Swine research benefits producers, economy
What we are doing:
Animal scientists conduct research that helps advance how pigs are raised. In the past 20 years, K-State researchers have improved best practices in genetics, artificial insemination and feed nutrition. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States is the world’s third-largest producer and consumer of pork products. The Kansas Pork Association reports there are nearly 1,000 hog farms in Kansas, accounting for more than $427.5 million in gross market value and 600 million pounds of pork.
The swine nutrition group is well-known for research that focuses on converting feed to pork in the most efficient way possible. K-State research has helped to advance the swine industry ov the past 20 years, during which time the number of pigs marketed per sow rose from an average 14 to more than 22; pigs grow 30 percent faster on about 20 percent less feed per pound of gain; and the average number of pigs weaned per litter has grown from 7 to almost 11. For the average sow, producers get about 80 percent more pork. Genetics have helped improve breeding success and reduce mortality rate of newborn pigs.
“We make better decisions on our farm because I can get help from K-State. They review the science, help me understand what we’re doing, and then monitor and figure out if something is right. They do a good job of sharing their knowledge and bringing it to a practical level for those of us in the field.”
– Michael Springer, managing partner of Springer Family Farms, Sycamore, Kansas