Swine Producers Urged to Participate in Survey

A Kansas State University livestock specialist is encouraging the state’s swine producers to take the time to fill out a survey that they may be receiving in the next few weeks from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Joel DeRouchey, a swine specialist with K-State Research and Extension, said the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting a national study of large and small swine operations in the United States.

Producers from across the country are selected at random and asked to participate.

“Producers will be asked about health, production management practices, marketing and other hog farm topics specific to their operation,” DeRouchey said. “The information gleaned from these studies helps to combat misinformation, such as housing types, the use of medication and other topics.”

All of the information provided by producers is confidential and used only in the aggregate, DeRouchey said.

NASS reported that approximately 5,000 swine operations from 38 states have been asked to participate in the study on small swine operations, or those fewer than 1,000 pigs. These states account for 95% of U.S. swine operations with fewer than 1,000 pigs.

For the study on large swine operations – or those with more than 1,000 pigs – NASS has randomly selected nearly 2,700 operations from 13 of the nation’s top swine-producing states. They represent about 90% of the large swine operations in the country.

This is the third time that NASS has conducted a study on small operations, and sixth time on large operations. Similar surveys have been conducted in the United States for more than 30 years.

“Data from the 2021 survey will be compared to data collected in 2007 and 2012 to provide information on industry trends in animal health, management practices, marketing and other topics dealing with practical aspects of a hog farm,” DeRouchey said.

He added that it is advantageous for Kansas producers to participate in these types of surveys.

“One main reason is that their operations will be reflected in national estimates of management or productivity, which then reflects on what is done throughout the entire U.S. swine herd,” DeRouchey said. “These estimates are useful in trade negotiations and educating policy makers.”

Kansas producers who were selected to participate may already have been contacted about the survey. Officials with NASS indicate that the survey should reach the state’s producers during the week of June 15.

Persons interested in more information about the upcoming surveys can contact their local K-State Research and Extension office.