Disease Management Key to High Corn Demand

CHINA - The US Grains Council has been actively engaged in China's swine industry for several years. A primary focus for the last three years has been working directly with hog producers on disease prevention and management.
calendar icon 17 April 2009
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Most recently, the Council invited Dr. Rodney Baker, veterinarian and senior diagnostician at Iowa State University, to conduct seminars in Beijing, Nanchang and Guangzhou to provide services to discuss control and elimination of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).

The syndrome commonly referred to as blue ear disease, caused China's corn demand to weaken in the past couple of years due to a PRRS outbreak that forced Chinese swine producers to halt significant herd expansion. The Council's partner farms in China took measures early in 2006 to control the high pathogenic strain of PRRS, according to Jason Yan, USGC technical program director in China.

Disease management and prevention efforts such as the recent educational seminars have continued to be a Council priority, according to Yan, in order to keep pork prices low for Chinese consumers and to keep corn demand strong. "The science behind new biosecurity procedures that prevent PRRS introduction into farms was a topic of interest," he said. "The use of vaccines and the difficulties resulting from poor cross protection between different PRRS isolates is a significant issue preventing successful PRRS control."

Numerous examples of farm strategies which have successfully eliminated the virus from individual farms were demonstrated and discussed with Chinese producers. Dr. Baker has successfully eliminated the virus through a variety of methods avoiding depopulations of farms, Yan said. "Chinese producers asked many questions on how to apply Dr. Baker's methods into the Chinese situation, which indicated good acceptance of the seminar."

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
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