The Mississippi swine industry has changed and will continue to change. Small operations, producing feeder pigs as a source of supplemental income, have changed to farrow through finish operations and company owned contract production where swine is a major source of income.
Technological advances have been responsible for dramatic changes in the swine industry. Segregated early weaning, split sex feeding, artificial insemination, amino acid supplementation, producer networking, etc. are examples of technology that producers should consider incorporating into their production units.
Consumer demand has also influenced the swine industry. Swine producers must produce a pork product to satisfy the pork packer/processor who in turn must satisfy the consumer. Consumers will purchase pork products that taste good, are convenient to use, inexpensive, nutritious, healthy, and safe.
Public concern also influences the way pigs are produced today. Swine producers must produce pork in a manner to satisfy public concerns about the environment, control of odor, animal rights, and food safety. Although these demands increase the cost of pork production, the burden of this cost often remains with the producers. Public concern of environmental issues have halted growth of the swine industry in Mississippi. Until these issues are satisfied, industry growth will not take place regardless of the size of operation.
As an industry develops, support industries also develop. Development of the swine industry creates a need for financing, transportation, feed grains, equipment and building materials, health supplies, feed and feed supplements, and value added processing. As a result of increasing swine production, many jobs will be created other than working on the swine operation directly.
While the needs and issues faced by the supplemental income swine producers should not be overlooked, it appears the greatest growth in the Mississippi Swine Industry will most likely occur with the farrow through finish operations and contract production units. Swine Industry growth will require long term commitment. In order for sustained growth of swine production to occur in Mississippi, educational support must be available to the producers and industry. The Mississippi Swine Industry needs educational and research support from a team of experts to address:
- production management
- production facility management
- waste utilization/management
- waste application
- odor prevention
- swine herd health
- financial business management
- reproductive physiology
- nutrition and feedstuffs utilization
- breeding and genetics
- food processing/food safety
In order for Mississippi Swine Producers to survive in the future, they must be efficient businessmen, producing quality pork products that are accepted by the consumers and produced in an environmental acceptable manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Swine Operations Required to Obtain a Water Quality Permit?
- Where Do I Start to Obtain a Water Quality Permit?
- What are Market Options for Swine Produced in Mississippi?
- Subject: Aflatoxin Contamination in Corn
- How Should Swine Operations Prepare for Winter Weather?
- How Can Feed Efficiency Be Improved?
- Can Raw Soybeans Be Used in Swine Diets?
- What Should Be Considered Before Developing An Artificial Insemination Swine Breeding Program?
- What Is The Danger of Mycotoxin in Swine Diets?
- What Management Practices Can Improve Profit Margins?
- Should I Consider Segregated Early Weaning?
- Is Particle Size Important For Swine Diets?
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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Low feed costs and steady demand are keeping the playing field level for Mississippi swine producers, but the bottom line at year’s end will be down from 2014 totals.
Mississippi’s value of production for hogs was $153 million last year. No estimates are available for 2015, but hog prices have been much lower than they were in 2014, while hog numbers were higher at the first of the year.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Specialty markets in pork production are cropping up across the U.S. in response to a growing interest in pasture-raised pigs.
Before the 1960s, most U.S. pork was raised in outside lots or on pasture systems. Commercial pork production today generally relies on large warehouse-like buildings or barns that house sows and pigs in stalls or pens.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Despite low prices for many commodities, the overall projected totals for Mississippi’s crop values should top $7 billion for the third straight year and essentially match the record set in 2013.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said his preliminary estimate of 2014’s agricultural production values, excluding government payments, is over $7.7 billion.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Cattle and hog prices are soaring to record highs, causing producers to debate whether to sell their valuable animals or expand their herd sizes for the future.
“It’s hard not to sell when prices are this good and the pull of the feedlot is so strong,” said John Michael Riley, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
As producers continue to reduce herd sizes nationally, prices should remain strong, but the result will be fewer animals available to sell in the future.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A partnership with Prestage Farms Inc. is allowing Mississippi State University to improve its swine research facility as university scientists prepare to resume swine-related studies.
John Blanton, head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at MSU, said there is a need in the Southeast for science-based information on swine production.
“We are addressing that need of our stakeholders through our swine research program,” Blanton said.