In a post-Vilsack conversation a group of pork industry leaders met with media to discuss the new Federal Order and their concerns going forward. In a press release, three groups - the National Pork Board (NPB), the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the AASV, say they met with Vilsack ahead of his talk and asked him to commit to:

* Conducting in-depth investigations to discover the pathway PEDV used to enter the United States.

* Collaborating with the U.S. pork industry to fund, prioritize, coordinate and conduct research on the virus.

* Coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the pork industry to enhance the biosecurity of feed and feed ingredients.

* Collaborating with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network to ensure seamless and efficient inter-laboratory communications and data sharing.

* Providing funding for diagnostic testing and viral genetic sequencing to gather information needed to control the disease.

* Providing funding to enhance agricultural biosecurity, including on farms, in packing and processing plants and at U.S. border entry points.

The pork leaders talked about funding that has already been released for work on PEDV including $2 million from the NPB, which was released last year when the outbreak began. Recently the board also released another $866,500 for action on the disease.

The $26.2 million from USDA will be a significant boost to what is being spent to help solve the issues surrounding PEDV.

As for data reporting, there is concern about privacy but Dr. Ron Prestage, president-elect, NPPC, talked about the outbreak of PEDV in North Carolina, where his operations are located. "This is not like Iowa, the farms in eastern North Carolina are very close to each other," he notes.

The major producers including Goldsboro, Murphy-Brown and Prestage got together and started tracking outbreaks and other data in a master spreadsheet that was shared. "There isn't a problem sharing this data," he says.

Dr. Howard Hill, NPPC president, notes that farm groups will benefit from data collection as long as its shared. The groups point to work at the University of Minnesota, originally set up to track PRRS that's now a tool for tracking PEDV. The data collected includes information from 16 operations, 778 farms and 2.5 million sows. That information helps track severity of an outbreak and its duration, and the aggregated offers trend information for farmers, and is reported weekly.

There is a worry that the requirement for management plans as part of the Federal Order might create a "bureaucratic red tape nightmare" which will exist until the requirements are more fully known. "What's the expectation of the plan? [Major producers] Iowa Select, Prestage and Murphy-Brown already have plans," Prestage says.

The Federal Order is in place, immediate reporting will be required, but there are more questions to be answered. "We hope that USDA is flexible in the application of the plans," says AASVs Burkgren