Inside the Helix

17 Episodes

By: DNA Genetics

“Inside the Helix” is a podcast presentation from DNA Genetics that focuses on all things that matter to the pork industry. Hear from DNA's team of geneticists, veterinarians, animal care providers, nutritionists and other industry-leading experts as they explore pig production from genetic improvement all the way to meat quality.

Body Condition Scoring
Last Tuesday at 12:00 PM

The body condition of each female plays a key role in her overall value. Having sows over or under conditioned can eat away at a producer's bottom line. In this episode, Brady McNeil, multiplication business leader with DNA Genetics, explains why it matters to consistently capture an accurate body condition score. He also discusses current research examining how to optimize the overall value of herds.

Reducing Defects Through Genetic Selection

Defects, such as umbilical hernias, scrotal hernias and cryptorchid, can be economically damaging to swine producers. In this episode, Dr. Iara Solar Diaz, geneticist with DNA Genetics, discusses these defects. She also describes what DNA Genetics is doing through its genetic program to significantly reduce the risk of future problems. 

Technology in Swine Research

Technology is important to research just as research is vital to the improvement of the swine industry. Dalton Obermier is a graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate studying at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He recently was part of a joint research team between UNL and DNA Genetics focused on using camera systems to monitor genetic growth potential and feed intake. He discusses this research in this episode of "Inside the Helix," and he also talks about the importance of technology in swine research. The full research study can be found here: 

Aglactia in the Sow Herd

Aglactia is a lactation condition in sows that can impact producers’ bottom lines. In this episode, Dr. Christine Mainquist-Whigham, a veterinarian and director of health with DNA Genetics and Pillen Family Farms, explains what Aglactia is, and she discusses current research efforts focused on this problem.

Full Program Swine Genetics in Action

The most successful genetic programs are those that understand how their pigs perform in real-world environments. In this episode, Dr. Amanda Cross, Director of Genetic Program Implementation with DNA Genetics, describes commercial production research utilizing DNA Genetics' full genetic program.

Seasonal Infertility

Seasonal infertility can be a challenge for the swine industry, especially during the summer and autumn months. In this episode, Dr. Cory Faust, DVM and director of the DNA Genetics' gene centers, discusses how seasonal infertility can impact the swine industry and what producers can do to alleviate the problem. 

Combatting High Feed Costs

Times are tough for pork producers. Inputs are high and prices are low. In this episode of "Inside the Helix," Dr. Steve Kitt, swine nutritionist with DNA Genetics and Pillen Family Farms, describes ways to reduce feed costs while maximizing productivity. 

What is the Right Wean Age for My Farm?

Increasing wean age can add value to producers, but this isn't a universal recommendation based upon the economics of individual operations. In this episode of "Inside the Helix," Brady McNeil, DNA Genetics multiplication business lead, breaks down wean age and identifies when increasing wean age may make the most sense for producers to implement. 

DNA Genetics at the 2023 World Pork Expo

In this bonus episode of "Inside the Helix," Del Birkhofer discusses the World Pork Expo which takes place June 7-9, 2023 in Des Moines. DNA Genetics will be in attendance at the expo and can be found in Booth V195 in the Varied Industries Building and at the Hospitality Tent G199 on the north end of Grand Avenue. 

Boar Exposure

Boar exposure is an effective tool for sow farm managers to optimize reproductive performance of both gilts and sows. In this episode, Dr. Steve Terlouw discusses best practices and overall sow farm management strategies.

Summer Ventilation

Ventilation is the primary influencer of heat and moisture levels within a livestock building. In this episode, Andy Jakubowski, director with Pillen Family Farms, explains why ventilation is important for overall herd health. He also describes what producers can do now to ensure their ventilation systems are working before the heat of summer arrives. 

Gene Editing: Promise and Implications for the Swine Industry

Gene editing can offer countless advantages to the swine industry. Not only can gene editing speed up the traditional breeding process, it has the potential to eliminate or reduce the impact of various pathogens, such as the PRRS virus. While products of gene editing are not yet used in the swine industry, DNA Genetics stands ready to bring this technology to the pork producer when the time is right. DNA Genetics believes the use of this technology must only occur after thoughtful and responsible consideration of consumer acceptance, export markets, supply chain requirements and potential impact on overall pig...

Genetic Selection Against E. coli

E. coli is a common gram-negative bacterium found in the gastrointestinal tracts of pigs. While not all E. coli strains cause harm, the F4/K88 and F18 strains can lead to illness in pigs. Dr. Emily Mauch-Swinford is a geneticist with DNA Genetics. In this episode, she describes the prevalence of these two strains, how genetic resistance can be used to reduce the number of sick pigs and how DNA Genetics is approaching genetic resistance to E. coli

Feed Biosecurity

Biosecurity is extremely important to the pork industry in preventing disease outbreaks. In this episode, Dr. Jason Schneider, technical consultant with DNA Genetics, explains why producers should place more emphasis on the biosecurity of their feed supplies. He discusses four key feed mill biosecurity standard operating procedures and stresses the importance of developing a plan. 

Starting the Nursery Pig

Starting nursery pigs off properly after weaning can significantly impact future success of herds. In this episode, Dr. Christine Mainquist-Whigham, veterinarian and director of health for DNA Genetics and Pillen Family Farms, explains key management practices that can reduce stress and enhance the comfort and survivability of baby pigs. She also describes current research her team is focused on to improve early pig care practices. 

Nurse Sow Strategy: Are we moving too many pigs?

Moving piglets to nurse sows is a common practice within the swine industry. While this management strategy is necessary in some instances, Dr. John Sonderman, director of technical services with DNA Genetics, says DNA Genetics research is showing there may be added benefits keeping piglets with their mothers.  

Welcome to "Inside the Helix!"

Welcome to "Inside the Helix," a podcast presentation of DNA Genetics. Throughout this series, hear from industry-leading experts as they explore pig production from genetic improvement all the way to meat quality.