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Cover of the PQA Plus Education Handbook, Version 4.0. Courtesy: National Pork Board

Introducing PQA Plus Version 4

The Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus®) program is about education. The most-recent version of the program, PQA Plus Version 4, became effective June 3, 2019.

A small group of dairy cattle resting in a pen.

I Got a FARM Corrective Action. Now What?

The Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care Version 4 rolled out January 2020. As dairies have their farms evaluated with this new version, there may be questions about corrective actions.

A meat packing facility.

Livestock Market Disruptions

COVID-19 has affected the market availability for finished cattle and hogs. Some beef and pork processing facilities have closed for cleaning and social distancing of their employees. While some of these facilities have scheduled a date to reopen at reduced capacity, others remain closed with no announced plans to resume operations.

a red shed with grain stored inside

Managing Through Feed Supply Disruptions

August 10, 2020

One of the latest issues to result from the COVID-19 pandemic is the changes in the distillers grain marketplace.

A small herd of cattle grazing on green pasture.

Protein Supplementation Options With Grazing Cattle

COVID-19 and the energy economy has had a dramatic negative impact on the ethanol industry, resulting in limited availability of corn distiller’s grains. This has changed availability and pricing of protein feeds.

An aerial view of a series of swine finishing facilities.

Methods to Slow Finishing Pig Growth

In abnormal situations, like with the packing plant closure we’re currently dealing with, pork producers may need to “hold” their pigs past normal marketing dates in order for other processing options to open up. We can accomplish that in two ways: altering internal barn environment and changing diets.

A group of red angus cattle.

Minimizing Synchronization Costs

With the rising costs of certain feed supplements, uncertainty in the markets, and fear of the unknown, using an estrus synchronization protocol may be the last thing on producers’ minds. However, there is still opportunity to incorporate estrus synchronization without breaking the bank.

Two blue feed buckets filled with distillers grains.

Evaluating Feedstuffs on Nutrient Cost-Comparison Basis

Feed costs in dairy diets typically make up half or more of the input expenses of a ration. Thus, it is imperative to keep a handle on input costs by comparing ingredients on an apples-to-apples basis when looking for cost-effective diet solutions.

A woman holding a frozen pork cut next to an open freezer.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Packaging and Meat Safety

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for packaging meat and storing meat at home.

A series of hog barns.

Preparing for a PQA Plus Site Assessment

The PQA Plus site assessment is an on-farm evaluation of a production site by a qualified PQA Plus Advisor. A review of standard operating procedures and office records, including caretaker training, animal observations, and the facilities will occur during the site assessment.