Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pig herds improve performance – but still more to do

February 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Livestock

UK pig producers are improving their performance – but further productivity increases are needed for the sector to remain competitive, suggests a study by AHDB Pork.

The Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries study examines production costs across 17 nations. It seeks to provide producers with a wealth of information to compare their own  performance with domestic and international competitors.

Pig meat production costs in Great Britain increased by 8% to £1.37/kg in 2017 – the latest year for which figures are available. The average cost of production in the EU also increased – but by a lesser amount – by 7% to £1.36/kg in sterling terms.

Cost of production

This reflects an increase in the costs of production across all sampled EU countries in contrast with 2016. Comparing Great Britain’s cost of production with that of one of its main competitors, Denmark’s cost of production during 2017 was a much lower £1.18/kg.

AHDB senior analyst Carol Davis said: “Our improvements have been driven by a combination of increased number of finished pigs at increasing carcase weights [but] the greatest challenge for our pig industry is maximising the number of pigs weaned per sow per year, whatever the system.

“We have a challenge competing like-for-like with some of our global competitors, therefore we need to look for more novel innovations to lower our cost of production. This may be using lower value land for outdoor production, or adopting modern technology to target attention on and selection of individual pigs.”

Pigs weaned per sow

New to the report is data from Hungary, which has been included for the first time.

The study shows an increase, once again, in the overall average number of pigs weaned per sow per year in the 17 countries included in the analysis, up from 27.32 in 2016 to 27.9 in 2017, representing nearly a 2% increase.

In Great Britain, the increase was slightly greater, at 4%, bringing the average number of pigs weaned per sow per year up to 25.75, overall. This breaks down to an average of 26.97 pigs in the indoor herd and 23.95 pigs in the outdoor herd.

Although below the national average, Great Britain’s outdoor herds showed the greatest improvement in performance, up 5% compared with 2016.

Outdoor herds

While Great Britain has a significant proportion of pigs kept outdoors, the lower numbers of pigs weaned per sow per year in all systems is still a major cause of the relatively high cost of production compared with many other EU countries.

Denmark, for example, had an average of 33.3 pigs weaned per sow per year in 2017. The report says this is an area that  UK producers need to address for Great Britain to be competitive with the rest of Europe in the coming years.

Steve Dunkley, head of knowledge exchange at AHDB Pork, said: “Significant gains in physical and financial performance could be made by retaining more young sows in the breeding herd.

“Our current Gilt Watch programme, one of AHDB’s Farm Excellence activities, has brought together more than 30 independent producers from both indoor and outdoor units to monitor gilt performance and identify where improvements can be made.

“Through Gilt Watch, we will increase our understanding of why young sows are failing in the first place and share the experiences of those involved, with the ultimate aim of ensuring gilts reach their full lifetime potential.”

The report is available to download from the AHDB website at www.bit.ly/PigCosts

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

 
barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online