The United States is the world's third-largest producer and consumer of pork and pork products, according the USDA Economic Research Service. In recent years, the United States has been either the world’s largest or second-largest exporter of pork and pork products, with exports averaging over 20 percent of commercial pork production in most years.
Currently, U.S. hog operations are heavily concentrated in the Midwest and in eastern North Carolina. As we celebrate National Bacon Day, we recognize some of the Land-grant Universities conducting pork research supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA):
- Swine Influenza Virus results in significant economic losses for U.S. swine producers. Vaccination is a viable strategy to mitigate influenza outbreaks, but available swine flu vaccines are not sufficiently cross-protective against circulating antigenically variant field flu viruses. With support from NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Ohio State University researchers have developed a cost-effective, manufacture-friendly, corn-based vaccine. Learn more.
- University of Illinois researchers have developed new tools with support from Hatch funding to measure brain development and function in piglets. The tools will help farmers increase profitability by identifying perinatal insults that may result in poor health and well-being of the pigs, and ultimately the quality of the pork sold. Learn more.
- University of Minnesota researchers have developed a portable handheld platform that detects veterinary pathogens in clinical samples. This new system support by Hatch funding has the potential to easily, and inexpensively, diagnose all three porcine respiratory disease complex pathogens simultaneously, which would lead to huge economic implications for the pork industry. Learn more.
- African swine fever is a deadly viral disease affecting global trade, driving pork prices up, and resulting in the depopulation of tens of millions of pigs and hogs. Leveraging Hatch support, University of Illinois researchers and Extension agents are educating animal producers about best practices to contain animal diseases by achieving high temperatures during animal composting and using biochar-amended composting. Learn more.