Trucks full

Larger hog supplies have kept trucks full and plants like the Tyson Foods facility in Storm Lake busy, says Lee Schulz with Iowa State University.

One of the top challenges for swine producers during the winter is biosecurity. Cold weather increases the length of time some viruses can survive in the environment.

A major risk for spreading viruses is the transport system, including the truck interior, the driver and the trailer interior and exterior. Perhaps the most difficult to manage is the trailer interior as it is difficult to disinfect in wintertime. Some systems have used heated wash bays successfully, but there are not enough heated truck facilities to service all transport. Therefore, a portion of transport trucks are infected with swine pathogens.

A recent unpublished study by Dr. Derald Holtkamp looked at loading market pigs into a contaminated transport trailer. The study showed that pigs kick virus and bacteria out of the truck as they are loaded and that the pathogens are readily tracked back into the barn by the loading crew. There is a potential to reduce the risk of disease infection with a change in how pigs are loaded.

More information about this problem and otherThe workshops will also cover some overview regarding preparation for potential issues that would arise if our country breaks with a foreign animal disease.

Join us for any of the following workshops. No cost or preregistration necessary.

Feb. 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office, Orange City

Feb. 10, 3:30-5 p.m. - ISU Extension and Outreach Kossuth County Office, Algona

Feb. 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - ISU Extension and Outreach Plymouth County Office, Le Mars

Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - ISU Extension and Outreach Buena Vista County Office, Storm Lake

Dave Stender is a swine program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Reach him at 712-225-6196 or