The federal ag department is looking to speak with producers with more than and fewer than 1,000 hogs
By Diego Flammini
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be contacting swine producers in the next few months looking for voluntary survey participation.
The Animal Health Monitoring System’s survey is targeting producers with more than and fewer than 1,000 hogs.
Data will be collected differently for each target population.
For swine producers with herds of more than 1,000, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will first collect basic information like how pigs are housed on an individual farm.
If the producer agrees to have his or her information passed on to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), staff from that department will ask more detailed questions.
“We send out the field veterinarians and they ask very specific questions like how much Seneca Valley Virus a producer has seen on their farm and if it has caused any problems,” Charles Haley an epidemiologist with APHIS, told Farms.com. “Or the vets will ask about the kinds of vaccines swine producers use and their overall vaccination protocols.”
Farmers with fewer than 1,000 hogs will only need to answer questions from NASS.
The survey results from both sets of questionnaires will help USDA identify trends or issues within the pork sector, Haley said.
“The larger study, because there is a concentration of animals on larger operations, when we’re done with that, we can take an estimate and say, ‘this is good for most of the pigs in the country,’” Haley said. “For the smaller study, we’re looking at primarily the growth of niche marketing and how (those farmers) are doing things.”
The data also helps dispel misinformation, he said.
Once all the data is collected, Haley and his team will validate it. They plan to release a full report by this time in 2022, he said.
Anyone looking for more information on the survey can contact Haley.