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UK pigs: feed conversion could improve

The UK pig industry could save over £40 million (€59 million) per year by making a small improvement to feed conversion, according to Stephen Curtis, who was speaking at an ACMC conference in Yorkshire.

"Increased costs, mainly on the back of higher world energy prices, are going to hit our industry hard, whether we like it or not," he said.

Reduce costs
Having suffered a number of problems, such as disease and poor prices, over the last ten years the pig industry was urged to further reduce costs. Improved genetics could go a long way to reducing costs. An improvement in feed conversion of 0.1 was worth £1.65 (€2.43) on an 80 kg deadweight pig, according to Curtis.

In the last five years, ACMC had improved output by 0.8 pigs per litter, reduced feed conversion by 0.16, and improved daily gain by 60 kg and lean meat by 0.9%.

The improvement in growth, feed conversion and lean were worth, respectively £4.29 (€6.31) per pig, £3.13 (€4.61) per pig and £0.58 (€0.85) per pig, while the extra pigs produced reduced the cost per sow by £88 (€130).

"Putting this all together and assuming 22 pigs reared per sow per year, the total value of this improvement amounts to £264 (€389) per sow per year" he addressed.

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