Friday, December 4, 2015

Sow lifetime productivity being measured

Researchers are gathering data across the United States and Canada in an effort to find out how to improve sow lifetime productivity by 30 per cent within the next two years.

It’s a project of the United States National Pork Board, but it extends to Canadian herds.

“It is felt that measures such as pigs per sow per year are not sufficient for determining the overall efficiency, and profitability, of a production system,” writes Jaydee Smith, swine specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in the ministry’s newsletter fo the pork industry.

“More systematic measures of performance are needed, e.g. sow lifetime productivity (SLP).”

The goal of a 30 per cent increase would mean an increase from 34 to 44 piglets per sow.

“Some challenges being encountered are that the relevant data is not routinely recorded in most operations, there are limited benchmarks available, and standard practices around culling vary between operations, etc.,” Smith writes.

“The research will address these challenges. The potential impacts on improved financial returns per pig indicate that it will be well worth- while, and this is a project worth keeping an eye on.”

She intends to keep the industry informed and is planning a presentation during the London Swine Conference April 5 and 6.