Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Planting progress continues, but warmer weather is still needed to aid emergence. Both field work and crop development are well ahead of last year, but are either right inline with or slightly behind the five-year average. So, we need continued good weather so farmers can stay in the fields.

USDA’s Organic Agriculture Survey

I encourage Iowa farmers with organic crops to participate in USDA’s survey of organic agriculture. This will be USDA’s first large scale survey focused on organic production. The survey will be going to farmers during the month of May and the deadline to respond is June 17th. The results will be made available late this year. This will help us get a better understanding of the amount of organic production taking place in the state and the issues organic farmers are facing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Influenza A/H1N1 Outbreak in U.S. (Formerly known as "Swine" Flu)

First and foremost I think it’s important to say that Iowa’s pigs remain healthy and there is no evidence of this strain of flu in the swine in our state. There are no reports of the virus currently causing these illnesses being found in the U.S. swine herd. In cases discovered in the U.S. so far, the patients report no direct or indirect contact with pigs.

The State Veterinarian’s office is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health, Federal Veterinarians and those in private practice to have a system in place to monitor Iowa’s pig population for significant disease, and those efforts continue around the current outbreak.

The State Vet’s office encourages pork producers to exercise extra diligence in their long held bio-security practices to continue to protect the health of their animals. These steps include limiting access to building to only essential works; thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting equipment; and making sure workers are disinfecting their shoes, clothes and hands. In addition, any workers experiencing flu-like symptoms should be kept from entering facilities
If producers do observe any respiratory illnesses in their pigs, it is important that they do contact a swine veterinarian.

We are working diligently communicating with veterinarians across the state about the situation as needed through the Iowa Rapid Veterinarian Information Network (IRVIN) as a precaution.