Whiteshire Hamroc, home to the largest U.S. registered purebred swine herd, recently invested in the technology and services of Biotronics, Inc., a company that provides ultrasound solutions for the genetic improvement of meat animals.
Whiteshire Hamroc has been using ultrasound for measurement of carcass traits in live animals since the early 1990s. Backfat depth and loin muscle area measurements are used in calculation of EPDs through NSR’s nightly STAGES genetic evaluation.
“The Biotronics, Inc. image and data collection technology will save our technicians time during the off test procedure,” says Mark Brubaker, Whiteshire Hamroc geneticist. Instead of entering individual animal information into a handheld unit, personnel will use a notebook computer equipped with the BioSoft Toolbox® II software program. In the past, scan technicians had used a track ball on the ultrasound console for measuring backfat depth and loin muscle area on site. The resulting values were then keyed into the handheld unit. Now, through a USB frame grabber, the loin cross sectional image will be saved in the BioSoft Toolbox® II program, along with the other animal information.
Soon thereafter, the images will be sent electronically to the Biotronics, Inc. laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for analysis. Image processing for Whiteshire Hamroc, estimated at 200 animals per week, will be carried out by the Swine Ultrasound Specialist at Biotronics, Inc., Kyle Schulte. Results will be available to Whiteshire Hamroc on the following business day. “We are excited about the accuracy advantages that centralized image processing will provide for us,” says Brubaker. “We are a multi-site system with up to three different ultrasound technicians, so statistically, it makes sense.” Schulte, who recently visited Whiteshire Hamroc to introduce the new technology to the company’s technicians, will continue providing image quality feedback.
For more information on Whiteshire Hamroc, visit www.whiteshirehamroc.com, and to learn more about Biotronics, Inc., go to www.biotronics-inc.com.
From Biotronics, Inc.