APC Industry Award Nominations
Now is the time to send in your nominations for the Alberta Pork Congress Industry Awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award (Honours individuals who have played an integral role in advancing the pork industry in Alberta and celebrates their long-term commitment and unwavering dedication to the industry).
Farm Team Award (Recognizes the farm unit which operates in an exemplary manner through commitment and longevity of the staff with virtues of hard work and cooperation, celebrating dedication of the team toward working together for the success of the farm).
Pork Industry Ambassador Award (Honours individuals or companies whose efforts reflect a commitment above and beyond the accepted expectation of the pork industry in Alberta. It recognizes individuals or companies whose actions have become a valuable asset to the pork industry and acknowledges those whose actions have become models for peer recognition).
For more information or to nominate either a individual – team, please contact the Alberta Pork Congress office at 403.244.7821 or Toll  Free 1.800.267.9180 or emailinfo@albertaporkcongress.com.  Deadline extended for nominations until April 16th.  •

Alberta Pork Regional Meetings
We invite you to join us at the meeting of your choice.
Tuesday, May 26: Vegreville Pomeroy Inn & Suites:  Wednesday May 27: Red Deer Black Knight Inn;Thursday, May 28: Lethbridge Coast Lethbridge Hotel & Conference Centre; Tuesday June 2: Grande Prairie Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre.
Please RSVP to Loreen Riley at Alberta Pork. Call 1-877-247-7675 or emailLoreen.riley@albertapork.com.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Darcy Fitzgerald, Executive Director, at 1.877.247.PORK (7675) or directly at 780.491.3529, by e-mail at
darcy.fitzgerald@albertapork.com, or fax 780.479.5128.  •

Alberta Pork Congress
The 41st annual Alberta Pork Congress will be held at Westerner Park in Red Deer Alberta June 9 – 11, 2015.
Trade show booth applications  are now being accepted online check outwww.albertaporkcongress.com for the latest updates to the floor plan. Act now as show is over 75% sold out.
For exhibitors swine and cheese will be on the trade show floor Tuesday June 9th from 6 – 8.
The trade show floor will be open Wednesday June 10th from 9- 4:30. In the Harvest Centre doors open for the awards banquet reception  at 5:30 followed by the  dinner and industry awards at 6:30.
Earlybird sales for banquet, lunch (Wednesday) and BBQ lunch (Thursday) now available.
Thursday June 11th the trade show floor is open 9 – 4. New this year is the almost famous BBQ will be held on Thursday from 11:30 – 1:30.
For more information or details contact Caitlin McCoy Tradeshow Coordinator  PH: 403. 244.7821 or TF. 1.800.267.9180 or email info@albertaporkcongress.com  •

World Pork Expo
The dates are set for the 2015 World Pork Expo — June 3-5 — at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. World Pork Expo is brought to you by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and presents a wide range of activities, including the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, educational seminars, and swine shows and sales.
The world’s largest pork-specific trade show features hundreds of commercial exhibits from companies throughout the world. The newest products, services and technologies for producing pork are on display in more than 310,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Check out www.worldpork.org  for the details and information.  •

Red Deer Swine Tech
Early planning has begun for the 2015 Red Deer Swine Technology Workshop. Mark your calendars will be held Wednesday October 21st in Red Deer at the Sheraton.
More details will be available in future   editions.   •

SASK Pork Industry Symposium
Be sure to write down November 17th & 18th, that will be the 38th installment of the  Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium.
The symposium will be at the Saskatoon Inn. Look to future issues for more details.  •

Hog Days
Brandon will play host for Hog Days in December. The one day show will be held at the Keystone Centre in Brandon Wednesday December 2nd.
Exhibitor and producer information will be confirmed in the June – July edition.  •

Provincial Pork
Producers Unite to Fund National
Swine Research
Provincial pork producer associations come together to fund national research program.
Swine Innovation Porc was pleased to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by seven provincial pork associations acrosss Canada.
Including: Alberta Pork, Les Eleveurs de porcs du Quebec, Manitoba Pork, New Brunswick Pork, Ontario Pork, PEI Pork and Sask Pork.
This MOU represents a financial commitment of 2.5 million for Swine Innovation Porc (SIP) that will support activities within the research program Swine Cluster 2 Driving Results through Innovation 2013 – 2018.
This funding signifies a national and collaborative approach in supporting research activities for the Canadian swine sector. In addition, it will give SIP the financial flexibility to quickly respond to emerging issues that directly affect swine producers in Canada, such as the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea concern. It will also be used in activities related to the transfer of technical knowledge, so that innovative technologies will reach pork producers at the farm level.
At the beginning of 2014, SIP was granted $13 million in funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as well as a considerable contribution from our industry partners. This additional amount from the provincial pork associations provides SIP with a overall budget of $17.3 million for the Swine Cluster 2 research program.  •

CQA to Merge
Food Safety and
Animal Welfare
The Canadian Quality Assurance program for hog producers is being updated to incorporate the animal welfare standards recently adopted under the national Code of Practice.
The merger is due to be ready for pilot testing this summer.
Dickson Gould of the Canadian Pork Council said there will be some additions to the Code of Practice to make the new Canadian Quality Assurance even better for producers. It is also being “streamlined,” he said, and will be available to use electronically. •                            — By Jim Romahn

Fat Choice can Improve Nursery Rations
Dr. Kees de Lange of the University of Guelph has found that fish oil can reduce the cost of nursery pig rations because cheaper proteins can be used.
Feeding less complex less costly diets during the nursery phase will slow piglet growth during the nursery phase, but the pigs will recover that lost performance during the early grower phase.
De Lange is now researching the interactions with pigs of different health statuses and with different genetics to identify what aspects of diet support the pig’s immune system.”:
Somewhat to our surprise, we are finding out that the fat quality in those diets is more important than the complexity of the proteins that we feed to those animals,” de Lange told a reporter Bruce Cochrane.
“In our most recent experiments we have identified, for example, that some of those Omega-3 fatty acids, those health-promoting fatty acids that are present in fish oil, are able to support immune system to such an extent that if we include fish oil in those lower complexity cheaper diets we get similar performance when you compare it to those more complex diets.
“So in other words, it looks like we may be able to make the diets less complex and cheaper, and then by including a bit of fish oil we are able to bring performance and also the disease resistance up further, but that is something we need to continue to look at a little bit further in detail over the next couple of years,” de Lange told Cochrane.
De Lange said “we have to get a better understanding of how diet quality interacts with the pig genotype and on farm environmental conditions” before he’s ready to make ration recommendations to farmers.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Pork Council Praises Canada’s COOL
Team at WTO
The Canadian Pork Council is praising the Canadian team that handled the World Trade Organization’s hearings in Geneva into an appeal filed by the United States because it doesn’t want to change its County of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations.
Council chairman Rick Bergmann says “this is a very complicated process and the Canadian team performed very well in making our case and answering many complex questions
“It has been very frustrating trying to have the United States make COOL WTO consistent,” meaning within the world trade standards for trade.
“We have now been to Geneva five times to fight these unfair U.S. labelling regulations.
“We won nearly three years ago years ago; the U.S. introduced a new system in May, 2013, which is even worse for Canadian livestock exports. The U.S. lost again but appealed almost immediately,” Bergmann says.
The regulations are costing Canada’s hog farmers about $1 billion per year because U.S. packers are reluctant to bid on Canadian hogs whose pork must be segregated throughout processing so the required labels can be applied.
Mexico has also complained.
“Notwithstanding three losses, the U.S. prefers to litigate and stall,” says the Canadian Pork Council in a news release.
“It has refused to remove the discrimination in COOL while it admits that there continues to be a detrimental effect.”
Bergmann says “the blatant protectionism and intransigence of the U.S. position was clear throughout the hearings.
“We believe that the appellate body, which asked very penetrating questions to all parties, should now bring this to a final result.”
Bergman said “the Government of Canada has been very helpful, including warnings that U.S. failure to make changes to be WTO consistent could result in retaliation against U.S. exports to Canada.
“We hope that it does not come to this – we want our U.S. market back. But justice delayed is justice denied and we have waited much too long.”
The pork council and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association have been coordinating with the Government of Canada to remove the inequities of the U.S. COOL regime.
Beef producers have been losing about $600 million a year. Both estimates were developed by agriculture economists hired by the farm organizations.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Many Weaners Don’t Eat Creep Feed
Typically, up to half piglets consume no creep feed before weaning and about 20 per cent don’t eat any starter feed within 48 hours post-weaning, according to R. Gauvreau and Denise Beaulieu of the Prairie Swine Centre.
They conducted research on more than 2,000 piglets raised on two farms and concluded that piglets are more likely to be eating creep feed if they are weaned later.
The pigs that are eating creep feed before weaning or immediately after fare better.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan Elects Board of Directors
Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, which helps connect consumers to the thousands of livestock, crop and horticulture producers across the province announced their first board of directors today.
“We’re so pleased to have a slate of directors on board who represent the different stakeholders involved,” states Adele Buettner, Executive Director of FFC SK. “Not only will farmers and ranchers be an integral part of Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan, but also food processors, retailers, wholesalers, chefs… all those who have a vested interest in food and farming in the province.”
Representation for pork sector is Shannon Meyers of Fast Genetics.  •

Europe Moves Towards COOL
for Meats
The European Commission is set to create legislation now that the European Parliament last week voted to establish country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for processed meat products.
Europe already has a mandatory COOL legislation for fresh meat products.
Origin labels for beef were made mandatory in 2012 in response to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.
On Feb. 11, the parliament voted to create legislation requiring the disclosure of the county of origin on all processed meats. Up to half of all the meat produced in Europe is further-processed.
More than 90 percent of consumers consider country-of-origin labeling important, the parliament stated in its resolution on the issue.
In a 2013 report, the commission estimated that COOL requirements could increase prices further processors would need to pay for meat inputs by up to 25 percent.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Launches New Swine Starter Feeds
Masterfeeds is proud to announce the launch of its new Vigor Swine Program, offering a full range of complete feeds for your operation. All of our feeds are developed from continual swine nutrition research and are designed to meet the demands of today’s Canadian swine herd.
With increasing pressure on pig prices and higher feed costs, there is a greater desire to optimize lifelong pig production. The impact of improving post-weaning growth on lifetime performance is well documented and sought after by bottom line driven pork producers.
Optimal swine performance requires the successful interaction of genetics, environment, herd health, facilities and management. Masterfeeds Vigor Starter Feeds are formulated to support strong pig vitality and provide phased nutritional requirements throughout the entire nursery phase, supporting cost effective optimal gains.
Masterfeeds Vigor Swine Program and its products represent a leading edge value added program focused on delivering an optimized return over feed cost that is derived from high performance and proven consistent results. Vigor starter feeds offer multiple options providing flexibility in the program to meet the goals of any production system.
With a unique blend of digestible ingredients, specific enzyme combination, direct-fed microbials, acidifiers and organic minerals, Masterfeeds Vigor Starter Rations are palatable and promote intake for excellent post weaning gains. The strategic use of specialized ingredients aids in promoting intestinal integrity and function and optimized digestive enzyme development. The resulting improvement in growth and feed efficiency ends with an improvement in margin over feed cost.
Performance solutions are unique and factor in all areas affecting optimum growth potential. Masterfeeds account managers experience different types of barn styles, management styles, and herd health scenarios. They understand the impact that these non-nutritional factors have on nursery performance. The Masterfeeds Barn Eye Check off program assists producers in gathering information to assess and pinpoint production areas that may be limiting optimum performance potential in your        operation.  •

Hog Farm Given
Permission to Expand
Recently a Red Deer County hog farm was given permission to expand despite odour concerns from neighbours.
The Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) approved an application by Spruit Farms Ltd. to go from an 800-sow farrow-to-wean operation to 500 sow farrow-to-finish. Owners Edwin and Sandra Spruit also intend to extend existing barns and add a new one at their farm about five km south of Red Deer next to the C&E Trail.
Almost a dozen nearby property owners sent letters to the NRCB raising concerns, including: potential odour problems, effect on property values, impact on water supplies and manure truck traffic.
Several pointed out the project will double the amount of manure produced.
In response to these issues, the Spruits reduced the size of a barn, proposed more manure storage to reduce truck traffic and to add another 300 acres of spreading fields to the existing 1,000 acres to reduce concentrations. Only 525 acres is required under regulations.
The Spruits proposed in their application to change ventilation systems to reduce odour and, if required, spread straw on the manure lagoon twice a year to reduce smell.
Spruit Farms also meets the act’s requirements for manure management and groundwater protection.
Among conditions is that the Spruits continue to monitor water wells and to cease construction if the water table comes within one metre or less of the concrete liners of the barns.
Neighbours had until Feb. 20 to appeal the NRCB approval.
Edwin Spruit said they have gone beyond the requirements in a number of areas to reduce the impact of their operation.  •

Reducing Tail Biting Improves Pig Feed Efficiency
Reducing tail biting improves efficiency, according to researcher Ole Fredslund Christensen of the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics at Aarhus University in Denmark.
The joint research project with the Danish Pig Research Centre is studying how pig behaviour is influenced by the type of pigs put together in pens.
It has found that genetics can be used to reduce tail biting.
“We expect to see a reduction in emissions of 335 tonnes of nitrogen, 56 tonnes of phosphorus and 14.5 tonnes of CO2 for the entire production of finishers, which is based on a production of 19 million finishers in 2013,” says Fredslund Christensen.
Improved feed efficiency also reduces production costs and less labour will be needed because tails won’t need to be docked.
“We expect with the advances in breeding to increase feed use efficiency by 0.01 feed units for every one kg weight gained and to increase the growth rate by one gram per pig per day.
“We also expect to reduce tail biting by 0.25 percentage points per year,” says Fredslund Christensen.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Prevtec Receives Authorization
The European Commission Authorizes the Marketing of Prevtec Microbia’s Coliprotec® F4
Prevtec Microbia Inc. announced recently that its German subsidiary, Prevtec Microbia GmbH, received marketing authorization for its vaccine, Coliprotec® F4, in the European Union, an important market for the Canadian company.
Coliprotec® F4 will be distributed in the European Union by Elanco Animal Health (Elanco), a major player in the animal health industry doing business in more than 75 countries.
Coliprotec® F4 is a live oral vaccine that will enable European veterinarians and producers to access a new technology for immunizing piglets against enterotoxigenic F4-positive E. coli, which is associated with post-weaning diarrhea (PWD).
Developed by Prevtec Microbia, Coliprotec® F4 has been available in the Canadian market for over seven years.  •

Taking the Edge Off Stressors Boosts Profits  Swine
New livestock feeding options are emerging to take the edge off key stressors and provide a viable alternative to growth promoting antibiotics.
A leading example is the yeast based supplement Maxi-Gen Plus from Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.). Maxi-Gen Plus, featured this week at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in St. Paul, MN, is designed to support optimal performance for poultry and swine, particularly during times of potential stress such as weaning and transport.
The custom formulation and product design was developed based on research trials conducted by the University of Manitoba. It has been used commercially for several years by industry and operations across Canada and increasingly in the U.S. and beyond.
Among the latest results, Maxi-Gen Plus has shown substantial benefits replacing the growth promoting antibiotic virginiamycin in broiler chicken production.
Alternative options are rising in importance not only to expand the toolbox available to industry, but to specifically address the increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use. This includes the growing trend toward “antibiotic-free” status for poultry that has made substantial news in recent weeks.
In a recent field study, Maxi-Gen Plus was compared to virginiamycin under commercial broiler chicken production conditions. Body weight gain per bird at key phases of production was consistently equal to or slightly improved under the Maxi-Gen Plus treatment.  •

Profit Soars
Smithfield Foods profit more than tripled from $34.7 to $152.6 million for the company’s fourth quarter.
Profits for hog production increased to $17 per head. Smithfield is the largest hog producer outside of China and it is now owned by a Chinese company, the WH Group Ltd.
The high hog prices squeezed margins in the hog-processing sector of the company. Margins there were down to two per cent which translates to $3 per hog.  •
— By Jim Romahn

Manitoba Hog Barn Fire Kills 1,500 pigs
A fire in Kola, Man., recently destroyed a huge pig barn and killed 1,500 animals, fire RCMP say.
The Wallace District Fire Department sent 30 firefighters from three stations to the fire at about 10 p.m.to find the barn in flames. Firefighters from Maryfield, Sask., joined their peers from Virden and Elkhorn.
It took firefighters about half an hour to respond because of  snowstorm. The water supply was also a distance away, so firefighters weren’t able to save the building or the animals inside.
The barn was one ran by HyLife of La Broquerie.
Kola is 300 kilometres west of Winnipeg near the Saskatchewan border.
No people were injured, but the owner of the barn said approximately 1,500 sows were destroyed, RCMP said.
HyLife Vice-President Claude Vielfaure said he very sad about the loss. He adds the cause of the fire is not yet known.
The cause of the fire does not appear suspicious, police said, but the Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating.  •

New Society
Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan to Assume Responsibility for Enforcement of Saskatchewan’s Animal Protection Act
A new humane society has been established in Saskatchewan to take over enforcement of the province’s Animal Protection Act. Earlier this year the Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced plans to  narrow its focus to programs and services related to education and the prevention of animal cruelty and after March 31, would no longer be responsible for enforcement of Saskatchewan’s  Animal Protection Act.
Effective April 1 the newly created Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan will assume that responsibility. Saskatchewan agriculture minister Lyle Stewart anticipates a seamless transition.
Stewart says the province is committed to animal protection and is pleased that the well being of animals will continue to be safeguarded across Saskatchewan.  •