Food Safety

Economic Analysis of Salmonella Impacts on Swine Herds

  • Stephen J. Gorton (Iowa State University)
  • James B. Kliebenstein (Iowa State University)
  • George W. Beran (Iowa State University)
  • Dave Baum (Boehringer Ingelheim//NOBLE Laboratories)


The economic analysis performed in this study is based on consolidated data from 48 groups of commercial finisher swine classified by three levels of Salmonella and on industry data. Each swine grouping had from 900 to 9,000 swine. The groupings were comprised of the same management and genetics, and were provided the same feed rations and diets throughout the study. The study group and comparison group were comprised of swine herds raised in the midwestern United States. Information was gathered over a 12-month period and contained more than 80,000 data points based on Salmonella spp. detection. Epidemiological data, with serology and mix-ELISA, compared three category levels of Salmonella: low risk (level 1), moderate risk (level 2), and high risk (level 3). Economic cost benefit analysis was based on operational and performance outcome data and was used to determine incremental performance efficiencies measured by additional pounds of pork produced per square foot of production space, performance weight gains, and time to market. Modeling was based on selected market hog prices matched with variable costs and overhead costs for producing groupings of finisher swine with identified levels of Salmonella. This approach helped to identify economic impacts for swine producers. Data indicate that swine from groupings with a level 1 Salmonella seroprevalence had better production efficiency than those groups having a level 2 or level 3 Salmonella status. Those in level 1 produced 5.2 more pounds of pork annually per square foot of finisher space. Groupings of swine with level 1 Salmonella seroprevalence annually produced 2.9 more pounds of pork per square foot of finisher space than level 2 groupings. For market hog pricing and production cost scenarios in this study, there were economic benefits for moving swine herds from level 3 to level 2 or level 1 seroprevalence for Salmonella. Data indicate that Salmonella may increase the producer’s break-even cost due to production inefficiencies attributed mostly to increases in time to market and in excess feed consumption. Moreover, Salmonella levels may have an impact on variability in pig marketing weight and needs further study. Management strategies also may report variability in pig marketing weight. For swine production facilities with all in-all out production strategies, variability in pig gain and marketing weight can create problems at close-out time. An increased weight variability also can account for additional economic loss, because lighter weight hogs and excessively heavy hogs are docked. For example, swine marketed under 220 pounds at close-out are often docked $10 per head; swine marketed under 200 pounds at closeout are docked as much as $20 per head. Excessively heavy hogs also are docked.

Keywords: ASL R1702

How to Cite:

Gorton, S. J., Kliebenstein, J. B., Beran, G. W. & Baum, D., (2000) “Economic Analysis of Salmonella Impacts on Swine Herds”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 1(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2000
Peer Reviewed