The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 30, 2014

Hog sickness spreading

OTTUMWA — A hog disease making news around the nation is not dangerous to humans, nor is it going to produce toxic food. That's the good news. There's plenty of bad.

The USDA reports "Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (called PED or PEDv) causes significant sickness in swine, affecting their growth and health and causes high mortality in piglets."

"We're watching it very closely," said Randy Zorn, plant manager for the Cargill Meat Solutions Plant in Ottumwa.

Not because it will hurt humans but because it hurts piglets.

"PEDv only affects pigs and does not pose any risk to people or pets. And it is not a food safety concern," he said.

The USDA confirms that summary. But the National Pork Board says its members are very concerned. A Pork Board consultant reported on its website that producers lost 1.3 million piglets in January alone.

Their experts say the death rate is 50 to 100 percent among infected piglets. Adult swine can become infected but generally, the board reports, do not "have mortality" from PEDv.

"It's not good for the industry, and it's not good for the consumer," said Zorn. "It will have some impact later this summer, when we'll see lower production levels."

With demand at its current level but less supply, it seems obvious to the plant manager and the experts at the Pork Board that prices are bound to go up. Zorn doesn't see major reductions in the plant workforce.

"We may be looking at reduced operating hours in [some departments]," he said.

But producers remain hopeful, the National Pork Board reports.

"The challenging events of the past year also may have served to unite the industry in a focused direction. According to [recent] survey results, three of every four producers surveyed reported that the pork industry is on the 'right track.' Not only is that result the highest in survey history but is up 16 points from the 2012 result of 59 percent," the National Pork Producers posted on its website.

— To follow Mark Newman on Twitter, check out @CourierMark

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends

    ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

AP National