THE National Grain & Feed Foundation (NGFF) has contributed $60,000 to the National Pork Board (NPB) for use in pursuing research on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which has affected many swine herds in the U.S.
The virus has infected and killed millions of young pigs on farms of all sizes in 30 states since May 2013, as well as in four Canadian provinces since January 2014. Importantly, the virus does not affect people or the safety of consumable pork products.
"The grain and feed industry is committed to supporting research being undertaken through the NPB that will help find ways to combat the establishment and spread of PEDV in the United States," said David Fairfield, vice president of feed services at the National Grain & Feed Assn. (NGFA).
NGFF, founded in 1965, is the research and education arm of NGFA.
"In particular, NGFA and its foundation are pleased to support the NPB research on several feed-related issues that may be associated with PEDV, results of which we believe will further enhance the industry's knowledge in finding ways to control and eventually eradicate and prevent this disease and the economic damage it is causing to the pork and related industries," Fairfield said.
Paul Sundberg, NPB vice president of science and technology, said NGFF's donation is a welcome addition to the funding coming from industry groups outside of the pork checkoff and will help expand research into the costly disease.
"Given questions about PEDV and feed-related issues, our goal is to find answers as quickly and efficiently as possible," Sundberg said. "We appreciate NGFF's investment and will continue to collaborate closely with the NGFA and other industry stakeholders on research to find practical and effective ways for farmers to save their pigs."
The top priorities for NPB's feed-related research projects are to:
1. Investigate the effectiveness and cost of treatments that could be used to mitigate the survival of PEDV and other viruses if present in animal feeds;
2. Conduct contamination risk assessments at all steps along the feed processing and delivery chain;
3. Develop a substitute for currently used swine bioassay procedures, and
4. Continue to investigate the risk of feed systems and other pathways for pathogen entry into the U.S.