The National Grain and Feed Foundation (NGFF) has contributed $60,000 to the National Pork Board (NPB) to be used to pursue research on the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) that has infected swine herds in the United States.

The virus has infected and killed millions of young pigs on farms of all sizes in 29 states since May 2013, as well as in four Canadian provinces since January 2014.  Importantly, the virus does not affect humans or the safety of consumable pork products.

David Fairfield, the vice president of feed services at the National Grain and Feed Association, noted that the grain and feed industry is committed to supporting research that is being undertaken through the NPB that will help finds ways to combat the establishment, and the spread of PEDV in the United States.

He added that in particular, NGFA and its foundation are pleased to be able to support the NPB's research on several feed-related issues that may be associated with PEDV - results of which NGFA believes will further enhance the industry’s knowledge in finding ways to control and eventually eradicate, as well as prevent the disease and economic damage it is causing to the pork and related industries.

Paul Sundberg, NPB's vice president of science and technology, said NGFF's donation is a welcome addition to funding coming from industry groups outside of the Pork Checkoff, and will help expand research into the costly disease.

Sandburg said, given questions about PEDV and feed-related issues, our goal is to find answers as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

He added that they appreciate NGFF's investment, and will continue to collaborate closely with the NGFA and other industry stakeholders on research to find practical and effective ways for farmers to help save their pigs.

The top research priorities for NPB's feed-related research projects are to:

  1. Investigate the effectiveness and cost of treatments that could be used to mitigate the survival of PEDV and other viruses if present in animal feeds,
  2. Conduct contamination risk assessments at all steps within the feed processing and delivery chain,
  3. Develop a substitute for currently used swine bioassay procedures; and
  4. Continue to investigate the risk of feed systems and other pathways for pathogen entry into the United States.

To view the National Pork Board's PEDV-related research and resources, go to www.pork.org/pedv.