The Pig & Poultry Fair is an event that always seems to come and go very quickly, and this year was no exception with the two days flying by. However, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who came to the AHDB Pork stand and engaged with the team. We really appreciate you sharing ideas, problems and thoughts to help us stay informed on the things that really matter to you.
Those at the event will have noticed that this year the stand focused on home and export markets for pork. As Mick Sloyan stated in his opening address, about £32 of the total price paid for each pig now comes from exports.
In the March issue of Pig World, Sam Walton questioned our self-sufficiency – was it up to 50%? Well, for those of you who picked up our Pig and Poultry Pocketbook 2016, you’ll know that it’s actually 55.2%. This was in part due to heavier carcase weights and, in all, we produced an extra 13,000t more in 2015 than in the previous year.
As I’m sure you’re aware, our market is becoming ever more critical, and for this reason we have to do all that we can as an industry to ensure that risks in the forms of disease and public health concerns are minimised. Think BioRisk, launched at Pig & Poultry Fair, generated a lot of interest and is one way to improve and lower disease risk behind the farm gate. If you haven’t seen the interactive videos, you can see them at: http://thinkbiorisk.pork.ahdb.org.uk
The past few weeks have been dominated by antibiotics and the cohesive way that AHDB and NPA have worked together has been impressive. In the past I had an idea of what was going on, but I now have a much better understanding.
However, the electronic medicines book luckily has all the active ingredients listed ready for users to click on. This function proved very helpful when I had to deliver a presentation on the new system, allowing Martin Smith to have a well-earned night off.
We’re very pleased with the uptake of the electronic medicine book, and if you haven’t already signed up and entered your 2015 data, please do so. The positive way the industry has responded so far hasn’t gone unnoticed, but we have to keep making an impact.
On a different note, grandfather rights for use of pesticides came to an end in November last year, so everyone spraying weeds now requires a certificate – as does the sprayer or applicator, unless it’s a knapsack device. And linking this back to Think BioRisk, producers wanting to keep rodents at bay should note that proof of competence for use of rodenticides and pesticides is also now required, unless you use a contractor.