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Study: pork producers are improving footprint through efficiencies

A new study has found that hog farms are generating less manure nutrient content associated with odor.

More than 106,000 samples gathered on about 180 North Carolina farms showed reductions in ammonia levels.  

Jan Archer is a pork producer in the eastern part of the state.  

“So what the study showed is that over the past 17 years we’ve been able to reduce our nutrient content in those lagoons and it’s the content that’s associated with odor,” she says. “The farms show a reduction anywhere from 35% to 78% in finishers and 17% to 68% in sow farms.”  

The improvements are attributed to gains in feed efficiency as well as advancements in swine production practices, changes in feed formulation, and improved swine genetics.  

Archer, a past president of the National Pork Board, tells Brownfield farmers have always been good stewards of the environment and will continue to adopt innovative practices on the farm.

“I don’t do things the same way today that I did them 30 years ago and if I’m still alive in 30 years I’ll be doing them differently still,” she says. “As farmers we are continually looking at advancements in science so we can do our job better.”

The study was funded by the Pork Checkoff and conducted by Harper Consulting with Southern Utah University. The National Pork Board says while the study looked at North Carolina farms, the findings can likely be replicated throughout the country.

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Audio: Jan Archer, North Carolina pork producer

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