Producers urged to focus on the details

Small details concerning the successful production of more litters per sow and improving uniformity in finisher pigs can make a big difference to final returns, producers were told during AHDB Pork’s latest “tough times” meeting in Norfolk.

“Once producers examine the detail and calculate what is actually happening throughout the herd, they can see where the greatest cost savings and efficiencies can be gained,” said AHDB Pork knowledge transfer manager, Andrew Palmer (pictured above).

“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.

“Equally, 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.”

Three more “tough times” meetings are planned over the next three weeks. Dates, venues and speakers are as follows:

  • March 22 – Exeter, Devon – Jonathan French, Richard Bull and Tim Blanchard
  • March 23 – Hodnet, Shropshire – Nick White, Richard Bull
  • April7  – Walshford, Yorkshire – Nick White, Richard Bull

Further details

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