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five beef cows standing in a pasture

Livestock Newsletter

SDSU Extension publishes the Livestock Newsletter to provide South Dakota producers, industry professionals and consumers with timely research-based recommendations.

A series of hog barns.

Virtual PQA Plus and TQA Certification Training Available

May 19, 2020

The National Pork Board has recently announced the opportunity to offer and complete Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus and/or Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) certifications virtually.

Swine

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.

A pork carcass that has been cut in half. There are black lines demonstrating where to cut the carcass into its primal cuts. White arrows call out the tenderloin section and the aitch bone. For a complete description, contact SDSU Extension at: 605-688-4792

At-Home Hog Slaughter

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions for nearly every commodity, including the swine industry. This has left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock and consumers seeking alternative options for sourcing meat. One option that can be considered is butchering pigs at home.

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 man in a blue apron trimming the fat off the back of a pork loin cut.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Primal and Retail Cuts

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for fabricating a pork carcass at home.

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.

Several portions of ground beef being inspected at a meat processing facility.

Meat Inspection in South Dakota: Requirements and Resources

Market volatility and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock. Many have inquired about selling directly to consumers, which has generated many questions about meat inspection rules and regulations.

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.

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.