Pig producers could save nearly £9 a pig by improving feed efficiency by 0.54 in the finishing stage.
This might be a staggering figure but it is well within the realms of practicality, says Matthew Curtis, managing director of ACMC.
BPEX Pig Yearbook 2012 shows that while the fed conversion for average feeding herds is 2.82 the top 10 percent manage 2.28.
"If the figure for the average herds is 2.82, then this means there are many herds below that figure, so there is still plenty of scope for improvement," he said.
He argues that with feed at the £261.83 a tonne figure quoted in the Yearbook, if a 500-sow herd, producing 22 pigs per sow a year, improved from average to the top 10 percent it would save nearly £99,000 annually in feed costs.
In reality, the savings would be much higher as the price of feed has risen so much in recent weeks.
In addition to paying attention to management, housing and nutrition, Matthew Curtis suggests a direct route to improving feed conversion is to use high-quality semen from, ideally, a nominated AI boar.
Not only should these be selected on their Estimated Breeding Value but they should also be chosen from boars which have a history of selection for feed efficiency, not just growth.
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Source: Pig World
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