Swine program spotlights virus prevention
Washington swine producers will learn how to stop porcine epidemic diarrhea virus during the Washington State University Swine Information Day Feb. 7 in Moses Lake, Wash.
The disease hasn’t turned up in the Pacific Northwest yet, said Sarah Smith, animal sciences extension educator with WSU Grant-Adams County Extension.
The virus has been identified in a small number of herds in the United States, according to the National Pork Board. It poses no risks to other animals, humans or food safety.
But the disease is moving west and has turned up in Wyoming and California, Smith said.
“We definitely want to help producers look at ways they can identify symptoms if it does get here but, more importantly, try to prevent it from coming in,” she said.
WSU Extension Economist Shannon Neibergs will talk about the economic impacts of the virus.
The information day combines commercial and niche marketing information with production for youth producers in 4-H and FFA. Many pigs in Washington go through the state’s FFA programs, Smith said.
Show pigs are often in shortage for August and September. More pigs enter Washington from outside the region to fill the need and because youths bring them in to compete, Smith said.
“We definitely want to make sure they’re in compliance with regulations,” she said. “Also, with (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) on top of that, it makes it even more important.”
The program includes pork quality assurance training, which is required to market to major packing plants and offered every three years. Training includes adult and youth sessions.
Other topics include future swine research projects and economic outlooks for pigs and feed.
“The swine industry is small and unique in Washington,” Smith said. “We’re going to give them topics that hopefully will allow them to have a better swine-raising experience and make them more profitable.”
Registration fees range from $10 to $25.
The National Pork Board, Washington Pork Producers and WSU Extension sponsor the program.