PEORIA, Ill. — When it comes to the health and welfare of their livestock, farmers understand that any and all measures are necessary, especially when it comes to illnesses such as PEDV, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

So one of the priorities at an event like the Illinois Pork Expo will be PEDV, learning more about it and making sure it does not spread further by way of the show itself.

“When we’re talking about people coming to the expo, we want to remind them to continue to use their good biosecurity protocols. This disease is a very big concern. We just need them to use those biosecurity protocols when coming to the show — don’t wear boots or clothes from the barns to the show and don’t wear your boots and clothes from the show right into the barns,” said Tim Maiers, director of communication for the Illinois Pork Producers Association.

PEDV will be the subject of a seminar at the show. “PEDV, Why Me? Now What?” will be presented by Dr. Bill Hollis, a swine veterinarian with Carthage Veterinary Services, based in Carthage. That session will be from 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. Feb. 5.

The 2014 Illinois Pork Expo takes place Feb. 4 and 5 at the Peoria Civic Center. The headquarters for the expo this year and the site of the Feb. 4 awards banquet, “Generations of Commitment,” will be the Holiday Inn and Suites in downtown Peoria.

“One thing different this year is we have three breakout sessions,” Maiers said.

The three sessions will run concurrently from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the trade show floor at the Civic Center. Those sessions will be grouped by wean-to-finish, contract production and breed-to-wean areas of interest.

Eric Farrand and Terry Moeller of Zoetis will present a session for wean-to-finish producers, “Key Practices to Implement in Week One Care of a Wean-to-Finish Barn.”

Mike Brumm of Brumm Swine Consulting will present “Common Mistakes I See When Walking Wean-to-Finish Barns.”

Contract Production Tips

Two separate sessions will be presented for farmers, including grain farmers, interested in adding value with contract production and producing their own nitrogen fertilizer.

“These might be good for grain farmers who are considering contract production and thinking about manure value and how that works into crop rotations and cropping systems,” Maiers said.

The contract production seminars include “Opportunities and Expectations for Contract Growers.” The panel includes Tim Steinkamp, business development manager for Cargill; Matt Henry, The Maschhoffs; Al Muhlenbrook, Tri-Oak Foods; and Bob Keller, Keller Grain and Livestock. Nic Anderson of the Illinois Livestock Development Group will moderate the session.

A second seminar in the contract production area will be “Fertilizer Values: Saving Money by Using Manure,” presented by Laura Peeple of the University of Illinois.

Two seminars for the breed-to-wean sector will be presented in room 201 of the Civic Center.

“Uncovering Lactation: Sows and Their Pigs” will be presented by Dr. Walt Hurley of the U of I, and “Day One Pig Care” will be presented by Dr. Sarah Probst Miller of Ag Create.

How long will $4 corn last and what are the consequences of that for the pork industry will be one of the topics taken up in the popular and returning market outlook roundtable.

“We did the market roundtable last year, and it was very successful — we had a lot of requests to bring it back, so it’s back this year,” Maiers said.

Dr. Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics and a noted livestock economist, will talk about the outlook for the livestock and grain markets, along with fellow panelists Tomm Pfitzenmaier of Summit Commodity Brokerage and Jacquie Voeks of Stewart Peterson.

The afternoon sessions include two topics that might leave showgoers shivering — but for different reasons.

Mike Brumm of Brumm Swine Consulting will present “Winter — It Complicates Barn Management” at 1:15 p.m. Dr. Bill Hollis will present the session on PEDV at 1:45 p.m.

Feed will finish the day and the expo, with Dr. Hans Stein, noted swine nutritionist, talking about feed efficiency in “Effects of Particle Size or Extrusion on the Nutritional Value of Corn” at 2:15 p.m.

Showpig Sessions

PEDV is not just a concern for the production hog industry. The virus also can affect showpigs, and Hollis will address the topic and concerns specific to the showpig industry with “PEDV and Showpigs,” from 11 to 11:45 a.m. as part of the showpig and youth exhibitor symposium on Wednesday.

Dan Jennings will present the Illinois State Fair updates for those planning to show pigs at the 2014 Illinois State Fair.

Ben Bobell, director of the Illinois Club Pig Association, will present information and updates from the group at 9:45 a.m.

Scott Behrmann, chairman of the Illinois Purebred Breeders Association, will present the state fair update at 10 a.m.

At 10:15 a.m., the focus shifts to the showpig breeding side with “66 – Six Litters of Pigs with Six Bottles of Semen,” from Dr. Steve Webel of JBS United Animal Health.

After Hollis’s presentation at 11 a.m., social media takes the stage with the presentation, “A Successful Perspective on Marketing Yourself and Your Livestock Electronically.”

The seminars are sponsored at the 2014 Illinois Pork Expo by Automated Production Systems, headquartered in Assumption.

In addition to the presentations and speakers, the U of I Research and Extension Information Center will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. The booth offers information and resources on topics related to swine reproduction, feeding and nutrition and manure management and air emissions.

The trade show floor will have vendors offering the newest in technology, construction, equipment and other products and services for the swine industry. The trade show is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

“It’s a pretty full lineup of speakers and topics this year. There’s a lot to choose from — there really is something of interest to anyone involved in the pork industry in Illinois,” Maiers said.

Registration is required to enter the Illinois Pork Expo, and that can be made at the show or online at www.ilpork.com.