Part I, Dr. Clint Schwab visits Ukraine

(l to r) Dr. Tom Baas, Ukrainian host,
Dr. Clint Schwab, Dr. Harold Hodson
Dr. Clint Schwab, director of genetic and technical services for the National Swine Registry, visited Ukraine in July 2010 to both present information to swine producers in this country, as well as learn about their systems. Following are Schwab's photos and descriptions of this tour.

This is the first of a four-part series. _______________________________________________________

"In late July, Dr. Harold Hodson, Dr. Tom Baas and I spent some time in Ukraine getting a clearer perspective on how U.S. genetic resources can be implemented. The trip was coordinated by Mr. Getman Vladimir, a Ukrainian engineer and breeding farm manager who we have developed a strong relationship with over the past several years. Vladimir is very well respected within the Ukrainian industry and has been using frozen semen from the U.S. for two years now. He has demonstrated the clear impact that U.S. genetics can have on production efficiency when compared to the genetic resources available in Ukraine.

"During our trip, Baas, Hodson, and I conducted two different seminars and visited three different farms -– each with a different management scheme, scope, and production level. In general, we witnessed examples from those that don’t utilize all-in/all-out health management schemes and have very primitive genetic improvement programs, to those with the most advanced production technology similar to what is utilized in the EU and United States.

"The eagerness among Ukrainian breeders to have access to U.S. purebred genetics was very apparent, as the value has already been observed in progeny sired by U.S. registered purebreds. As a result, much of our time was spent discussing methods to more effectively utilize the resources they have access to, and describing exactly how American purebred breeders coordinate their individual genetic programs to achieve the level of genetic improvement they have built on for quite some time.

"If you have any questions about this visit or any of the following information, feel free to contact me at the NSR office."

Dr. Clint Schwab, Ph.D.

Harold Hodson, after dressing for the first visit … if he wasn’t at a pig farm, I would think he was preparing for a medical procedure.

The farm we were visiting here and shown in the following several pictures is called Gajdematskoe, and is a large grain production farm that also has a small sow herd.

Grow/finish site at a small 50-sow operation. No differentiation among maternal and terminal lines within their mating scheme is utilized. It’s an example of a typical deep-bedded system that continuously flows all in one pen. After an extended nursery period, pigs are mixed with the remaining production, and pigs are creamed off as they are ready for market.

Exterior view of the above grow/finish unit.

Typical farrowing system used by a vast majority of Ukrainian producers. The sow farrows in a pen and piglets have access to a heated box for colder seasons. I asked them what their pre-weaning mortality was with this type of a system, but didn’t get a clear answer … but certainly a risk.

View of the entire farrowing room.

Sows are gestated outside behind us in one large pen.
Exterior view of the farrowing house and nursery.

View photos and information from additional Ukraine swine farms in upcoming blog posts.

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