PRRS 1-4-4 still a problem in SE Minnesota

A deadly swine disease remains a problem for a pig farmer in southeast Minnesota.

A strain of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) has persisted in hog barns across several states for well over a year.

Brennen Toquam, a custom hog finisher from Blooming Prairie, tells Brownfield they had another bout with PRRS 1-4-4 this winter.

“So we did not get as many pigs as we usually do with our last shipment. So we’re just trying to keep those pigs healthy with this virus that they’ve got going through them.”

He says it’s a team effort.

“You try not to be around somebody else’s pigs is the biggest thing. Our field guy, kind of our vet, has to be on multiple farms (so) he parks at the end of the driveway. He won’t even pull his pickup into the yard when he comes to the farm.”

Toquam also grows corn and soybeans and says because PRRS has increased mortality, there won’t be as much manure to use as fertilizer this year.

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