The Nebraska Pork Producers firmly believe in responsible farming, as well as being good neighbors, and we are more than happy to talk.
Because we consider ourselves responsible farmers, but first and foremost your neighbors and fellow Nebraskans, we believe in making information regarding our practices readily available to those who seek it. Below are some commonly frequently asked questions.
Terry O’Neel, Pork Producer and National Environmental Stewardship Award Winner, Friend, NE. - Odor can result from any livestock operation regardless of the type of animal being cared for or the size or type of operation. Pork producers are aware that there is a potential for order from their farms and use a variety of management practices to mitigate and control orders from their operations. Because odor-causing gases can attach themselves to dust particles, producers practice dust-control measures including good housekeeping inside and outside of the barns. The use of vegetative windbreaks, plant buffers or fan filters keep barn dust and odor from moving off the farm. Proper management of manure storage helps reduce odors as well. Some pork producers use natural or synthetic covers on manure storage structures to help control odor.
National Pork Board Quick Facts, Des Moines, IA - There are five basic production systems:
- Farrow-to-finish farms that involve all stages of production, from breeding through finishing to market weights of about 265 pounds.
- Farrow- to-nursery farms that involve breeding through marketing 40 to 60 pound feeder pigs to grow-finish farms.
- Farrow-to-wean farms that involve breeding through marketing 10 to 15 pound weaned pigs to nursery-grow-finish farms.
- Wean-to-finish farms that involve purchasing weaned pigs that are 2 to 4 weeks of age and weigh 10 to 15 pounds and finishing them to market weight.
- Finishing farms that buy 40 to 60 pound feeder pigs and finish them to market weight.
National Pork Board Quick Facts, Des Moines, IA - A producer’s choice of housing system will vary depending on his choice of production system and may vary from pigs being raised in pastures to totally enclosed controlled-environment buildings. The choice of facility type is mainly a balancing of capital investment, labor requirement and management expertise. Totally enclosed controlled-environment buildings require a higher investment but lower labor per unit of output. Pasture or outdoor production systems and production systems that use a hoop building, open front with outside apron, or double-curtain building involve more acres of land and more labor per unit of output. They generally require a lower capital investment. Regardless of the type of facilities used the objective is the same: To provide the proper environment to maximize the well-being and productivity of both animal and worker.
Shane Meyer, Pork Farmer, Diller, NE. - Sows are territorial by nature and will work to establish a pecking order. Pigs are capable of inflecting serious injury on one another. They will bite ears and tails, injure legs and joints and bruise the body with close contact. Removing the more aggressive sows can help the problem temporarily, until the left over sows again fight for dominance. Individual housing crates improve the quality of life, guarantee a sows health, and insures that each animal receives proper nutrition.
Scott Spilker, Pork Farmer, Beatrice, NE - Because there are so many variables like housing choices it is difficult to be categorical about specific temperatures for different weights of pig. The most important thing to remember about pigs is that temperatures will vary depending on the weight and development stage of the animal. Baby pigs need to be kept very warm. Baby pigs are not able to produce their own heat. They need to be kept at about 90 degrees by using either a heating pad or heat lamp. Grown pigs don't have sweat glands, so it's up to producers to keep them cool during high heat. Producers can cool animals with water-cooling systems that include misting and drip-cooling devices, and by making sure there is plenty of air movement and fresh, cool drinking water. During colder weather, heating systems in climate controlled building are adjusted for difference comfort levels. Pigs kept outdoors or in unheated buildings are provided with bedding materials. The ultimate determinate is the pig itself. Pigs that are within their comfort zone will lie on their sides barely touching their neighbors.