Specialization and pork production methods in relation to over-all farm resource use and integration

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Heady, Earl
Gibbons, James
Irwin, George
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
It can be very challenging to locate information about individual ISU Extension publications via the library website. Quick Search will list the name of the series, but it will not list individual publications within each series. The Parks Library Reference Collection has a List of Current Series, Serial Publications (Series Publications of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service), published as of March 2004. It lists each publication from 1888-2004 (by title and publication number - and in some cases it will show an author name).
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Rapid changes have been taking place in the technology of agriculture. These technical changes have important implications for the structure of farming. They affect the size and degree of specialization of enterprises and farms. Some also alter the comparative advantage of different producing regions and the concentration of output in particular areas. An outstanding example in this respect has been broiler production. In contrast to the prewar pattern, broiler output is now concentrated particularly on farms with highly specialized enterprises. Also, the center of production has shifted from the Corn Belt states to the Southeast.

Are similar trends likely to occur in pork production ~ The technology of producing pork has changed greatly in the last decade. One of the more recent innovations has been the development of more specialized hog systems built on multiple litters throughout the year. Historically, the common Corn Belt systems have included either spring litters alone or spring and fall litters in combination. The newer systems, however, include farrowing as frequently as four and six times per year. If the latter systems come to predominate on Corn Belt farms, the nation's pork output could be produced on many fewer farms. In general, these farms would specialize more in pork production than has held true in the past, although they wouldn't necessarily produce only hogs.