A new guidebook, "Managing for Herd Health in Alternative Swine Systems", draws on the knowledge of veterinarians and experienced producers who are successfully working in alternative production systems. "Alternative swine systems" often differ from a typical, "conventional" operation both in the inputs they use and in the way pigs integrate with the overall farm.
Applying basic principles of herd health in alternative swine systems - which typically avoid use of antibiotics and restrict use of synthetic wormers - calls for creative management and sound veterinary science. Managing for Herd Health represents a three-year effort by swine producers, field veterinarians, ISU scientists, and the nonprofit organization Practical Farmers of Iowa. Real-world examples and producer profiles are spread throughout, as are "words of wisdom" from experienced hog farmers.