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Stackyard News Jan 07

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    Become a Top Pig Producer

Britain’s top pig producers are easily a match for our major European competitors according to the latest figures from the British Pig Executive (BPEX).


And getting the rest of the industry to that level is hardly rocket science says BPEX Director of Pig Industry development Mark Wilson.

The latest report on key performance indicators show the top third in the UK are seeing 26.6 pigs born per sow per year while the national average is just 24.

Mark said: “The top third are also weaning at least 23 and that puts them in the same league as France and the Netherlands – two of our major European competitors.

“The question must be why this group is doing so well and what can be done to bring the rest up to the same level.

“These producers have not necessarily made huge investments but they are listening, learning and then taking action.

“They are listening to their vet, their nutritionist, they are members of the British Pig health Scheme, the are actively seeking best practice and training their staff to a high level. Those are the things that can bring dividends.

“The key areas where we are behind are litter size and growth rate. Here again the top third are in contention with the best in Europe.

“The guys at the top don’t have a magic formula and their results are attainable by the rest of the industry.

“The gap can be bridged and it generally does not require fundamental changes. “The BPEX Knowledge Transfer team is there and can help. All it takes is a phone call and they can start the ball rolling.”

Looking back over the key performance indicators, the top third has shown a steady climb in pigs born/sow since early 2004 while the national average has not risen by anything like as much – the rate of improvement by top third is four times the national average and in weaners it is five times.

Mark said: “Looking at what can be achieved, it is probably worth looking at some investment which has been lacking in the industry over the last few years. “For example liquid feeding can bring huge benefits in growth and feed conversion ratio with a payback of as little as two-and-a-half years.”

Everything anybody needs to improve their competitive position is out there for the asking and pig farmers should start asking by contacting Knowledge Transfer Manager Lis Ravn on 07891 656784, or through the BPEX website,

link British Pig Industry Confidence Returns
link Pig Industry Grants On Offer
link Green Challenge For Pig Industry

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