This July the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) working with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will launch the Swine 2012 study. The national study encompassing 13 states will provide an in-depth look at U.S. swine operations and update information from the NAHMS Swine 2006 study, according to Eric Bush, DVM, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Service coordinating the effort.

The study has six objectives:

·        Describe U.S. swine production practices covering housing, management, productivity, disease prevention and mortality in gestation, farrowing, nursery, grow-finish and wean-to-finish phases of production.

·        Describe trends in swine health and management practices.

·        Describe the prevalence and disease risk factors and foodborne pathogens found in market hogs.

·        Describe antibiotic use in pigs postweaning to market to control and treat disease and promote growth.

·        Determine presence of pathogens and organisms isolated from feces and serum.

·        Provide estimates of the economic cost of disease and foodborne pathogens in commercial herds and economic estimates of the cost of different treatment approaches.

Bush says feed management will also be covered in the swine survey of producers, focusing on the use of distiller’s dried grains with solubles and particle size.

A part of the survey will highlight blood collection for analysis of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, toxoplasmosis and trichinosis. Testing to ensure freedom from the latter two diseases helps facilitate trade and enhance the export market, Bush says.

NAHMS will also be surveying producers with fewer than 100 pigs in 31 states for health management information beginning in July 2012.

For more information on NAHMS studies, contact USDA’s offices in Fort Collins, CO at (970) 494-7000, e-mail NAHMS@aphis.usda.gov or visit NAHMS at http://nahms.aphis.usda.gov.