Pork producers rely heavily on the hybrid vigor that comes from crossbreeding, but that does not mean purebred hogs are just for show.
Different breeds are known for different things. Some are known for their meat quality, some for their growth rate and others for their mothering capabilities.
But sometimes swine breeders show favor for one breed over another and the breed that proves to be most popular is the Yorkshire.
According to data obtained from the National Swine Registry, a consolidation of the Yorkshire, Hampshire, Landrace, and Duroc breed associations, the Yorkshire is the most recorded breed in the United States with over 419,000 litters of pigs on record since 1988. The only other breed that comes close to that number is the Duroc, with just over 336,000 litters of pigs on record.
“The Yorkshire breed has been so popular because of their maternal strengths,” said Brian Arnold, V.P. of Member Outreach and Youth Development for the NSR. “They make great mothers and have lots of pigs. They really compliment other breeds in the modern breeding system.”
Purebred hogs are used as the basis for the modern breeding system. Often times purebred Landraces, another breed known for its high quality maternal traits, and Yorkshires are crossbred to improve sow herds. Then those animals are crossed with breeds known for their carcass and growth traits, such as Hampshires or Durocs, to produce market hogs.
Arnold said breeders use a program called Swine Testing And Genetic Evaluation System to select for specific traits within a breed. STAGES is the genetic measurement of economically important traits of an evaluated animal. By using this program, breeders are more accurate in the prediction of offspring performance.
When selecting for Yorkshire traits, breeders focus on creating high quality maternal lines that contribute to longevity and carcass merit.
“Any strategic plans for the future will revolve around remaining the leader in the purebred industry by producing highly efficient hogs to meet the growing demand for pork,” said Arnold.
Part of that relies on having a successful youth program. The NSR throws a lot of their support behind the National Junior Swine Association, a program for youth 21 years and younger.
“It was established in 2000 and is currently the largest youth livestock program in the U.S. with over 12,500 members,” said Cally Hass, Director of Junior Activities for the NSR.
To learn more about the NSR, STAGES, or the Yorkshire breed visit http://www.nationalswine.com
House Representative Frank Lucas describes the process the New Farm Bill will go through to be passed into legislation:
The Federation of Animal Science Societies is hosting their Annual Spring Symposium on June 4 in Washington D.C. The meeting is an open invitation with no registration fee.
You can now get the Taking Stock app on Android-powered devices! The app delivers all Taking Stock articles, photos and videos in a format easy to navigate on a phone. You can also use the app to see ASAS events and news from ASAS meetings. Go to the Google Play Store and search “Taking Stock” to find the app.
The Taking Stock app is also available on the iPhone. Visit the App Store and search “Taking Stock” to download it.
Both apps are free and the content is updated daily.
Snail epidemic taking over Florida
The giant African land snail has made it past customs and border control and is now threatening Florida crops. These snails not only pose a threat to crop commodities, but also to human health, as they are a known carrier of meningitis. Read more