A new study, underwritten by the Pork Checkoff and conducted by Iowa State University, estimates that porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome continues to be a major drag on the U.S. pork industry - costing the industry 641-million dollars per year. This translates into 1.8-million dollars per day or 114.71 per sow annually. The previous economic study in 2005 calculated PRRS losses at 560-million annually. The study found that 28 percent of sows and gilts used for breeding in the United States were PRRS virus-free and 60 percent of weaned pigs were PRRS-negative at placement.
The authors of the report, Iowa State University veterinarian Derald Holtkamp and agricultural economist Jim Kliebenstein, believe differences between the 2005 and the 2011 studies may be attributed to several key factors, including changes in the prevalence of PRRS virus and incidence of outbreaks, production and animal health management practices, inflation, which accounts for 40 percent of the increase, and other pathogens that have emerged since 2005, such as porcine circovirus. This study also confirmed conventional wisdom that says outbreaks in PRRS virus-free herds are more severe than outbreaks in PRRS virus-infected herds.
National Pork Board President Everett Forkner, a producer from Richards, Missouri, says - this Checkoff-funded work offers producers, veterinarians and every part of the pork chain a new and valuable insight into the economic impact of PRRS and underscores why we've leveraged domestic and international government funds to offer producers tools for regional control of this virus.