Fall manure application this year is cause for concern as  pork producers need to be aware of the risk of spreading porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus through equipment used to pump and apply manure on land, says Larry Jacobson, Extension agricultural engineer at the University of Minnesota.

The concern exists for all farms but especially those with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of the disease.

PED virus is a viral enteric disease affecting only swine. Clinical signs include diarrhea, fever, vomiting and death (age dependent). PED virus was first detected in the United States this spring. It can be spread through oral-fecal contact, manure-contaminated boots, clothing, birds and wildlife, transport trailers and other equipment, Jacobson says.

 

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The virus continues to spread. As of Sept. 1, the disease had been confirmed on more than 500 U.S. swine herds. To protect your farm and your neighbors, obtain a confirmed diagnosis if your pigs are exhibiting clinical signs of PED virus, he emphasizes.

Then establish enhanced biosecurity practices immediately to avoid spreading the virus among your own animals and/or to neighboring swine herds.

Jacobson points out that equipment can easily spread this virus from infected farms and barns to uninfected farms and barns because many pork producers hire commercial manure applicators to pump and land apply their hog manure.

In response to this urgent concern, the National Pork Board, Michigan State University, Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota have released a one-page fact sheet with biosecurity recommendations commercial manure haulers should follow to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

The fact sheet emphasizes the custom manure applicator should communicate closely with pork producers when pumping manure on a farm. Good communications help reduce the risk of transferring this virus by manure handling equipment either from or to the farm, Jacobson says. The fact sheet is available at the University of Minnesota Web site.

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