A four-state swine conference, with sessions on farrowing, reproduction, foreign animal diseases and European views on animal welfare, is set for Sept. 6 and 7, in South Sioux City, NE.

The Techniques of Improving Profitability Seminar (TIPS) for swine producers will be at the Marina Inn, in South Sioux City. It is designed for owners and employees of swine operations. Sponsors are the Extension Services of Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska and South Dakota State University. Most of the conference presenters will be faculty members from the sponsoring universities.

The program will begin at 3 p.m., Sept. 6, with split-track sessions. A session on Paylean (a new feed ingredient) and carcass merit will include carcasses from Paylean-and non-Paylean-fed pigs hanging on a rail in the classroom. A hands-on, interactive session on farrowing management will include several stops designed to refresh farrowing house workers' skills.

The evening session Sept. 6 is an informal time for producer interaction and one-on-one visits with university specialists. Displays and specialists will be available on U.S. Department of Agriculture mandatory price reporting, producer-owned slaughter facilities, production practices tied to specific market requirements and university pork industry centers.

In the Sept. 7 session, producers will practice using grow-finish decision tools, in a computer lab, and take home finishing herd decision software. Another session will cover reducing phosphorus in swine manure, and will include free evaluation of feed samples for particle size.

Sessions on reproduction Sept. 7 will cover the female reproductive process and the impact of gilt development on lifetime female productivity.

The program will conclude with "The European Influence on U.S. Production Practices," including a discussion of animal welfare and foreign animal diseases.

The conference fee is $90 for a single registration and $65 for each additional registration from the same operation. Fees include the cost of all meals and refreshments. Lodging must be arranged directly with Marina Inn, at (402) 494-2441.

For more information or a brochure, contact Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center, at Morris, at (320) 589-1711.

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