AHDB Pork is committed to delivering commercially relevant on-farm innovations, while also helping to overcome any “lack of awareness” that may currently exist among producers concerning already available technologies, information and techniques.
Speaking directly to Pig World, AHDB Pork’s technical innovation manager, Charlotte West, said her team’s focus was on helping to “close the current production gap that exists between ourselves and other EU countries”.
She also said that a key part of the AHDB Pork business plan ‘Going For Growth’ is focused on delivering the following performance indicators:
- +1 pig weaned/sow/year,
- +50g growth rate and,
- improvement in feed conversion ratio from wean-finish.
“We aim to help producers with these improvements through training, on farm reviews, demonstration of innovation via our new field trial programme and via collaboration with the industry,” said Ms West (pictured above).
“We believe there are a lot of new technologies, information and techniques available within the industry that are not taken up by producers because of a lack of awareness, cost benefit analysis and/or adequate demonstration.”
Ms West also said that the new innovation team at AHDB Pork is responsible for bringing new ideas to the industry and demonstrating these on farm, as well as collaborating with other sectors and representatives from pig industries in other EU countries.
“The focus is therefore on the near-market application of commercially relevant products/technologies, with funding available via the AHDB Pork Innovation Fund grants or the field trial programme to help with this,” she said.
“While we do not have an allocated budget for studentships, therefore, we welcome ideas from producers, individual students or consortia for projects that are in line with our business plan. All applications for funding are approved by the management team or our technical subgroup of the board.”
Ms West spoke to Pig World in response to a request for AHDB Pork to clarify why it was the only AHDB sector not to be actively seeking applications for PhD studentships at present.