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A34-Lanc«ster Farming, Saturday, February 19,1994
(Continued from Page A 1)
ly can rise as high as SO percent in
the farrowing house. Duration of
this acute form lasts about 2-4
PRRS is transmitted by pig-to
pig contact through sneezing. The
virus is shed effectively through
manure. Also, the virus which
causes the disease can be readily
transmitted through the placenta.
The virus can travel by air room to
room and bam to bam. Also, the
vims can be present in semen.
The vims can attack any size of
pig. According to Wetzell, the
herds infected include a large por
tion of lowa, Minnesota, North
Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Michi
gan, and slates bordering Pennsyl
vania, including Ohio, Virginia,
The problem with the disease,
according to the veterinarian, is
that there are two strains of virus,
and it can last for weeks. Also, the
vims destroys the lung immune
cells which paves the way for
other diseases to take hold with the
hogs. This attack on the pig’s
immunity allows the pig to deve
lop a wide range of other diseases.
Virgil E. Gutshall, Jr., Blaln,
was honored as Pork All-
American at the Keystone
icers can weather the ups and downs of market prices If their operation is
under contract and producers strive to be more productive, according to pork produc
ers on a special production contract panel at the Keystone Pork Congress. From left,
Dr. Ken Kephart, Penn State swine specialist, moderator; Jerry Hostetter, Swatara
Swine, Denver; and Alvin Shaffer, Dalmatia.
Another panel, composed of herd representatives, examined some pointers used
in running a more efficient operation in order to meet packer needs. From left, Dr. Ken
Kephart, Penn State swine specialist; Robert Mikesell, White Oak Mills, Elizabeth
town; and Dave Heckel, Farm Crest Feeds, Litltz.
“feverishly working” on a
PRRS vaccine, said Dr. Tom
Wetzell, South Central Veter*
inary Associates, from Wells,
Minn. On Wednesday, Wetzell
told about 100 pork produc
ers at the Keystone Pork Con
gress that once the vaccine Is
available, it will have as good
an effect on controlling PRRS
as the PRV vaccine had on
However, not all pigs get the
symptoms of the disease, though
they can test serologically posi
tive, according to Wetzell. And
eventually the herd can recover
somewhat. Knowing this, produc
ers need to examine the prevalence
of PRRS in the herd and determine
whether it is economically feasible
to implement a reduction or elimi
There is a “glimmer of hope” in
controlling PRRS, said Wetzell.
He told the producers that if they
have strong, healthy pigs, surviva
bility increases and other, less
expensive methods of controlling
the problem can be used.
Producers need to control the
host pig, the agent responsible for
PRRS, and look into the environ-
, went to y,. met. ;s,.
Harnlsh, Wendy Atkins, and Katie Lefever. At far right is Tom Moyer, Hatfield
Berks County won second place at the Keystone Pork Bowl. From left. Richard W.
Kerper, Jr.; Leon Hunter; Pat Hunter, coach; Tim Eschbach; Jason Manbeck; and Tom
Moyer, Hatfield representative.
ment that makes he pig
There are three ways to test a
herd for the presence of the PRRS
* Serological tests, which indi
cates herd exposure to the virus.
This includes the IFA test, an accu
rate, less expensive lest. Also
included is the more expensive,
longer-lasting test, called SN. The
serological test with the most
promise, ELISA, may soon be
available for veterinarians.
• Virus isolation. There are a
variety of methods available
through blood testing the sows and
• FA test, a rapid test that is
expensive and is difficult to run.
Wetzell said that producers
wanting to control the virus need to
test, in the farrowing operations,
the blood of 30 sows regularly. For
finishing bams, 10 animals should
be blood tested per bam.
Control must start with the gilt
and sire sources. Producers should
make sure they have proof from
their gilt and A 1 suppliers that the
seedstock tests serologically
Wetzell recommends the fol
lowing proposed overall manage
ment control methods;
• Phase 1; producers should exa
mine pig flow, make sure the oper
ation is truly all-in, all-out, and
keep the area warm, dry, and draft
free. Feed high quality diet and
administer proper medications.
• Phase II (to be used if I
is ineffective). Leave pigs alone as
much as possible (avoid stress) and
wean the pigs at an older age. The
antibodies the pig picks up from
the sow help control PRRS.
• Phase 111 (if both Phase I and II
are ineffective). This includes par
tial depopulation, moving through
testing to another site, and total
Toward the year 2000, accord
ing to the veterinarian, the inci
dence of PRRS should stabilize
with the introduction of the vac
cine and implementing proper herd
The 1994 economic year could
be one of mixed emotions for hog
While prices for hogs per hun
dredweight will average $2 more
this year than last, because of a
reduction in inventory because of
bad weather throughout the coun
try last year (floods in the Midwest
and drought in the East), feed costs
could rise, offsetting any gain in
That’s the message presented by
H. Louis Moore, Penn State pro-
Dr. David J. Meisinger,
chief operating officer, Fet
terman Farms Limited, Paris,
111., spoke about lessons
learned from a Midwest pack
er about bringing the best
carcass to slaughter.
fessor of ag economics, at the Key
stone Pork Congress.
Moore said that there are a num
ber of positive things happening
with the national economy. The
interest rate for borrowers looks
good, with rates the lowest in the
three decades. Inflation is only
about 3 percent, and food prices
will rise less than the rate of infla
tion. Unemployment stands at 6.4
percent, down from last year’s at
this time (about 7.1 percent).
GATT and NAFTA look to help
agriculture in a big way ““across
(he board,” said Moore.
So what’s the bad news?
Slow growth in the GNP, the
looming question of paying for
national health care, and. most of
all, the price of com.
In 1993, according to the Penn
State economist, com inventories
stood at 2.1 billion bushels. In
1994, the inventory stood at only
800 million bushels “a very
sharp drop, the lowest since the
early 19705,” said Moore. The
1993 crop is projected at 6.34 bil
lion bushels for the U.S., down 33
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