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Pork CRC support new precise and productive feeding technology

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New technology developed with Pork CRC support aims to bring precision livestock farming technology to piggeries across Australia and make pig feeding less of a mess.

The technology provides precise measurement and control of dry feed delivery into individual pig feeders, incorporating a shut-off valve and control system to give unprecedented control for converting feed to weight gain.

If commercialised, it will fit into existing pig feed supply systems with minimal modification and will enhance profitability through the information it provides to piggery managers.

It can also be integrated with technology to automatically measure the live weight of pigs, indicating their rate of growth and feed conversion efficiency.
The value of this technology was recognised at the recent joint CIGR/Society for Engineering in Agriculture Conference in Brisbane when it won the Best Agricultural Engineering Innovation Award for 2009.

The system has been in development since 2006 after being first conceived in 2002 by Dr Thomas Banhazi, Senior Research Scientist at Pork CRC participant, South Australian Research and Development Institute.

“The technology will take the calculation of pig feed conversion efficiency to a whole new level that simply isn’t available with current methods,” Dr Banhazi said.

“Commercialisation would provide pork producers with an accurate early warning system for pig health problems, by alerting them when pig feed isn’t being converted to appropriate, expected weight gain,” he said.

The technology is currently undergoing small scale testing and field tests should be finalised by the end of the year. An international patent application is underway.

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