Home > Fair range of Pork CRC research highlighted

Fair range of Pork CRC research highlighted

Supplier News
article image Pork CRC supported students Robyn Terry, University of Adelaide, Amy Bellhouse, Melbourne University, Rebecca Athorn, University of Adelaide and Meeka Capozzalo, University of Western Australia, at the Pork CRC Gold sponsored 2009 Victorian Pig Fair

Victoria’s pig industry was treated to the very latest in pig research when the Pork CRC presented its Program Update at the 2009 Victorian Pig Fair.  

The Pork CRC was the Gold Sponsor of the Fair, which highlighted the best of Victoria’s and Australia’s pig industry at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre, July 28 and 29.  

The Pork CRC’s Program Update opened the Fair and illustrated the breadth and depth of its extensive research program.  

Dr Cherie Collins, of Rivalea Australia (formerly known as QAF), presented the Pork CRC’s project on strategies to enhance the performance of pigs after weaning and improve profitability through to sale.  

She said weaning was a stressful time for piglets and could lead to poor performing pigs taking an extra 10 days to reach their market weight.  

The project found that piglets light at birth and at weaning were at risk and identified strategies to maximise feed intake and improve lifetime growth performance.  

Birth weight, weaning weight and time to first suckle were all found to be critical for good performance.  

Over the pig’s lifetime there was no difference in growth between pigs weaned at 22 days and those weaned at 29 and there was little value in feeding creep feeds or expensive diets to all pigs before and after feeding.  

“A lot of expensive feed is going into the pit when you overfeed,” Dr Collins said.  

She also concluded that pigs light for their age at weaning should possibly be treated as a separate population.  

Leader of the Pork CRC’s Subprogram 2a, which examines innovative products and strategies for the measurement of feed intake, Dr Bruce Mullan of the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, presented on feeding strategies to reduce cost of production.  

The Pork CRC research examined pigs fed on conventional, blended and single diets.  

It concluded that producers have options to reduce feed costs that are largely associated with feeding pigs diets where the nutrient concentration closely matches the pig’s requirements.                                                                                                                              

Blend feeding could change diet compositions more frequently than is commonly practiced and savings in feed costs shown in the study may justify the investment in suitable feeding equipment.  

“Feeding pigs a single diet didn’t decrease their performance, as might have been expected, but saved about $3 per pig and it’s a strategy that could also have appeal in the right circumstances,” Dr Mullan said.   

He also presented on responses of modern genotypes to dietary lysine between 20 and 50 kg.  

“Requirements have increased and the sexes are now different, even in this early phase of growth. The genotype used in the study was also amazingly feed efficient.”  

Dr Mullan also presented results of a Pork CRC honours student’s project on the effect of timing of immunocastration on pig performance. The results showed the decline in feed efficiency and increase in back fat thickness associated with the second vaccination against boar taint increased with the time between the second vaccination and sale.  

Kenton Shaw, of Rivalea Australia, updated an attentive audience on the commercial implementation of the Pork CRC’s APP-Alive vaccine, which is significantly reducing carcass downgrades and mortalities and lowering costs for the industry.  

Dr Roger Campbell, CEO of the Pork CRC, concluded the presentations by speaking on managing feed efficiency in late finishing.  

He said that improving feed efficiency during the last four weeks of growth has more effect on overall feed use and costs than at any other period.  

Pork CRC research has found that combining Paylean and Reporcin improves feed efficiency at this time by as much as 34 per cent in commercial situations.  

“A sales strategy based on weight can also pay dividends,” Dr Campbell said.  

“By minimising the number of pigs sold exceeding the ideal sales weight, feed use can be reduced by as much as 19 per cent,” he said.  

He concluded by saying that it was very gratifying to present the practical results of the Pork CRC’s research work at a forum as successful as the Victorian Pig Fair. 

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox