New research facility creates measurable gains for DNA Genetics

In today’s economic climate, productivity and cost efficiency remain a primary focus for DNA Genetics (DNA) is committed to providing the highest-quality genetics for real-world commercial production. In keeping with its mission of providing the most profitable breeding stock to its customers, DNA recently invested in developing a 2,000-head commercial sow research farm, which will be home to its ongoing research to improve sow productivity and welfare.


Sow research is critical to advancing the swine industry. DNA Genetics remains committed to sow research due to its impact on improved farm productivity, herd health, welfare, reproductive efficiency and economic viability. The sow is the foundation of the commercial herd, making the productivity and robustness of the DNA Maternal Line 241 sow a top priority for DNA Genetics and its customers.

“Opening our new research facility is a milestone celebration for our team,” said Dr. Ashley Hartman, research coordinator with DNA Genetics. “We have greatly expanded our detailed testing capabilities for our terminal and maternal lines in a commercial setting. This not only creates momentous opportunities and advancements for our genetics program but also provides resources to continue to generate research and data-based management recommendations to our customers.”

This commercial testing site features robust technological capabilities designed to help researchers better understand the management, feeding, environmental and health protocols that economically and profitably extract the genetic potential of the DNA Maternal Line 241 and her progeny from the DNA Terminal Line 600 sire. The capabilities of this site include:

  • Advanced digital technology and camera systems to monitor sow performance, advance phenotyping capabilities for gilt and sow structure and expand collaboration on advanced digital technologies
  • Application of advanced genomic and health monitoring technologies to sows, their progeny, the microbiome and the environment
  • Ability to research pen and stall gestation housing under one roof
  • Electronic feed intake systems to regulate and monitor feed intake and diets during gestation and lactation
  • Detailed environmental monitoring and control
  • Ability to control diet formulation to advance the understanding of optimal nutrition

Ultimately, this data will define best practices for managing DNA’s Maternal Line 241 and aid in bolstering the company’s sow retention program. It will also outline necessary nutrient requirements, develop feed curves for internal and external use and continue evaluating strategies to improve piglet survivability.

DNA Genetics will continue to follow the piglets born at this farm throughout their lifetime to capture detailed growth and mortality information, including individual feed intake recordings on commercial market pigs, all of which support the company’s genetic program for its Terminal Line 600 and Maternal Line 241.

“The opportunities for advancement in our genetic program are endless, thanks to our new facility,” Hartman said. “This facility provides the resources for intense phenotyping and project management, adding to an already robust commercial program that includes over 30,000 fully pedigreed commercial sows and their market pig progeny.  The information we will learn through this research is invaluable – not only to us but also to our customers and, more generally, to the industry as a whole.”

The research site’s advanced capabilities will also provide hands-on training for research interns and aid in building university-industry and industry-industry collaboration.

To learn more about DNA Genetics’ genetic program, visit