by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Ideal pork production in the future and probing changes in managing the highly prolific sow are two highlights of this year’s London Swine Conference.
“There’s lots of good stuff on there,” says Jaydee Smith, the conference’s chair of the presentations that will take place over the two-day conference.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the conference, a joint effort by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Pork, University of Guelph and the Ontario Pork Industry Council.
The milestone is recognized with a new logo and a “jazzed up” conference proceedings publication in full colour. But don’t expect any special celebrations — other than, as usual, a high quality program, says Smith. “We had discussed that but given what the industry has been through in the last few years and the fact that we depend so much on industry sponsorship to put the thing on, we decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate to spend a lot of money on a celebration.”
Many presentations reflect the conference’s theme of focusing on the future, including swine consultant Dennis DiPietre’s presentation on the ideal pork production system in the future and sessions on: alternative farrowing systems, green initiatives available to the swine sector, new approaches to the elimination of boar taint and an examination of the shift to later weaning. Rudolf Wiedmann, who invented Kistenstall, a double-row barn with natural ventilation and Pigport 1, 2 and 3, a housing system common in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, will tackle changes in managing the highly prolific sow. Wiedmann is with the National Institute for Pig Breeding LSZ in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
“There is a future for the industry and the conference program provides perspective and knowledge that the industry can use to shape its own future within the constraints of national and international events and economic forces,” Smith states in the conference chair’s message.
Organizers envision the annual event as a way to encourage the adoption of new technologies in commercial pork production in Ontario and create an exchange of ideas within the industry.
It takes place March 31 and April 1 at the London Convention Centre. Conference details can be found on the event’s website. BF