AHDB Pork issues “can do more” challenge to producers

The emergence of a mixed picture on physical performance for the GB pig herd in 2015 “suggests that many producers can do more to make improvements”, according to AHDB Pork.

Commenting of the latest Agrosoft figures, AHDB Pork also remarked that GB performance still lags behind much of the rest of the EU after it was revealed that while the productivity of the GB breeding pig herd improved in 2015, the gain was “smaller” than in most recent years.

“The number of pigs weaned per sow per year averaged 24.1 across all breeding herds, 0.2 more than in 2014,” said AHDB Pork, adding that this was the smallest rise recorded since 2010.

“Both indoor and outdoor herds recorded similar improvements. Modest gains in the number of piglets born alive per litter and pre-weaning mortality were behind the rise in productivity, partly offset by a slight drop in the number of litters per sow.”

The picture was less positive for the feeding herd, however, with both rearing and finishing stages recording a higher Feed Conversion Ratio in 2015 than the previous year.

“There was a particularly sharp rise in the rearing herd, from 1.71 to 1.89, with daily weight gain lower as well,” said AHDB Pork. “The change was more marginal in the feeding herd, from 2.67 to 2.69, which may just be the result of slightly heavier finished weights.”

In urging producers to “do more to make improvements” in 2016, AHDB Pork added that this would help to minimise production costs and, hence, maintain margins, all of which is particularly important in the current challenging market.

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