Novel means of monitoring and improving pig health and reproduction, alleviating summer infertility and enhancing genetic progress across the Australian pig herd, were just some of the subjects covered in quality research proposals submitted to Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL).
APRIL’s first call for research proposals to enhance the competiveness and sustainability of the Australasian pork industry attracted 40 submissions.
APRIL, which replaces the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), is fully member based with an initial investment in 2018-2019 approaching $3 million and is actively seeking new science and creative new ideas.
Pork CRC CEO, Roger Campbell, said that at first reading the submissions looked promising, with some potential game changers, including from overseas scientists.
“APRIL is seeking innovative research proposals that can really drive positive change for Australia’s pork industry, which contributes $5 billion a year to Australia’s economy and employs 36,000 people,” Dr Campbell said.
APRIL’s strategic plan for research is about making the Australasian pork industry more resilient and sustainable by markedly reducing cost of production through enhanced productivity and differentiation in specific areas.
The target cost of production (COP) is $2.22/kg carcass weight. The current COP, with feed at $370/tonne, varies from $2.60 – $2.80/kg carcass weight.
APRIL’s three programs cover resilience, cost and return on assets.
Intending to commission research by the middle of 2018, basically one year before the close of Pork CRC operations, APRIL projects should ensure continuity of the current level of research and support opportunities for relevant research during the wind-down.