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Swine Grist


Dear Friends, Spring is just around the corner and it’s exciting to once again see the promise of new life as we start a new growing season. This past February was definitely a challenging one, with lots of freeze-thaw cycles creating very icy conditions in many farm yards. It’s encouraging to see the ice has now melted and warmer temperatures are on the way. This spring issue of the Swine Grist is packed full with helpful articles including an update on ASF and how we must remain diligent in our efforts to keep it out of North America. Arianne de Rond has written a very helpful article on colostrum management and how to maximise the liveability of the large litters that we are seeing more and more of. Her husband, Paul, has also written an article on the new Profit Finder™ tool from GVF and how to get the best returns on your hogs shipped. Finally, take note of Arian de Bekker’s article on the value of thorough cleaning and how this can be more easily and consistently achieved using a helpful tool from Schippers. Have a happy and safe spring farming season. Sincerely, Jim Ross, Founder & Chairman


by: IAN ROSS President & CEO, Grand Valley Fortifiers


fter a prolonged period of low pork prices, it seems that the world, or at least the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is waking up to the impending serious shortage of pork that will be available to meet the continued growing demand for pork in North America but more significantly in emerging markets. If we are blessed to continue to keep ASF out of North America, the industry is likely to enjoy significantly improved pork prices for quite some time. Due to the reality that Canada exports 70% of the pork it produces and the United States, approximately 25%, if we are unsuccessful and ASF comes to this continent and borders close, it will be devastating to the entire North American industry. With this in mind, the Canadian Pork Council, the Animal Nutrition Council and others have issued press releases, brochures and weblinks providing recommended actions that producers, and industry stakeholders should take to mitigate the risk of spread of this devastating virus. The highest risk vectors of transmission of ASF for North America have been identified as: 1. Uncooked, infected meat entering Canada and/or United States and being fed to domestic or wild swine. 2. People who have been in contact with infectious animals, feces and animal bodily fluids, transmitting the virus to North American swine. 3. Animal by-product feedstuffs (especially porcine origin) originating from countries with ASF being fed to North American swine. 4. Non-animal feedstuffs originating in countries with ASF that may be carrying the virus due to contamination in processing, packaging, or transport.

Alberta / Saskatchewan 1-866-610-5770 Manitoba 1-866-626-3933

With these risks in mind, what is the GVF Group of Companies doing to mitigate the risk of entry of ASF into the Canadian and United States swine herd? Grand Valley Fortifiers has been GMP/HACCP/Feed Assure accredited since 2001. Once GVF joined forces with Fortified Nutrition Limited in 2012, all of the policies and procedures of GVF were overlaid upon Fortified Nutrition Limited in terms of Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Purchasing. 1. All human food is banned from our manufacturing facilities. For this reason, there is never meat of any kind allowed into our manufacturing areas. Staff enjoy their meals and snacks in separate and contained lunch rooms. 2. Delivery staff must consume all food in food service establishments or in the cab of their vehicle, never on-farm or in the box of the truck where bagged or bulk products are transported. 3. Grand Valley Fortifiers has always exercised strong bio-security protocols for deliveries and swine specialist farm visits and since the PEDv outbreak in 2014, has established very stringent bio-security protocols for all swine farm deliveries. These protocols have not been relaxed as PEDv still exists within the province. For details on these bio-security protocols for swine farm deliveries, please visit our website: 4. Grand Valley Fortifiers does not utilize any porcine animal by-products in swine premixes, micros, base mixes or nursery feeds. We have remained plasma, meat and bone, pork meal, pork intestine, and tallow free since 2014. The only animal or animal product derived ingredients in our facilities are milk derivatives, gelatin and fish meal coated vitamins (from significant & reputable vitamin companies). a. Milk powders are sourced only from Canadian & U.S. dairy processing facilities. b. In our GVF swine products, the gelatin used as a protective coating for vitamins A & D is sourced from Germany and undergoes a thorough purification process prior to encapsulation. c. Fishmeal used primarily in pig starters is sourced from a North American supplier that harvests fish from the Northern Atlantic. Ian Ross, President & CEO | Jim Ross, Chairman Clarke Walker, VP & COO Dr. Martin Clunies, Senior Monogastric Nutritionist David Ross/Patti Bobier, Publishers

5. Grand Valley Fortifiers has utilized a HACCP/Feed Assure accredited supplier approval process for decades. This results in GVF nutritionist approval requirements having to be met for all new incoming ingredients from new potential suppliers. Under HACCP procedures, every load, skid or bag of product that enters our facilities is checked by the receiver and logged. As ASF continues to spread in many parts of the world, and business consolidation results in reduced options for the sourcing of ingredients, Grand Valley Fortifiers will continue to source ingredients from professional, reputable companies with global quality standards, while enforcing the bio-security standards listed above. n


by: ARIANNE DE ROND Field Support Grand Valley Fortifiers


he production of the modern sow is increasing rapidly, often seeing litters of 15 piglets or more; even litters of 20 are not an exception anymore. The challenge as a pig producer is to raise as many piglets per sow as possible, but often the amount of colostrum doesn’t increase with the increased litter size. One third of litters do not get enough colostrum to fulfill their needs! We know from research that higher colostrum intake improves survival rate.

long it takes between each piglet being born. We also need to know about any medication usage and any assistance required while farrowing. When we have this information, we can calculate the average farrowing time as well as where and how we can improve for better results.


Newborn piglets should suckle within 30 minutes of birth to meet their energy requirements, as their ability to regulate their body temperature is limited. Chilled piglets is one of the largest causes of early death, as they can lose their suckling reflex which leads to reduced colostrum intake. Colostrum intake can make a significant difference between hypothermia and hyperglycemia. We encourage producers to dry the piglets with a drying agent and also ensure piglets have dry bellies. Another key point is to ensure adequate heat is available for young piglets with heat lamps and/ or heat mats. Maintain an adequate temperature under the heat lamp at all times and monitor daily by observing the piglet laying patterns. Heat lamps should always be over solid flooring or over a mat to avoid drafts on the piglets. When using heated mats or in-floor heat along with heat lamps, it is important that the temperature is no higher than 37ËšC.


At birth, it is essential for piglets to receive nutrient dense colostrum; the sooner they receive it the better! Piglets do not receive antibodies from their mothers before birth and as such the maternal antibodies, energy and protein they require must come through the colostrum. Consuming colostrum will help in the piglets’ ability to maintain body temperature which is the first line of defence in building immunity and thus will have a higher survival rate. Since colostrum is only produced for a limited time, about 12-20 hours after farrowing, colostrum management is necessary. Research shows that only 24 hours after farrowing, the piglets ability to absorb antibodies is greatly reduced. Special attention needs to be given to the smallest piglets and the 2nd half in the birthing order, especially the last piglets born. It is very important to evaluate the number of piglets in the litter compared with the number of functioning teats. Some techniques for improved colostrum intake are split suckling, fostering or milking the sows.

Lactation Physiology


Colostrum Management starts early when sows move into the farrowing room. It is important to have the sows moved into a clean, temperature controlled, draft-free room, preferably a couple days before they farrow. We also suggest an udder assessment to take a note of the number of functional teats prior to farrowing. Each piglet requires its own functional teat to ensure full development and an increased likelihood of weaning a quality piglet. When the farrowing date is close we recommend checking sows for signs of farrowing multiple times a day.

Smooth the Farrowing Process

Some sows take longer to farrow and this is not only stressful for the sow, but also for her piglets as they are born weaker. The average farrowing process takes about 4 hours with 6 hours being the maximum time preferred. To know more about the average farrowing time we need to know more about the farrowing process as a whole. The only way to know more about it is to record everything during the farrowing on the sow cards. Is it important to note the start time of farrowing and how

It is important to know how the lactation physiology works for the sow. A sow lactates about 24-25 times a day and needs about 45-50 minutes to replenish milk in the mammary gland. A litter of piglets takes about 2 minutes to stimulate the sow to let her milk down and nursing time is only about 20-30 seconds. It is important to select the smaller piglets in low and higher viability: give only additional care to quality smaller piglets. Be critical of small piglets to have the best chance of success. A piglet that weighs less than 1.4 kg always needs more care and if the weight is less than 800g there is an increased likelihood of reduced survival.

Split Suckling

Split suckling can be used to make sure that every piglet gets the chance to have the colostrum they need. This can be used when the sow does not have enough functioning teats to support the number of piglets born or when there is a high variance in piglet size within the litter. Split suckling needs to be done within the 24 hours of farrowing. This should be performed once or twice in a 12-hour period at farrowing, for about 1-2 hours each time. The focus with split suckling should be on the litters with light-weights so that they have unchallenged time to nurse. A minimum of 9-10 piglets on the sow is very important to maintain good milk flow.

Milking sow

To aid smaller piglets and make sure they receive adequate colostrum in the first 12 hours, colostrum milked by hand, can be used. The colostrum can be sprayed directly into the mouth of

Swine Grist the piglet or can be milked into a cup and then fed to the piglet with a syringe. Milking sows is very labour intensive but milk let down can be improved through the injection of oxytocin. The colostrum can be kept for 3 days in a refrigerator if cooled immediately and used in portions, or frozen for a couple weeks.


Fostering piglets means striving for a one to one ratio of functioning teats to piglets, within the first 12- 36 hours. Fostering is a crucial element in the effective management of the farrowing room and ensures increased survivability and quality of piglets at weaning. The goal is to get the right piglet on the right sow at the right time. Look for surplus piglets from large litters and move them onto freshly farrowed sows with available functional teats, or a sow with better udder condition. We like to load up younger parity sows (P1 & P2) to develop their udder for future use. It is best to give gilts smaller to medium sized piglets, as bigger piglets can cause damage to their udder. Remember, younger parity sows are the future of your herd! Attempt to keep 80% of the litter with the original sow and strive for no additional movements after 36 hours. With good colostrum management we ensure adequate colostrum intake for all piglets. It is important to employ the necessary techniques to make this happen and to provide extra care to small piglets to increase their chance of success. n


by: PAUL DE ROND Swine Specialist Grand Valley Fortifiers


he GVF Profit Finder is a new tool built to show dollars left on the table when shipping market hogs. Profit Finder gives a quick overview of shipped hogs in the last week as well shipped hogs Year to Date. The first page of the report includes a couple coloured “speedometer gauges“ where you can see, in a snapshot, how the shipment was for weight, price and opportunity dollars. Then there is an overview for the shipped hogs per tattoo number. The second page shows where in the grid the hogs have been shipped and you will see a summary per weight and yield category. The third page keeps track of the number of pigs shipped for the last 26 weeks in graph form, so trends can be very easily noticed. An option you can add is a pig flow projection per week to see what has been shipped, but more important what is planned to come through the barn. Producers currently using this tool have been able to significantly improve their returns by receiving weekly feedback and then analyzing the data to make corrective actions to allow for more hogs to be shipped in the sweet spot of their shipping grid. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with you and run your shipping data through the GVF Profit Finder so that you can maximize your returns. Give me a call at 226-9737305 if you’re interested in taking a look. n

Profit Finder

SWINE symposium 2019


Grand Valley Fortifiers and Southwest Vets 2019 Swine Symposium was a great success. This year’s panel of speakers represented and discussed many different areas and “hot topics” in the industry and bring practical insight to our swine producers for current industry trends. The day started off with an electronic sow feeding (ESF) producer panel presenting the implementation of three different ESF systems and how they are managed on farm. We would like to sincerely thank Jonathan Bos (Maximus system), Calvin Brekelmans (Gestal system) and Tara Terpstra (Schauer system) for their expertise and excellent presentations, providing feedback on how loose sow housing is implemented on their farms. Frank Wood, the Manager of Industry and Member Services at Ontario Pork, spoke on the implications of animal activists and how our industry can protect itself and have a voice. He gave real-life examples of how it is critical that pork producers lock their barn doors with their barn cameras ready. You never know how or when they may try to get into your barn. It is important that we all work together as an industry to protect Canadian agriculture and continue raising safe, healthy and quality pork. One of our leading presenters for the event was Dr. John Scott Radcliffe from the department of Animal Science at Purdue University. He discussed “Water, the Forgotten Nutrient”. Dr. Radcliffe’s presentation emphasized the importance of water quality, showing data on how water acidification can improve nursery pig performance and overall health. Following Dr. Radcliffe’s presentation, a water quality kit was provided to show optimal acidification levels and a kit to take a water sample. Taking routine samples is beneficial for pig performance and will be a mandatory test required by forthcoming CPE. Our second keynote speaker, Dr. Ian Wellock, from Primary Diets in the UK, spoke about zinc oxide (ZnO) alternatives that have proven successful in the UK. With changing regulations that will put a low level cap on the inclusion of ZnO in starter feeds, it is crucial that as industry feed representatives we find ways to maintain the health and growth of our newly weaned pigs. Dr. Wellock’s presentation focused on antibiotic alternatives and showed data from Primary Diets’ research facilities that demonstrated success using ZnO alternatives in starter rations. Southwest Vets provided a health update focusing on pressing issues that have occurred in Ontario this winter and African Swine Fevert. Lastly, with poor pig prices over the winter, our final panel of presenters focused on easy ways to save $1/pig. Dr. Greg Wideman identified the cost savings for vaccinating against ileitis compared to antibiotic use. A vaccine which costs ~$1-1.25 has the potential to have a significant cost savings over medication use. Dr. Wideman also raised the benefits of stabilizing the sow herd against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae vs. complete Myco elimination. Bruce Schumann discussed the cost benefit of increasing feed mixing time. By increasing mixing time and validation there is the potential to not only improve pig performance but increase profit over feed by more than $1! Bruce also discussed how adding Lysine to your premix has the potential to have huge cost savings by reducing the inclusion of soy. To wrap up the day, Paul de Rond demonstrated a tool he developed looking at finishing performance and carcass data, Profit Finder™ (also discussed in this issue of the grist). This tool was developed to help identify if finishing hogs are reaching the optimal spot on the grid and identify ways to improve target weights and carcass characteristics. We would like to thank producers for coming out and being a part of our 2019 Swine Symposium and our sponsors for their generous support. Without their help, this day would not have been such a success!



by: ARIAN DE BEKKER Business Development Manager Farmers Farmacy


roper detail to hygiene is essential in today’s livestock farming. It does not matter which species you farm, we are all part of food production and hygienic production methods are a must. Pork producers have seen 4 new diseases threaten their pigs during the past five years alone. Demand for Raised Without Antibiotics is on the increase and this can only be met if producers are able to raise their livestock in a hygienic environment. Each time we bring animals into a barn we want them to experience a “new barn” effect; That’s how clean we want the barns to be. Proper cleaning of barns should be done by using both a cleaning detergent and a disinfectant. Just using a disinfectant alone will not be successful as manure and fatty residues will harbor pathogens and prevent these bacteria from getting killed by the disinfectant. Both the detergent and disinfectant will have to be applied at the correct ratios. Scrubbing a surface clean is hard and ergonomically irresponsible but it is no longer necessary to scrub when using a Greenline. MS Topfoam will do the scrubbing for you. A few years ago, MS Schippers developed the MS Greenline; a welldesigned, durable valve system that can be coupled to a pressure washer line and hooked up to a jug of MS Topfoam detergent and MS Megades Novo foam disinfectant. This MS Greenline takes away all worries of calibrating and calculating how much product to use, as it has been pre-set to the correct ratios of product usage. A small orifice inside the valve ensures the cor-

MS Topfoam is the strongest adhering foam detergent one can purchase today. MS Megades Novo is a glutaraldehyde and has been tested by ATS Labs in Minnesota as effective against PEDv and many other diseases. It has a proven 97% pathogenic bacterial kill after only 5 minutes of contact time. When using a Greenline you do not have to empty out left-over product, simply add a new jug when needed. It is safe to use as well as user-friendly. The Greenline comes with an ergonomically designed foam gun and using the Greenline allows the operator to do an excellent job without tension or fatigue. Greenlines can be on a mobile stainless steel and aluminum cart, or a stationary wall mount system. Farmers Farmacy has MS Schippers Greenline units available to you. The unique opportunity is that you cannot buy them. This equipment is available on a user agreement basis when you use the MS Topfoam detergent and MS Megades Novo disinfectant. When purchasing in excess of $3,750 worth of Topfoam, T&T Cleaner or Megades Novo per year there is no fee at all. Between $1,500 and $3,750 worth of product purchased per year there is a nominal fee of $250. The units remain property of Schippers and therefore we will offer customer service and spare parts if needed at no additional cost. Feedback comments we have heard when farmers start using a Greenline are: 1. “Cleaning used to be a chore, now it is fun again” 2. “Our barn has not been this clean since it was new” 3. “I can let my staff do the cleaning and disinfecting without having to worry about over- or under-usage of detergent and disinfectant. It is always the correct amount of product that is used and I can accurately budget for this too.” The MS Greenline in combination with MS Topfoam and MS Megades Novo is your number one setup in your fight against transferable diseases and your commitment to aim for the best hygiene on your farm. n


e are pleased to announce that Brady Wagler has joined Steve McGuffin at the Direct Source Commodity Desk as the Commodity Administrative Assistant as of March 4th, 2019. If you have any commodity questions, needs, or would like to be added to our commodity price indication email list, don’t hesitate to call Steve at 1-877-743-4412. We are happy to serve you. n rect volume of product is used. This is particularly ideal when a larger operation works with hired staff, or if you need to work fast and with attention to detail. The instructions are simple; 1. Turn the valve handle to the blue dot and spray the MS Topfoam detergent on the wall, floor, ceiling and penning and make sure you see that all has been covered. 2. Make sure the foam has had 35 minutes or longer to perform its dirt penetrating and lifting work. 3. Turn the valve handle to the centre and now using regular pressure washer water, wash all of the foam and dirt off. 4. Let the surface dry. Turn the handle to the yellow dot and cover all surfaces in MS Megades Novo disinfectant. Leave to dry.

Thought for the Day

Is Christ’s death meaningless? As we approach the Easter season again this year, I encourage you to remember the significance of Jesus’ death for our sins. If you have forgotten or never discovered this reality, ponder the verse below: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Gal. 2:20-21.

Profile for Fortified Nutrition Ltd

Swine Grist - Spring 2019  

Swine Grist - Spring 2019