RALEIGH (December 5, 2012): The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has released a new report entitled Conservation Practices in Outdoor Hog Production Systems: Findings and Recommendations from the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. The report details different strategies for reducing the environmental impacts of outdoor hog production systems, which can pose environmental risks if not properly managed. Based on research and on-farm demonstration trials conducted at the Alternative Swine Production Unit of CEFS’ 2000-acre research farm in Goldsboro, NC, the report identifies recommended practices that conserve natural resources while optimizing animal performance.
Among the report’s primary findings are ideal stocking rates (hogs per acre) based on farm circumstances, different management strategies for annual and perennial forages, the use of hay crops to remove excess nutrients, and the benefits of rotational management.
“Consumer demand for pork from hogs raised outdoors on pasture continues to rise. While still a very small part of the overall pork industry, niche pork producers need practical, science-based information they can use on their farms. Our report provides just that and reflects four years of on-farm experimentation in different pasture scenarios”, says the report’s primary author, NCSU Research Associate Silvana Pietrosemoli.
The report is intended for outdoor, pasture-based hog producers and those who advise them, including extension agents, NRCS District Conservationists, Soil and Water Conservation District workers, and third-party auditors. The research and report were funded by the USDA’s NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Program.
Read the report.
For more information about CEFS’ Alternative Swine Production Unit, click here.