Executive Editor, Successful Farming

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Cargill Pork’s Trek through Modern Pig Business

The announcement on July 1 that JBS USA Pork, a subsidiary of Brazilian-based JBS S.A., is buying Cargill’s U.S. pork business for $1.45 billion was a surprise to most in the meat industry. Minnesota-based Cargill, the nation's largest privately held compa

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PEDv, Water Suit Hot Topics at Pork Congress

Producers are in high spirits at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines today. Hog markets are profitable and herd disease levels low, at least for the time being.

The deadly PED virus, which infected about 60% of the nation's sows last year, is still circulating in herds, but at lower levels than one year ago, says Algona, Iowa, veterinarian Matt Anderson. However, it's too soon to breathe easy, he says. Last year the worst "explosive pockets" hit in February through April. "Let's see what the next few months bring," says Anderson.

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In the Field With PEDv

How nasty is the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus? Take this example from last winter. A group of 62,000 sows on 16 farms in a 10-mile radius in Missouri all broke with the virus from February 4 to February 14, "despite an excellent track record of external biosecurity," says Pete Thomas, veterinarian for Murphy Brown LLC.

Mortality in pigs less than one week old was virtually 100%.

"That was not my favorite Valentine's Day," Thomas told veterinarians at the annual Swine Disease Conference at Iowa State University today.

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Swine virus surging

The deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is on the rise in U.S. swine herds in December, as producers anticipated and dreaded as cold weather sets in.

Testing data from the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network shows 140 new cases reported for the week of December 1, 2013. This represents the highest number of new cases reported in a single week since the introduction of the virus in April. The addition of Nebraska brings to 20 the number of states reporting at least one confirmed case of PEDV virus in a swine herd.

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