Lancashire farrow-to-finish producer David Goodier has been named one of the eight European EU PiG Ambassadors for 2018 in recognition of best practice on farm.
The eight pig producers were awarded the title as winners of the EU PiG Innovation Group (EU PiG) Grand Prix, which champions innovation in European pig production. The annual competition is designed to identify best practice on pig farms and share it with pig producers throughout the European network and beyond.
Mr Goodier, who until recently was the host of AHDB Pork’s Strategic Farm, was given the award in recognition of his progress in improving young sow retention.
The winning examples of best practice, split into four categories, from the 2018 EU PiG Grand Prix are:
- Daily manure removal to reduce emissions – Netherlands
- Improving young sow retention – UK
- Easy weighing of pigs for slaughter – Netherlands
- Olive oil as a source of fat for pigs – Belgium
- Birth management in loose farrowing systems Austria
- Novelty enrichment material Spain
- Different feeds as zinc oxide alternatives Belgium
- Cross-company approach to PRRS Belgium.
You can read more about the eight successful EU PiG Ambassadors here
Mr Goodier’s citation noted how he is measuring and managing gilt body condition more accurately. This is to help retain more young sows in the herd and improve sow lifetime productivity, while reducing the replacement rate of gilts and associated costs. Better understanding of changes in body condition was needed to avoid animals being over-fit at farrowing and under-conditioned at weaning, for example.
Weigh scales and a back fat tester are used to weigh gilts and measure their back fat at position 2 at service and on exit from the farrowing house at weaning. The farm is also measuring back fat as gilts enter the farrowing house and after 18 days of lactation. The feeding system has been recalibrated to help ensure gilts are fed the correct amount at the right stage and monitoring is ongoing.
EU PiG coordinator Ben Williams, of AHDB in the UK, said: “Congratulations to the 2018 EU PiG Ambassadors who we’re looking forward to working with. We’ll be providing more details, photos and videos of how their innovations work in practice on our website.
“It shares new knowledge and practical case studies all in one place online, helping producers across Europe find out about the ideas and systems already out there that can help improve their own farm’s efficiency and sustainability.
“It’s a bit like going on a study tour without having to travel. EU PiG is providing another way for producers to pick up information and experience directly from each other. It is about connecting pig producers and others across Europe to help ensure an evermore efficient and competitive industry.”
More information will be also added to the EU PiG website in due course and producers can subscribe to receive the EU PiG newsletter for updates.
The EU PiG project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.