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Iowa hog farmers learning lessons from battling virus

 

Craig Rowles has become a go-to guy when it comes to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). That’s because Rowles, partner and general manager of Elite Pork Partnership LLP, an 8,000-head farrow-to-finish operation near Carroll, has been dealing with the virus on several sites the partnership owns.

"This is not what you want to be an expert in, trust me," he said.

PEDV was first de¬≠¬≠tected in herds of pigs in the United States during April 2013. Initial clinical cases were detected in herds in Indiana and Iowa during May 2013. The virus spread rapidly across large geographic regions; 218 cases of infection were identified in 16 states during the first nine weeks of the outbreak.

Fast spreading

Rowles said staff members were trained on the clinical signs of the virus and enhanced biosecurity measures were in place.

"Even with putting special or more aggressive biosecurity measures in place, we were not successful in keeping it out of our farms," he said.

An employee noticed symptoms of the virus in a nursery in November and notified his supervisor. Rowles was called to come take a look.

On the first farm,...




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