The hog industry always faces challenges. However, this year the industry has new opportunities to exercise preemptive control over many of the issues confronting producers. The University of Missouri Extension Commercial Agriculture (CA) Program’s 2012 Swine Institute, Nov. 7, will address many of the controls the industry can execute.

“Attendees of the Swine Institute will leave this year’s session armed with internal control strategies to combat external pressures,” says Rex Ricketts, director of the CA Program.

“Nature cannot be controlled,” he says. The drought experienced by most of the Midwest was unexpected and devastating to crop farmers. In turn, the drought affected hog farmers – primarily by grain shortages and the subsequent high cost of feed. Drought-inflicted feed hardships caused producers to cut back on herd size.

“However, those cutbacks will produce higher prices at market,” says CA economist Ron Plain. “Also, positive on the market front, pork exports will set a new record.” Plain will open the Swine Institute with a discussion on the swine outlook and economic trends.

The CA swine focus team will give presentations on dealing with drought in feeding and manure management. Other topics include updates on sow stalls and ideas for farm transitions. University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine pathologist Tim Evans will discuss the drought’s subsequent health effects on herds.

Attorney Jean Paul Bradshaw, a partner with Lathrop & Gage, Kansas City, will discuss nuisance insurance. Bradshaw is a highly sought expert on the subject of nuisance law and compliance. He specializes in complex commercial litigation, internal corporate investigations and the establishment of corporate preventative law programs that comply with federal requirements.

Also featured will be Kansas City attorney Trina Le Riche, who will advise attendees on using screening practices in making hiring decisions to minimize legal liability and decrease the risk of hiring infiltrators and saboteurs. A specialist in the areas of labor and employment law, Le Riche is a partner in the firm of Ogletree Deakins. She is well-known as a national speaker and panel member on a variety of timely employment topics.

On the swine health front, veterinarian Tim Loula will speak on eliminating Mycoplasma pneumonia from breeding herds and also discuss porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome control strategies with CA veterinarian Beth Young.

Loula is co-founder and co-owner of the Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, MN. Loula and the Swine Vet Center work closely with swine producers to improve production and herd health status while maintaining profitability.

The 2012 Swine Institute will be held on Nov. 7 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Columbia, MO. The program will begin at 10:35 a.m. and adjourn at 7 p.m. Pre-registration fee is $15/person; on-site registrations are $25/person. Fee includes lunch, dinner, break refreshments and materials.

Further information and registration can be accessed online by calling Katrina Turner Spencer at (573) 882-0378.