BPEX is re-focusing its efforts on the pig breeding herd with a ‘Breed +3’ initiative to help each herd wean an extra three pigs per sow year.
BPEX must help pig producers wean
more pigs, if the industry is to manage its output and costs to reach its
Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) target.
British pig producers are efficient
at finishing pigs but are not producing enough pigs in the first place. Although
progress has made in physical performance, a big gap remains between Britain and
the rest of Europe.
It should be acknowledged that, with
40% of the British breeding herd outdoors, the industry average is not perfectly
comparable with other EU countries. But the numbers of pigs born and weaned have
still only increased by around half a pig per sow per year on British units
since 2006. Meanwhile, other countries have continued to increase their
performance by at least two pigs.
BPEX knowledge transfer manager Lis
Ravn said: “The aim is to help every producer move towards an extra three pigs
per sow year weaned, whether they’re currently about average at 23 pigs weaned
or if they’re already at 27 and want to get to 30.
“We have identified some priorities
to help achieve this. Keeping performance records and, importantly, spending
time understanding the data is something that high-performing businesses have in
common. As is doing all the ‘small’ daily things to a high standard, which is
where training and skills development help too.
“All businesses, including the top
performers, need to keep monitoring how they are doing and keep their finger on
Local knowledge transfer meetings
for pig producers this year will follow the Breed +3 theme, covering topics
including: performance recording, gilt management, litter management and staff
communication. BPEX will also be exploring new knowledge, innovations and
technologies, offering producers the chance to see them first hand on farms in
the UK and abroad.
There is already a wealth of
practical information on the BPEX website at www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/breeding and
the knowledge transfer managers can be contacted directly for help at any time.
Go to: www.bpex.org.uk/2TS/contact.aspx