a pig's stomach remains limited until the pig reaches seven to eight weeks of age. In suckling pigs, the primary source of acidification in the stomach is bacterial fermentation of lactose in milk. When piglets transition to solid feed at weaning, there is a notable increase in gastric pH, which can reach levels as high as 5.0 for several days post-weaning. Maintaining a low stomach pH is crucial for effective protein digestion. Also, elevated gastric pH levels create Trouw photo

8 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 CAMBOROUGH® YEAR OVER YEAR SHE’S BETTER THAN THE EFFICIENT ROBUST PROVEN PIC has been improving the Camborough® for 60 years. That commitment has made her the world’s highest-performing female in varying production environments across the globe. The Camborough® is easy to manage with fewer non-productive days than competitor sows. She continues to deliver heavier pigs with greater pre-wean survivability. What could be better? The PIC Camborough® next year. And the year after that. Contact your PIC representative today or visit ACID BINDING CAPACITY FEED CONVERSION RATION (FCR) Entire nursery 0-42 days Early nurser 0-21 days High ABC-4 Low ABC-4 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.221 1.202 1.462 1.441 *P-value <0.05 *P-value <0.05 Age in weeks 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 HCL production in % 1234 56789101112 Figure 1: The production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in a pig's stomach over time. Pigs have a restricted capacity to produce acid during the initial seven to eight weeks of life. Figure 2: In this study, 1,152 piglets were fed diets with two different ABC-4 values and a high zinc level (2,500 ppm during the first three weeks). Overall, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) improved by approximately 1.5 per cent.

9 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 Make it a REALITY Does the future of your operation feel unclear? Let’s connect the dots. Per m . The PIC®800 is proven to sire robust pigs built to thrive against any challenge. His easy-to-handle, efficient offspring deliver a clear economic advantage. Choose PIC®800 to make continuous improvement a reality in your operation. Contact your PIC representative today or visit ACID BINDING CAPACITY an environment where opportunistic pathogens can grow, potentially compromising the digestive tract and leading to clinical infections, diseases, and, in severe cases, mortality. From a nutritional perspective, the inadequate acidification of the stomach can often be attributed to the high acid-binding capacity (ABC) of the ingredients in the feed. The ABC concept revolves around the adjustment of stomach acidity by incorporating ingredients with low acid-binding properties. This ABC value is measured by a standard laboratory test at a pH of 4, denoted as ABC-4. The higher the ABC-4 value, the greater the amount of acid the piglet must secrete to reduce the pH to 4, a critical step for activating digestive enzymes and breaking down proteins into peptides. At the Trouw Nutrition Research Centre and our validation facilities, we have undertaken eight studies over the past few years, directly or indirectly examining the influence of diet ABC-4 values on nursery performance. A portion of these studies were carried out at our validation sites in Canada under real-world, commercial conditions. Our latest research, presented at the 2023 Midwest Section Animal Science Meeting, examined the effects of ABC4 levels in diets with either high zinc or low zinc on the growth performance of nursery pigs. Overall, in these studies, reducing the ABC-4 values of both high zinc and low zinc diets through the use of acidifiers and/ or different calcium sources improved the feed efficiency of pigs during the nursery phase. We are actively engaged in research to evaluate the ABC-4 values of the ingredients and medications used in nursery diets. Furthermore, we are investigating the ideal ABC-4 levels within complex early nursery diets under various zinc levels and health conditions. As concerns about the use of pharmacological levels of zinc continue to rise, the formulation of a diet featuring a low ABC-4 value holds promise in enhancing gut health and, in turn, the performance of early nursery pigs. This approach can offer valuable support to producers in the post- weaning phase, especially when they aim to use nutritional levels of zinc. BP MOHSEN ABEDIN, PHD Mohsen Abedin, PhD is the director of swine technology application for Trouw Nutrition North America. Newly-weaned piglets produce insufficient gastric acid, resulting in poor performance. Trouw photo

10 The Business of Canadian Hog Farming Better Pork | December 2023 CARCASS COMPOSITION Pork producers select pigs for slaughter based on the evaluation of live pig conformation and weight, which are labour-intensive and stressful for the pigs. However, most hog markets pay the producer based on pork carcass merit, which is determined by the percentage of carcass fat-free-lean muscle (FFLM). FFLM is determined post-mortem using various carcass measurements, which are time-consuming, require skilled personnel, and use invasive and destructive techniques (i.e., ribbing or penetrating using an optical probe) and are therefore unsuitable for use on farms to select market animals. As a result, large numbers of pigs do not meet target specifications set by the packing plant leading to frequent penalization for animals that are too lean or over-fat. In addition, since 2020, the Canadian swine industry has experienced unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affecting swine producers, including the inability to find a market for finished pigs and labour shortages. Currently, only limited tools are available to monitor the efficiency of growth, finishing and marketing of pigs in conventional production. The tools that are available require significant training, are time- consuming, and require significant animal handling that causes stress and endangers the safety of the animal and personnel. Why apply imaging technologies? Imaging technologies are non-invasive and non-destructive. These include 2D and 3D digital imaging techniques that accurately determine live weight, body score, animal welfare and health in the livestock sector. However, their performance depends on illumination conditions and depth distance (distance between the camera and the object). In a preliminary study completed at the University of Manitoba, using a 2D camera and a limited number of growing pigs, researchers were able to pre- dict live animal body measurements (length, width, height, and area of hams and loins) that were manually extracted from the images. Using prediction equations, the researchers were able to determine, from moderate to high accuracy, live weight (46 per cent), ribeye area (75 per cent), backfat depth (76 per cent) and lean yield (74 per cent). Preliminary data suggest that a multispectral camera can overcome the challenges faced in the 2D camera trial, including supplying adequate lighting and contrasting background (dark floor or wall). The application requires a more flexible and robust system for accurately determining car- cass traits and FFLM prediction in pigs. The multispectral camera consists of three sensors: Visible, thermal-IR (infrared) and ToF (time-of-flight). Integration of the sensor outputs provides a 3D multi-spectrum data framework in real-time. Traditionally, the multispectral image has been used in several fields, including the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries. To date, this approach has been used in the poultry industry to characterize several types of abnormal carcasses, including bruised, tumorous, and skin-torn carcasses. Infrared thermography is another imaging method used in the swine industry. This method directly measures an animal’s energy loss (i.e., heat transfer) by detecting body temperature changes. Infrared thermography can identify animal metabolic efficienIN ONE CLICK: IMAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE RAPID PREDICTION OF PORK CARCASS COMPOSITION APPLYING IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES By ARGENIS RODAS-GONZÁLEZ Jodie Aldred photo

11 The Business of Canadian Hog Farming Better Pork | December 2023 cy (feed efficiency), health status (i.e., inflammatory process, diseases, animal stress), reproduction (i.e., scrotal temperature) and determine methane production. Getting the click My team at the University of Manitoba includes graduate students Veronica Ndams and Ankita Saikia from the Department of Animal Science. We are working in collaboration with Alpha Phenomics and Animal Intrametric to provide solutions to swine farmers through the image technologies. The project is sponsored by Alberta Innovates and Results Driven Agriculture Research. The project will test the multispectral camera and thermos camera systems to develop predictions of live weights and carcass traits and fat-free lean in pigs, based on the captured images and direct measurement of body composition (length, width, height, and area of hams and loins), weight data and post-mortem carcass data. At the same time, within this frame- work, multispectral and thermal camera image results will be contrasted with other non-invasive and non- destructive technologies such as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. This technology will be applied to the carcasses and primals to predict pork carcass traits and the quality and composition of primal cuts. The data will be used for future integration of precision technologies and may also assist in bridging the presently existing gap between producers and processors. The goal of this proposed and unique research is to apply a modern artificial intelligence technique called convolutional neural networks to train machine learning models to extract and predict carcass parameters from live images directly. At the same time, the study will generate a report that farmers can use to manage their animals in real-time. The research offers an opportunity to create an autonomous monitoring system of grower- finisher pigs to reduce inefficiencies in swine production and decrease carcass nonconformities, providing economic and market advantages. The proposed technology could reduce the dollar value loss for hog carcass nonconformities reported in the 2003 pork quality audit, averaging $8.08/carcass. The largest losses, $1.32, were attributed to inconsistent live weight, carcass and wholesale cut weights. Thus, this technology could produce a uniform lot (i.e., decrease carcass nonconformities), increase swine producer profitability, and improve sustainability in swine production. BP START TURNING MORE SUCKLING PIGLETS IN TO “EATERS”! Email or get in touch with your local Masterfeeds Swine Account Manager. A NEW APPROACH TO HELP LITTERS WEAN AND GROW WHILE SUPPORTING SOW HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY. Maximizing life time performance. For suckling piglets, Masterfeeds Blueprint® Extruded Creep aids in early stimulation of digestive enzyme production, which is necessary for protein and carbohydrate digestion in solid post-weaning diets. Encouraging the recognition effect of solid feed at weaning and increasing tolerance to antigens that may be present in post-weaning diets, helps piglets get off to a healthy start and can have a significant impact on their performance throughout their lifetimes. With today’s genetically advanced sows having more piglets per litter, Masterfeeds Blueprint® Extruded Creep stimulates piglets to eat sooner and this, in turn, supports a decrease in the rate of mortality in the crate. Piglets eating sooner also helps reduce the sow’s stress and depletion, decreasing her non-productive days and helping her to breed back more easily. For piglets and sows, Masterfeeds Blueprint® Extruded Creep has proven benefits that can stimulate the life cycle health of your herd. Carcass Composition ARGENIS RODAS-GONZÁLEZ Argenis Rodas-González is an associate professor at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Animal Science.

12 Story Idea? Contact Better Pork | December 2023 He may have met his wife on the soccer field, but Mitch Van Engelen gets his kicks in a pig barn these days. Hog-Tied Farms is a true family affair, started by Mitch’s father John in 1979. After studying agriculture at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Mitch returned to the farm, where his dad had since added a farrowing barn. Mitch has now been full-time at the farm for about 10 years, and is currently engaged in succession planning with John, and Mitch’s sister Cassie, to begin the transition to full ownership. What are your roles on the farm? My sister Cassie – who’s married with two sons – and I both work full-time on the business. I met my wife Candace at a soccer game, and we were married in 2021, welcoming a baby girl Chloe earlier this year. In addition to coaching skating, Candace handles record keeping on the farm, as well as working in the farrowing barn and nursery. Dad deals with sows, feed and maintenance, while Candace’s parents also help out a few days a week. At lunch, we all gather inside for a home-cooked meal from my mom Joan and catch up on the news. How many people do you employ? This is a true family affair, with no hired help outside of the family. Describe your farm office. We have an office with a computer that we use for bookkeeping. All the information from our Electronic Sow Feeders can be accessed from the computer, including heat detection and feed alerts, automated pig sorting for the finish operations, and pig performance testing. This allows us to stay on top of general herd health from day to day. We check the data when we come in each morning to see if sows are in heat and which pigs are gaining or losing weight. What's on your desk? Aside from the computer, there are various papers like breeding records and information on vaccinations. At Mitch with his wife Candace and their daughter Chloe. Mitch Van Engelen photo Nutrient Loss FARMING TOGETHER 24/7 & LOVING IT Working together sets them apart. By Geoff Geddes UP CLOSE

13 Story Idea? Contact Better Pork | December 2023 times they can be scattered across the desk, but we try to keep it clean. Is your pickup messy or neat? I strive for neat, though it can be easier said than done at times. What’s your favourite thing about working with pigs? You know what you are getting with pigs. They are usually quite calm, and I don’t have to worry about them getting too aggressive unless I’m working with boars. I also like that I can set my own hours, especially with loose housing, and that system makes it easier to keep track of things and get good information on the animals as well. Any novel ways you protect your herd’s health? One of the main ways we promote herd health is with our ventilation system, which is pit ventilated, and a heat exchanger that keeps the barn clean and dry with minimal humidity. We keep close track of vaccinations. We’ve just started vaccinating at weaning with a three-in-one shot for circovirus, mycoplasma and ileitis. Our herds are generally pretty healthy, and if we have health issues with pigs, we usually ship them as barbequers since they will likely be slow growers and cost us more down the road. We also wash every room with a pressure washer once the pigs have been cleared out. We use only hot water, and don’t soak with soap or disinfectant, as that tends to kill the good bugs as well as the bad ones. The best thing about farming? I love working close to home. I enjoy being able to work by myself a lot of the time, listening to music or podcasts to relax … as long as things are going smoothly! What do you like least? This won’t come as a shock to fellow farmers, but the work involves long hours. I am generally in the barn every day, though I try and take Sundays off when I can. Current farm machinery lineup? We have a feed mill in the barn so we can make our own feed for the animals. My uncles work alongside us on the crops doing the springtime work, and we take care of the harvesting, so we have a combine, tractor and grain buggy. Currently, we are looking into installing solar panels in the barn to save on energy costs. What sort of livestock technology do you use in your barn? We have four Nedap electronic sow feeders (ESFs) in the dry sow barn and two in the gilt room. In the farrowing barn, half the stalls use lift crates and half are loose sow housing. We also have automatic sow feeders in the farrowing rooms that are integrated with the ESF system and our feed ration plan. This gives us the option to Specialty pellets designed with your sows and bottom line in mind! Great for Electronic Sow Feeders • Pellets that Flow Excellent • Don’t Break up Easily • Stay Similar Load after Load Quality • Very Few Fines • Sows Love Them! Price • Very Competitive Sow Pellets CONTACT KENPAL TODAY! Kenpal Farm Products Inc., 69819 London Rd, RR #1 Centralia, ON, N0M 1K0 Tel: 519-228-6444 • Toll Free: 1-800-265-2904 • Fax: 519-228-6560 • Lactation Gestation UP CLOSE

14 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 put bigger sows in loose housing and if they become a problem, we can shift them to the lift crates. How is loose housing working for your herd? It is beneficial for us as long as we keep good track of things. The biggest plus is that sows prefer it over stalls. We notice that as soon as we move them from the breeding stalls, they walk right out. Loose housing allows us to utilize ESF, so we can feed the animals exactly what they need based on weight, size and age. Any advice on transition planning? I advise people to start early, as it is a long process. Even if you just begin by doing a little bit every year, I think that makes the overall process easier to manage. Most important lesson learned? I try not to get frustrated by the little things, although that can be tough at times. I sometimes look back on how I handled a certain situation and am displeased with the way I reacted, but I’m working on it. If I have kids that end up getting involved in the business, I’ll tell them to take their time with the animals and don’t rush them; let them come to you. Guiding management principle? My main management principle is to let my sister handle that end of the operation, as it’s not my greatest strength. Cassie is currently taking a leadership program to learn more about effective management practices. Your biggest farming challenge? I think the main challenge is that we are land-based. We are trying to find more land now to expand our cropping operation (corn, soybeans and wheat rotation on 400 acres), but prices and interest rates are high. What are the most exciting opportunities in the industry? I find it fascinating what they are doing with genetics these days, such as exploring ways of addressing disease pressures. It amazes me how quickly genetics are evolving throughout the hog industry. I’m also pleased to see medications for pigs becoming better and more efficient. We’re getting more information all the time on different treatments you can use in the barn. There is a greater volume of research on this area than ever before, and it is more accessible than it has been in the past. If you could send a message to non-farmers, what would it be? They generally only show the worst stuff about our industry on the news. People need to realize that most farms are not like that, and they treat their animals well. If you care for your pigs, UNPu tCrLiOeSnEt L o s s Mitch Van Engelen photo Mitch, Cassie, John and Blue. … the top producers across Canada for just PENNIES per adult reader! ADVERTISERS REACH ...

15 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 they will give back to you, so it only makes sense to provide them the best treatment possible. How do you define success? For me, success means maintaining the business, keeping the animals healthy, paying the bills and finding a good balance that lets me pursue hobbies outside of farming when possible. Dad likes to do woodworking, while I enjoy reading, especially fantasy novels. It’s a nice escape to read something that is unrelated to what’s going on in the world. I also hang out with friends if time permits and play card games or something on the computer. If you weren’t a farmer, what do you think you’d do for a living? I have no idea! I guess if I wasn’t farming, I would be involved in the trades in some capacity. How do you support your mental health during challenging times? I think pursuing my hobbies, such as reading or being with friends, is my best approach to mental health. What’s your top goal personally and professionally? Personally, I want to ensure that my family is comfortable and happy, and professionally, I just want to keep on farming. Any professional development? I listen to a few podcasts, such as Agritalk and The Real P3. The latter interviews producers and support personnel from around the world about pork production. It’s a chance to hear how other producers are finding success and how they overcame certain challenges. I also follow the swine it podcast, which features some of the brightest minds in the sector talking about various topics of interest. Other podcasts that I follow include Topigs, Popular Pig, The Pig Edge, Inside the Helix and Pig X. What’s it like to work with family? We don’t have to worry too much about staff turnover, and everyone is really invested in the business and trying to keep everything flowing smoothly. We try not to get mad at each other, and usually it works. What is the biggest misconception about pig farming? People often think pigs are dirty, when actually they like to be clean. If you keep the barn clean, they will do the same. BP For more information or to contact your local sales representative, scan the QR code or call us toll-free 1-833-578-2740. MOST EFFICIENT SOW HIGHEST QUALITY PIGLETS VALUABLE FINISHERS Hypor Libra UP CLOSE GEOFF GEDDES Geoff is a freelance writer and editor specializing in agriculture. He is based in Edmonton and has written for farm magazines, blogs, websites and social media.

16 The Business of Canadian Hog Farming Better Pork | December 2023 Agriculture is a stressful occupation, and farmers face substantial mental health challenges. Research indicates they often experience higher levels of anxiety and depression compared to the general population, but less is known about the effects on their families. A new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explores how economic stressors affect the mental health of U.S. farmers and their adolescent children. “There's a lot of young people growing up on a farm and participating in agricultural work. We've long acknowledged the inherent hazards of this work environment, and now we’re also recognizing its impact on mental health,” said Josie Rudolphi, Illinois extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and The Grainger College of Engineering. “Most of the work on farm stress and mental health is primarily focused on adult farmers. However, it is important to recognize that children are fully aware of what’s happening on the farm, and they are not immune to the stressors that exist. That is the inspiration behind this project,” she added. Rudolphi and co-author Richard Berg, analyst at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, are reporting results from the first year of a five-year study funded by the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). The researchers conducted online surveys with farmers and their adolescent children across the United States. They used the Family Stress Model, which was developed in Iowa in the 1990s after the farm crisis to examine the correlation between economic stressors and mental health in farmers. Rudolphi and Berg found that about 60 per cent of both adults and adolescents met the criteria for at least mild depression, while 55 per cent of the adults and 45 per cent of the adolescents met the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder. “Prevalence of depression in the general population is typically around 17 to 18 per cent, so these numbers are quite high. Although we don't have a control group for direct comparison, we used similar instruments to screen for mental health conditions as national public health surveys. Additionally, these statistics are not unusually high for a farm sample, based on previous surveys with farmers,” Rudolphi said. When looking at economic hardship indicators, farm debt showed a high correlation with depressed mood in adults, and this in turn was correlated with adolescent depression and anxiety. “It’s not unexpected for children to be affected by the experiences of adults. In many other settings, adults can leave work, return home, and transition into their roles as parents. But in a farm environment, the boardroom table is the kitchen table, and there is talk about farm activity in the household. There’s a blur between work and Research MENTAL HEALTH IN FARM FAMILIES ‘In a farm environment, the boardroom table is the kitchen table.’ By Marianne Stein, University of Illinois The lines between home and work life are blurred on the farm. LivingImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo We appreciate all your comments, along with story ideas on issues you want to see us cover. HOW ARE WE DOING?

18 Story Idea? Contact Better Pork | December 2023 family, or business and residence, so it becomes rather complicated,” she noted. Interestingly, despite 82 per cent of respondents rating their own mental health as excellent or good, their responses to questions measuring symptoms of anxiety and depression revealed different results. Rudolphi suggested people may have become accustomed to living with mild or moderate depression, perceiving it as their new normal. The researchers are currently in their third year of data collection, and they continue to expand the number of participants. They aim to establish stronger connections between economic stressors and mental health in future data analyses. One of the most important findings in the current study is the strong correlation between adult depression and adolescent depression, Rudolphi stated. This underscores the need to develop resources and services for the entire farm family. “Illinois Extension offers a number of mental health programs for the agricultural community, but many of them primarily target the owner-operators. We must also consider the well-being of spouses and children on the farm,” she said. “The agricultural environment prides itself on looking out for one another. We should harness that shared responsibility to foster a sense of community and support for young people. “This involves engaging with rural schools, teachers, coaches, and agricultural youth leaders in mental health awareness initiatives.” BP The article ‘Mental health of agricultural adolescents and adults: Preliminary results of a five-year study’ is published in Frontiers in Public Health [DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1056487]. Authors are Josie Rudolphi and Richard Berg. Each one of our Milkiwean programs is tailored to meet the different needs and requirements of your farm and nursery pigs. Our Milkiwean programs are formulated with Kinetio technology bringing you the best in nursery feed formulation. You have a choice with Milkiwean. Milkiwean Vital Start Suitable for anti-biotic free production. Milkiwean Efficient Start Our cost-effective piglet rearing program. Milkiwean Best Start Higher growth and feed intake, and greater exit weight. Research

You don’t have to be alone in your thoughts; We’re in this together. Let’s talk it out, together. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but small steps can make a big difference to the ones we love. Do More Ag is here to help you embrace the awkward and normalize conversations about mental health in Agriculture. Follow us and visit to find tips, resources, and support. #talkitout BANKRUPT US This year might MAKE IT THROUGH ANOTHER SEASON I don’t know if I can

20 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 SUPPORTING INDUSTRY HEALTH Small-scale outreach helps swine producers. By Jeanine Moyer Canada’s swine sector is invested in keeping herds and producers healthy, successful and sustainable. Plenty of initiatives are directed at research, finding new and improved ways of enhancing nutrition, biosecurity, animal health and wellness and enhancing technology. Smallholder (or small-scale swine producers) and pet pig owners are also included in many of these projects, providing resources on animal care, health, housing, and the importance of biosecurity and disease prevention. Here’s a look at several recent smallholder swine projects that are helping to enhance herd health. Info sources for smallholder swine producers and pet pig owners Developed by the Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN), a two-page infographic was released in December 2022 to provide basic information about pig care and infectious diseases. Designed as a resource for veterinarians to provide to smallholder and pet pig clients, the infographic is intended to educate small-scale swine producers. The graphic also provides links to additional animal care and disease prevention resources. While pigs in smallholder, pet and commercial settings have different management circumstances, their basic needs and susceptibility to disease are similar. That’s why the infographic was created to raise awareness about animal care and especially the importance of keeping all Ontario hogs healthy and free from foreign animal diseases. The easiest way to access and share the graphic is by visiting and searching “pet pig infographic” in the website search function. Understanding swine diseases across Ontario From May 2020 to April 2022, the OAHN conducted a swine small-scale herd postmortem project to gain a better understanding of smaller Ontario hog herds and the health challenges they face. The project was driven by three main goals: 1) to identify disease problems in small-scale swine herds, 2) to establish communications between small-scale swine producers, veterinarians and the OAHN swine network, and 3) to increase awareness among small-scale producers about zoonotic diseases and foreign animal diseases. Program participants were required to be enrolled by a herd veterinarian, have fewer than 50 sows or 1,000 market hogs per year, obtain a Premises Identification Number (PIN) and complete a management survey. A total of 28 cases were submitted from across Ontario. Ontario Pig Health Check-up A pilot project ran for five months in 2022 connecting small-scale hog owners with veterinarians to provide animal health consultations. The project aimed to support raising healthy pigs and educate about good animal health practices and tools to prevent the spread of any potential animal diseases, like African swine fever (ASF). The provincial project reimbursed veterinarians for their work that saw 47 pig health check-ups by seven veterinary clinics. Most visits provided preventative consultations and information, including first aid kits, vaccinations, hoof and tusk trimming. Some visits included treatments like hernia repair, antibiotic administration and castration. One participating veterinarian said that the program was very important for animal welfare and public health and noted 90 per cent of the pigs they saw required care and had never had a vet consultation. Hog producers across the province benefited from the Ontario Pig Health Check-up program – from small-scale SWINE HEALTH ONTARIO Guide to Pet Pig Ownership Six tips written by a swine veterinarian to help you care for your miniature (or other) pig and keep them happy, safe, and healthy. Links to several other useful resources are provided in this concise overview.  Food  Transport  Housing  Health Information sources for smallholder swine producers and pet pig owners Categories with all the information you need to know about swine 5  Vets  Food  Transport  Housing  Health Health: Keeping pigs healthy is important for their own welfare and for the well being of other pigs. Preventing disease is a primary goal and is accomplished through biosecurity on and off the farm, good nutrition, and routine veterinary care. Transport Moving pigs individually or in groups requires planning and knowledge of safe, humane methods. Transportation across international borders must meet a specific set of requirements. Transporting pigs in clean, safe, comfortable accomodations helps reduce stress and maintain the well being of the pigs. Veterinairy Advice It is important for smallholder swine producers and pet pig owners to have a veterinarian in advance of needing care. It is also important to budget for routine veterinary swine health visits to ensure that your pigs are kept up to date on vaccinations and that they remain in good health. Veterinarians provide you with case-specific advice on all of the other categories of swine care listed in this infographic. Food: Smallholder swine and pet pigs have nutritional requirements that are specific to their species, stage in life, and activity level. Good nutrition will help keep your pig healthy and help maintain optimal immune system function to aid in disease prevention. Providing sufficient clean water to maintain normal hydration is as important as ensuring good-quality feed for your pigs. Housing: Whether they are housed indoors, outdoors, or in a hybrid environment, pigs must have adequate space, be housed at an appropriate temperature and with good ventilation, and be protected from the elements. Pigs with outdoor access need to be kept safe by well constructed fencing that will keep predators out, and prevent disease exposure from mixing with feral pigs or other animals. African Swine Fever (ASF) is a virus that is spreading rapidly internationally and is a serious threat to Canadian pigs. The majority of pigs that test positive for ASF will die due to this virus. In order to keep this virus out of North America it is important when travelling to not bring home pork products from other countries. It is also important to not feed meat scraps of any kind to pigs. Awareness is key and everyone plays an important role in keeping our pigs healthy and preventing ASF. Small Scale Pig Farming An excellent online resource dedicated to providing Canadian small-scale pig producers with the relevant resources needed to be successful in raising pigs. Topics include: › Pig health and well-being › Housing and shelter › Feeding and water › Pig breeding, gestation, and farrowing › Feeding, equipment, marketing, and other topics. Videos and links to publications and a blog are also available.  Food  Transport  Housing  Health  Resources are available to support pork producers. Tracy Miller photo

21 The Trusted Source for Canada’s Pork Producers Better Pork | December 2023 hog farmers to large scale producers – because every effort to support healthy practices in swine herds benefits the overall health status of Ontario’s swine sector. Ontario Veterinary Medical Association smallholder communications Focused on awareness and prevention of ASF, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) developed an online resource hub to assist swine smallholders and veterinarians offering services to swine clients to be better prepared against the threat of ASF. Fact sheets and educational videos are available at pet-owner-resources/african-swine-fever. A one-hour online course is also available on the site for veterinarians. The course is presented by Dr. Sue Burlatschenko, herd veterinarian at Total Swine Genetics, and covers swine-related foreign animal diseases. Veterinary training course The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) offers a virtual smallholder swine veterinary training course aimed at supporting veterinarians working with small scale pigs in Canada. This annual course has been offered a total of three times (in English and French) and provides a comprehensive overview of swine general health and smallholder production practices, diagnostic workup of sick pigs and herds, basic procedures, biosecurity, vaccination strategies, foreign animal disease and an overview of pet pigs. Veterinarians from across the country have participated in the online training, supporting the overall health of Canada’s swine industry and providing insights into disease surveillance across the nation. Registration is free and open to Canadian veterinarians and veterinary staff. The next course runs on Tuesdays from Jan. 16 to Feb. 6, 2024 at 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. ET. For more information or to register, please email Ontario Pork smallholder online resource A robust web page, complete with downloadable resources, links, how-to guides and information kits has been developed by Ontario Pork and available at This resource is aimed at small-scale producers and pet pig owners and explains the importance of everything from biosecurity and herd health to deadstock and why it’s necessary to document animal movement through the PigTrace program. Smallholder hog producers can also subscribe to industry alerts to receive relevant information that could affect Ontario hog farmers of all sizes. A national resource,, is another website designed for Canadian small-scale pig farmers. The site focuses on raising hogs outdoors and provides everything small farmers need to know about feeding, fencing, housing and keeping pigs healthy. A series of howto videos and fact sheets provide information and instructions including food safety, animal nutrition, maintaining herd health and marketing. The success of these smallholder swine projects and programs continues, helping small-scale producers and pet pig owners understand what it takes to raise and care for healthy pigs while taking measures to keep our industry safe and reduce the risk of disease transmission. Many of these resources are available online or by request through Ontario Pork. Please share these resources and information with any smallholder producers because we’re all invested in the health and sustainability of Canada’s hog industry. BP SWINE HEALTH ONTARIO SWINE HEALTH ONTARIO Swine Health Ontario is a leadership team focused on improving and coordinating the industry’s ability to prevent, prepare for and respond to serious swine health threats in the province.

22 The Business of Canadian Hog Farming Better Pork | December 2023 SWINE MANURE & CROP PRODUCTION Maximizing this key resource can be beneficial to crops. By Xiaopeng Gao Swine production on the Canadian Prairies is increasing, with Manitoba being the largest province and accounting for 30 per cent of all swine production nationally. The hog sector is Manitoba’s third most important commodity in terms of farm cash receipts, at $1.5 billion in 2022. As swine operations generate large amounts of animal waste, the management of manure storage and utilization has become a critical consideration. Swine manure is a valuable source of essential nutrients including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). In addition, manure application improves soil organic matter and adds micronutrients such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) to the soil, enhancing soil fertility and quality. However, the inappropriate management of swine manure can lead to serious environmental issues such as water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrogen in swine manure is primarily in an organic form, with a small proportion of inorganic N such as ammonium. Plants take up nutrients in inorganic forms, therefore the organic N in manure must go through a decomposition process called mineralization to convert it into plant available forms such as ammonium or nitrate. In Manitoba, it is generally estimated that approximately 25 per cent of the organic N in manure becomes available during the year of application. The N content of swine manure can be influenced by a variety of factors such as the dietary composition and age of swine, or the way the swine manure is handled and stored, and thus highly variable. For example, an analysis of 772 liquid swine manure samples from farrow-to-finish operations in Manitoba had shown that total N content ranged from seven to 67 lb N/1000 gal. Similar to N, P and K, contents of swine manure are also highly variable. Swine manure predominantly contains these nutrients in inorganic forms, making it an excellent source for plant nutrition. However, because the N:P ratio in swine manure (typically 3:1 to 5:1) is generally lower than what plants require (typically 8:1), repeated application of manure based on crop N Swine manure can give your field necessary nutrients. NosamA - SWINE RESEARCH The advertisers you see in this magazine are the top companies in our farming community. They appreciate your business! WE LOVE OUR ADVERTISERS