Livestock

Pork CRC benchmarking producers progressing

Pork CRC CEO, Roger Campbell

Pork CRC benchmarking results for 2016-17 are in and the progress achieved by Australian pork producers has impressed CEO Roger Campbell.

“I’m very happy with the progress made over time, especially in reproduction,” Dr Campbell said.

“We now have Australian herds exceeding 11 weaned per litter and 26 plus weaned per mated female per year.

“The trends in born alive, number weaned and weaned per mated sow per year have also been very positive over the past six to seven years, with individual herds achieving exceptional improvement year on year.”

Pork CRC held its last Benchmarking Project meeting in Melbourne on October 16 & 17 2017, having commenced 10 years ago at a time when the majority of Australia’s pork producers, even those achieving commendable productivity levels, did not know how they were tracking compared with their competitors, both locally and overseas.

“Pork CRC’s Benchmarking Project has informed members and industry on where we sit globally and, importantly, how we compare to each other,” Dr Campbell noted.

“Non-members can use the figures to compare their performance with some of the best and in many cases identify what areas need to improve.

“I think the information is critical for the industry and the project has been so successful it is likely to be carried on by Australian Pork Limited in 2018.”

New Zealand, whose peak body NZ Pork is an Essential Participant in the CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork and has a member in the Benchmarking Project, increased born alive by two piglets over the past eight years (indoor average now 13.1 and outdoor 12.8).

“While this sets a pretty high bar for Australian producers, we’re reminded that the Kiwis use genetics from Europe and USA, so are probably seeing the advantages of genomic technology used by most international genetic companies,” Dr Campbell said.

“There are lessons to be learned from the NZ industry and that’s what benchmarking is all about and their born alive and weaned per sow are the targets we need to achieve.

“We have a couple of herds in Pork CRC’s Benchmarking Project with born alive above 13 and weaning 11 plus piglets per litter, so they are closing in on where we need to be.

“This all suggests we have the genetics and knowhow to reach 26 to 28 pigs weaned per sow per year.

“We just need to get everyone at this level and we’ll likely have to make further improvements through means other than importing superior genetics.

“However, as one participant at the benchmarking meeting said, all the signs are that it may not be too long before we are the best in the world.”

Dr Campbell thanked all participants for their involvement and contribution to Pork CRC’s Benchmarking Project and all thanked Dr Rowan O’Hagan for managing the project over the past six to seven years.

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