The U.S. Department of Agriculture will kick off a study next month that will take an in-depth look at swine operations.
The aim is to gather data to benefit swine producers by exploring current production practices, countering consumer misinformation, helping to guide public policy and both public and private research benefiting the industry, and more.
The 2021 Swine Enterprise Study will be conducted by USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System and National Agricultural Statistics Service.
One part of the study will focus specifically on operations with fewer than 1,000 pigs and will include about 5,000 producers in 38 states, including Pennsylvania. The other will examine operations with more than 1,000 pigs and include about 2,700 producers from 13 states, including Pennsylvania.
Responses will be kept completely confidential and no data will be tied to a producer’s name or contact information. The study will ask about practices related to health and disease management, marketing, and other day-to-day operations.
Selected Pennsylvania producers with 1,000 or more hogs total inventory will be notified the week of June 15 and sent materials via mail. NASS staff will conduct initial interviews with producers, if needed, between June 28 and Aug. 2. The second phase will include a follow-up interview and collection of biologic samples if allowed by the producer.
Selected Pennsylvania producers with fewer than 1,000 hogs total inventory will also be notified by mail the week of June 15. Those producers will be sent a questionnaire that can either be mailed back or completed online. NASS will follow up with producers who have not responded by phone.
Producers are encouraged to respond as the study is intended to benefit the industry. In addition to objectively measuring how producers’ livelihoods were affected in 2020 and gathering information to better inform public policy, the study will provide accurate information about animal welfare and production practices to better inform consumers and push back against misinformation.
For more information, contact USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Charles Haley at 970.225.1377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.