Cost savings and efficiencies found in the details, says AHDB Pork
Pig producers have been advised to focus on producing more litters per sow and improve uniformity in finisher pigs when they go for sale.
This advice was given at a recent regional meeting in Diss, Norfolk, organised by AHDB Pork. With the industry currently facing tough times and rock bottom prices, regional meetings have been developed to help producers re-evaluate their units and get ideas on simple changes that could strengthen their businesses.
“Once you examine the detail and calculate what is actually happening throughout the herd, you can see where the greatest cost savings and efficiencies can be gained,” AHDB Pork knowledge transfer manager, Andrew Palmer said. “Our speakers Stephen Hall, Richard Bull and Simon Watchorn demonstrated this during the meeting, looking at performance figures and using ‘what if’ cost calculators.
“The average number of litters per sow per year (the farrowing index) for UK herds is around 2.25 but herds can achieve between 2.4 to 2.5, by tightening up on monitoring and management of returns and minimising empty days. The ultimate result is a higher total of piglets weaned across the herd.”
Palmer continued: “At the final stage of finishing, it’s essential to minimise the variation among pigs being sent for sale. Reducing deviation around the contract’s optimum sale weight and specification from 10% to just 4% makes a significant difference to the amount producers are paid.”
AHDB Pork has a further three regional meetings for pig producers, which will focus on practical ways to manage input costs. The dates, locations and speakers of the upcoming regional meetings are:
• 22nd March – Exeter – Jonathan French, Richard Bull and Tim Blanchard
• 23rd March – Hodnet, Shropshire – Nick White and Richard Bull
• 7th April – Walshford, Yorkshire – Nick White and Richard Bull.
For full details and to register, go to: pork.ahdb.org.uk/pig-production/getting-through-tough-times/