Improving Pig Survivability is a 5-year project encompassing research, education, and extension efforts with the goal of reducing overall mortality in the U.S. commercial swine industry. The project is funded by the National Pork Board and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).
Our interdisciplinary team includes faculty and staff in research and extension, including animal science, veterinary medicine, economics, and microbiology. We have team members from Iowa State University, Kansas State University, and Purdue University. We also collaborate directly with the swine industry including producers and allied industry partners.
Research efforts in this project seek to identify factors contributing to swine mortality in commercial production, and to develop strategies and information that can be utilized to reduce mortality and maximize pig survivability. We will also work diligently to disseminate the information learned through this project through extension and training efforts, many of which will be available on this website.
We aim to identify the economic costs associated with mortalities within and across different swine production settings, benchmark the effectiveness of management practices and economic performance associated with mortalities, and model business discussions that result in improving survivability strategies.
We are conducting a survey to understand management motivations and barriers to implementing known and new production strategies to improve survivability in pig production.
We are working to identify causes of mortality on U.S. sow farms to support development and implementation of targeted strategies to maximize survivability.
We are investigating strategies to maximize piglet survival by altering nutrition and management of sows and piglets.
We have efforts to define factors that influence wean to finish mortality and implement management strategies founded upon ongoing production-based research.
We wish to develop a nationally effective and sustainable extension program to enable adoption and implementation of strategies that will reduce mortality in pork production.