World Pork Expo
World Pork Expo will be held in Des Moines IA the first week of June. June 4 – 6th, 2014.
Details and information can be located on their website

Alberta Pork Congress
The 40th annual Alberta Pork Congress will take place at the Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta, from June 10 – 12, 2014.
Trades Show applications are being accepted via fax and online booth selection is open. Booths are 90% sold out.
Mark your calendars as the dates have changed. Swine & Cheese will be held on the trade show floor Tuesday June 10th from 6 – 9. Wednesday June 11 the trade show floor opens at 9 am followed by the industry award banquet. Thursday June 12 the trade show floor opens again at 9 am, the show closes with a BBQ held onsite. For tickets to awards dinner or BBQ contact the APC office.
For more information please visit our website; or contact Lisa Doyle at 403.244.7821 or via email:

3rd Annual Bruce Winkler Memorial Silent Auction
Held in conjunction with the Alberta Pork Congress is the third annual Bruce Winkler Memorial Silent Auction. As in past years all proceeds will be donated to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, specifically the Linac MR Machine.
The BWMSA will be open during the Swine & Cheese on Tuesday June 10th, throughout the day on the trade show floor June 11th and some items will be moved over to the banquet and awards.
Auction items are encouraged and appreciated. Contact Laurie Brandly Auction Chair to have your donation picked up. PH: 780.986.0962 or E:

Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop
Mark your calendars for the annual Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop, which will take place Wednesday November 5th at the Sheraton in Red Deer.
Early speaker planning has begun watch the next issue for more details. •

Saskatchewan Industry Pork Symposium
The annual Saskatchewan Industry Pork Symposium will be held in Saskatoon at the Saskatoon Inn November 18 & 19, 2014.
More information will be available in future editions of Prairie Hog Country. •

Prairie Livestock Expo
The show has all three a new name, a new focus and a new location.
Prairie Livestock Expo formally known as Hog & Poultry Days, made the decision to expand the show to include muilti species. Prairie Livestock Expo the full one day show will take place Wednesday December 10th at the newly renovated and built Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, Winnipeg MB.
All the industries servicing the livestock sector are invited to participate.
Although the name has changed much will remain the same including the highly anticipated carcass competition.
More details will be available for the next issue. •

Boots Found Carrying PED Virus in SK
Saskatchewan has identified Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus on the boots of a trucker returning from Iowa.
Swabs taken from the truck indicated it had been properly cleaned, washed, disinfected and dried and no PED virus was found, but the driver’s boots were contaminated.
Harvey Wagner, director of producer services for the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board said this underlines the importance of paying close attention to all of the details involved in biosecurity protocols to keep the disease from spreading.
There have been no outbreaks in the three most western provinces and only one in Manitoba. Ontario has had 25 since Jan. 22 and Quebec and Prince Edward Island one each.
The 25th case in Ontario is a finisher barn in Bruce County. The disease is usually only a temporary setback for finisher pigs and mortality rates are seldom high; it’s baby pigs that can’t handle the diarrhea and vomiting. •
— By Jim Romahn

Traceability Requirements by CFIA
Federal pig traceability requirements were recently published. Identification and movement reporting requirements will come into force on July 1, 2014 for pigs ; and on 1 July 2015 for farmed wild boars. A summary of the pig requirements are available on the inspection portion of the CFIA website.
Draft regulations were published back in July 2012. The requirements published recently largely address the comments made during the 30-day comment period. As required by the Treasury Board of Canada, a cost-benefit analysis for the regulations was developed and made public. The federal regulations do not contradict the pig traceability requirements already adopted by the Alberta Government.
When reporting the movement of pigs, regulated parties will have the choice to report the identification number of either their account number in the administrator’s database or of the premises where pigs were kept. The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is expected to become the administrator responsible for pigs and farmed wild boars when the regulations come into force. The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency remains the administrator responsible for cattle, bison and sheep.
Regulated parties will report pig traceability information to a new information system: PigTrace. A threat risk assessment for the information system was conducted and recommendations for corrective actions made.
The PigTrace information system will follow the traceability dictionary to ensure interoperability with other information systems. There will be initially a soft enforcement phase whereby only letters of non-compliance could be used as an enforcement tool. Over the next months, CFIA inspectors will be informed and trained with respect to the new requirements.
Regulated parties will be informed of the new requirements through communications products developed by the CPC and the CFIA. CFIA brochures are expected to be circulated as of April 2014.
Foreign Affairs and Canadian embassies have been informed of the new requirements. The traceability system could support market access and reduce the length of trade embargos in the event of disease outbreaks.
USDA and APHIS have also been informed.
For more information contact your provincial pork office or Pig Trace directly. Jeff Clark, Manager, PigTrace Canada | An initiative of the Canadian Pork Council Direct: 204.235.4440; Cell 204.791.1032; Fax: 204.237.9831; Switchboard: 204.237.7447 or E-mail:

PED Cuts Pork Plant Shifts
Smithfield Foods has cut one day per week from its slaughter schedule at the world’s largest plant at Tar Heel, North Carolina, says Reuters news agency.
The reduction from five to four days per week is blamed on the reduction of hog production due to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
It’s estimated that five million piglets have been killed by the virus, one million in January alone.
The virus first showed up in Illinois in April and has spread across almost the entire hog-producing regions in the United States and in January into Ontario. •
— By Jim Romahn

Sows Can Be Fed Pacifying Diet
Sows can be fed rations that pacify their behaviour when they’re kept in group housing, according to research by Denise Beaulieu at the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon.
A high-fibre ration seems to keep them more satisfied throughout the day and therefore less likely to become aggressive, she found.
Feeding them once a day instead of several times also reduced aggression.
And using electronic transponders so sows are individually fed also reduced aggression.
Beaulieu said there is still much more to be learned about adjusting rations and feeding practices for sows in group housing.
There is keen interest in this research because many retailers have said they will no longer buy pork from farms that keep sows in gestation stalls. Most of them have granted until 2017 to convert sow housing.
Beaulieu said high-fibre rations could also cost less because they could incorporate byproducts. •
— By Jim Romahn

Board of Directors Elects Executive

The Board of Directors of Sask Pork elected its 2014 Executive at the end of January
The following positions were elected: Florian Possberg – B & F Polar Pork Farms re-elected as Chairman; Shannon Meyers – Fast Genetics re-elected as Vice-Chairman and Paul Ulrich – Ulrich Pork Farms re-elected as Audit Chair. •

Alberta Pork PED Information Website
Alberta Pork has created a comprehensive PEDv portal on its website, offering a wealth of information on disease prevention including general biosecurity, truck wash protocols, cold weather disinfecting, and detergents and disinfectants. You can also find daily updates on the situation across Canada and recordings and transcripts from their PEDv telephone town hall meetings.
Check out for the latest information and updates. •

Hog Manure Beats MAP
Researchers at the University of Manitoba have found that the magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) in hog manure is better for germinating crops than commercial MAP (mono-ammonium phosphate).
Yeukai Katanda recently reported to the Manitoba Soil Science Society’s annual conference on research to extract struvite from hog manure to produce a powder that could be planted with seed.
They believe higher amounts of struvite can be incorporated with seeding because it’s not toxic as with salts from MAP that kills seedlings.
“We concluded that hog manure-derived struvite has potential to be applied at higher rates than those that are possible with MAP,” said Katanda.
“Whereas MAP would induce some toxicity, struvite proved to be not as toxic.” •
— By Jim Romahn

Siwin Foods Is
Building $13 Million Facility in Edmonton
Based in Leduc, Siwin Foods is a domestic food company with international ambitions. A subsidiary of Yantai Xiwang Foods Company of China, Siwin was established in 2004 and operated out of leased space at the Leduc Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI). Siwin produces a range of ready-to-eat meals with a heavy focus on Asian cuisine. Over the last ten years, Siwin has been struggling with production bottlenecks at the APBI space due to its rapid growth. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Siwin is building a new $13 million processing plant in Edmonton.
The new facility was designed from the ground up to help Siwin merge all of its production under a single roof and provide options for future expansion. The facility will feature new equipment that will increase the efficiency of Siwin’s existing production lines. More importantly, the processing environment will incorporate industry leading specifications that meet the export requirements for the United States (U.S.) and China, two of Siwin’s target markets.
The larger space will require more people as Siwin increases its production. Siwin is hiring more staff and bringing in external consultants to provide training in food safety. The investment in staff training is part of Siwin’s ongoing commitment to make food safety every employee’s number one priority.
Gordon Cove, ALMA’s President and CEO, said, “We’ve done multiple projects with Siwin because the company’s story aligns closely with our goals. Our partnership with Siwin is increasing domestic capacity as Siwin is using Alberta meat to produce products with limited domestic competition. Other brands of potstickers and dumplings sold in Alberta are either out-of-province processors or, more likely, coming in from outside of Canada. This same partnership also advances our international market aims as Siwin’s long-term strategy is to sell product internationally. Most importantly, Siwin has invested millions in building its Edmonton facility and it will create millions more in economic development as new jobs are filled by Albertans and more meat is needed to keep up with their growing customer base.”
For more information, go to•

U.S., Canada Adopt Common Names
For Meat
A deal to adopt the same names for meat cuts for the U.S. and Canada came into force this week.
It will make it easier to trade, say officials of the United States Department of Agriculture, but they did not say anything about the ongoing dispute over Country of Origin labeling regulations that hinder trade.
The agreement applies only to wholesale meat cuts, not retail.
The Canadian meat classification system uses a Meat Cuts Manual. The United States uses the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications which is a set of voluntary standards maintained by agriculture department’s Agriculture Marketing Service.
Both countries will now be working with the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications. •

Russia Will Soon Lift Pork Import Ban on U.S.
Russia is poised to lift its ban on importing pork from the United States by about March 10, trade officials say.
That could increase already high pork prices. Futures contract prices have shot up to record highs as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus has wiped out more than one million piglets since it first showed up in Illinois in April.
The pace of outbreaks has increased sharply during the cold winter gripping the U.S. from Iowa to North Carolina, the two biggest hog-producing states.
Russia imposed the ban on pork from hogs fed ractopamine. It’s not clear whether the Russians now accept that U.S. packers can provide assurances that the pork destined for Russia is from hogs that have never been fed ractopamine or if the Russians now accept the safety of using the growth promotant.
Russia has imposed a different ban on pork from Europe, citing concerns about African Swine Fever. The Europeans are angrily challenging that ban and threatening to escalate the issue by filing a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization.
All of these moves have taken place before the U.S. and Europe began threatening to impose trade sanctions over Russia’s apparent invasion of Crimea. •
— By Jim Romahn

New Research
Evaluates Infrared Detection of Sick Pigs
Diseases can spread rapidly through swine herds. In these situations, the best course of action is to either quickly isolate or treat infected animals to prevent further infections. Unfortunately, many contagious diseases can spread before an affected animal starts showing outward signs of illness. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Dr. Nigel Cook of the Lacombe Research Centre is evaluating infrared technology that can potentially detect ill animals sooner, leading to quicker treatment and more effective disease control.
The reasoning behind infrared thermography (IRT) as a diagnostic tool is that heat regulation is one of the first systems engaged as an animal’s body focusses on fighting a disease. An immune response shows up as a higher-than-average body temperature that can be captured using IRT cameras. An IRT system has to be practical from the producer point of view. This means an automated system that accounts for other factors that affect body temperature such as the environment, feed consumption and sleep cycles. The study evaluated two different IRT systems.
One system was triggered by radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the animals’ ears. IRT cameras were placed in locations every pig frequents, such as the feeders, and these captured images of each pig. These images were matched to the RFID tag.
The other system used IRT cameras fixed to the ceiling of common areas. These cameras took pictures of all the pigs in a pen at 5-minute intervals. These group images were then sent to a computer to evaluate temperature variations among the group. As researchers cannot purposely infect pigs with virulent diseases, the team used vaccination as a safe method to provoke an immune response.
“Both systems were effective in detecting the body temperature swing after an immune response,” explains Dr. Cook, “The systems picked up the temperature change within an hour to six hours of vaccination. This means that a producer using this system would know of an infection potentially days before any of the physical signs of disease emerged. That time difference is huge when it comes to treatment and control.”
Although both systems performed well, the success of the group image in detecting thermal responses is the most encouraging result. The group image system is considerably cheaper and more robust than attempting to collecting data from individual pigs. More importantly, it was successful in detecting the immune response when less than 10 per cent of the pigs in a pen had been exposed. The level of sensitivity and the simplicity of the system show that it could operate as an automated, early detection system in real world swine barns.
“As a proof-of-concept study, this has been a huge success,” said Dr. Cook, “We have a lower cost system that is simple, sturdy and effective. We’re still working with the data to account for factors such as the clustering behavior of pigs in the group, but the viability of IRT as an early detection tool has been demonstrated.”
Clint Dobson, ALMA’s Senior Manager of Policy and Research, said, “ALMA actively looks for projects that will improve the diagnostic tools in our industry. We’re very happy to see a positive result with IRT systems. It opens up another option for pork producers looking to reduce their antibiotic use and target their treatment regimes.”
For more info please contact Dr. Cook directly:

AgFeed Industries Faces Fraud Charges
The stock markets watchdog in the United States – the Securities and Exchange Commission – has laid fraud charged against AgFeed Industries Inc. some of its top executives.
AgFeeds is a Chinese company that merged with a major hog production business in the United States. The U.S. company filed bankruptcy in July and a month later sold its U.S. operations.
within a month of that merger
The SEC says executives used a variety of methods to inflate revenue from 2008 to mid-2011, including fake invoices for the sale of feed and pigs.
They later tried to cover up their actions by saying the fake hogs died, and because fatter hogs bring higher market prices, they also inflated the weights of actual hogs sold and correspondingly inflated the sales revenues for those hogs, the agency says. •
— By Jim Romahn

Judge to Rule Soon on COOL Challenge
A California judge is expected to rule soon on an case seeking to prevent the federal government from implementing new Country of Origin Labeling regulations.
The lawsuit was filed by U.S. meat packers and is supported by Canadian beef and hog producers.
The industry is also awaiting a decision from the World Trade Organization. Canadians and Mexicans filed a challenge there, claiming the new regulations are worse than the previous ones which the World Trade Organization ruled were an unfair discrimination against imported cattle and hogs. •
— By Jim Romahn

Maple Leaf gets $5 Million From Feds
The federal government giving Maple Leaf Foods $5 million to buy fancy equipment for its new plant in Hamilton.
The government says it’s a “repayable investment” but gives no details about the terms for repayment.
In a news release, the federal agriculture department says the equipment “will improve the company’s operating and production efficiencies while enhancing food safety and supporting product innovation.
It’s for a “fully-automated process that significantly improves food safety and includes built-in features to facilitate product traceability.
“The system is also expected to improve the shape, texture, consistency and shelf-life of deli meat products while reducing sodium content.
“This strategic investment will boost the competiveness of the meat sector and create opportunities for Canadian pork producers for years to come,” the federal agriculture department says. •
— By Jim Romahn

PED Cases Continue to Rise
As of press time.
There were another 296 farms hit by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in the United States last week.
That brings the total to 4,727 in 27 states since the first case last April, and a toll of about five million piglets.
Ohio was hardest hit last week as cold weather continued to grip the Northern U.S. and Canada.
Ontario has also had more cases with the most recent a nursery barn in Huron County, bringing the province’s total to 32 farms.
Officials expect the pace of new outbreaks will decline when warm weather returns. •
— By Jim Romahn