Pennsylvanian Porcine Project Takes Aim at Blue Ear Disease

pig picThe project created by Paul Pitcher in Landmark Education’s self-expression and leadership program has an interesting emphasis: the prevention of ‘blue ear disease’ (also called Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, or PRRS) in the pork industry in Pennsylvania. At an informational meeting held on July 12 at the Country Fare Restaurant, Pitcher spoke to Lancaster Farming about the importance of working with neighboring farmers to reduce the incidence of the disease, taking a more regional approach to the problem rather than the farm-by-farm approach usually taken in Pennsylvania.

“The main thing is people have pride in the way they run their farms,” said Pitcher. “You have to be careful to not step on toes. But at the same time, they can learn something about [blue ear disease] risks.”

Pitcher and swine producers are working this summer on a PRRS  Risk Assessment, wherein they wil take a short survey detailing production practices with the help of a risk assessor, resulting in a detailed analysis of PRRS risk sources, which will be provided to partipating producers for their decision making. It is estimated that PRRS costs swine producers in the U.S. at least $600 million annually. Read about Pitcher and efforts to produce PRRS at Lancaster Farming.

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