By Bruce Cochrane
By this fall officials with the U.S. pork industry expect to have options for producers to consider for collecting and managing swine health surveillance data.
The National Pork Board in cooperation with the National Pork Producers Council is drafting plans for funding and building the infrastructure needed to collect and manage swine health surveillance data.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the vice president science and technology with the National Pork Board, told those on hand last week in Des Moines for World Pork Expo one of the lessons learned out of the PED experience is that we need to have a better system for gathering data and that data needs to be collected in a way that instils the confidence of producers.
Dr. Paul Sundberg-National Pork Board:
The data that would be gathered would be dependant upon producer direction.
Certainly an easy one to begin with is disease surveillance data and there are precedents for producer cooperation in providing disease surveillance data and sharing data among themselves.
What we're looking at is trying to figure out how we can do that on an industry wide basis so it's acceptable.
There may be other data as well.
There may be other databases.
We aren't going to just limit it to that.
What we're going to look at are the scenarios and the options for gathering data and doing it in a manner that's producer acceptable, industry data that applies to producers and producers can have confidence.
One of the key challenges is data security.
We've got to understand data security and how the data can be protected for business confidentiality purposes.
Certainly that's a very important thing.
We've got to figure out how the data can be stored, where it can be stored in order to help with that.
We've got to figure out how it can be used for the benefit of the industry to begin with, made available for study for example and we have to also figure out how this can all can be funded and how this can be built.
Dr. Sundberg says the objective is to have at least three different options for producers to consider in time for their state association fall meetings and then bring the final product to Pork Industry Forum next year.