The need for a “renewed focus” on physical performance is one of the key conclusions of AHDB Pork’s latest analysis of GB pig production, covering the third quarter of 2015.
While little changed from the previous three months in terms of costs and prices, Q3 figures “suggest” that progress in relation to physical performance may have “stalled over the last year”.
“The number of pigs weaned per sow in 2014 was 24.09,” said AHDB Pork, quoting figures from Agrosoft. “The latest figure, covering the 12 months to September 2015, was 24.08, due to a small improvement for indoor herds being offset by a similar decline for outdoor sows.
“Prior to this year, productivity had improved for four consecutive years, with two more pigs weaned per sow in 2014 than in 2010.”
AHDB Pork also commented on performance in the feeding herd, which it said had “worsened”.
“The rearing feed conversion ratio (FCR) was 1.71 in 2014 but 1.79 in the year to September 2015,” said AHDB Pork. “Finishing FCR was 2.72 in the latest period, compared with 2.67 in 2014. While increasing weights may partly explain this, it appears that this is another area where steady improvement may have stalled.”
This all leads to the conclusion that, given the risk that feed prices could start to rise again, it is as important as ever for producers to control their costs.
“Physical performance is an important component of that and the latest figures suggest that a renewed focus may be needed if improving trends are to resume,” said AHDB Pork.