Sows

News 3480 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Pig Progress 9: Mixing sows & breeding focus

The ninth edition of Pig Progress dives into the theme of sow management – and aims to address some of the answers in America’s pig industry, which is in the process of moving to group housing for sows.

There are many questions with regard to the transition, explains Dr Monique Pairis-Garcia in her column on page 34. This is why three universities decided to jointly organise a Sow Housing Conference, which will be held in February 2016.

When to mix sows?

In addition, the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, Canada, researchers have been wondering what would be the ideal moment to release sows into groups after weaning. Is it straightaway, or after a month – or perhaps a hybrid strategy would be better? Read the results of their trials on pages 8-10.

Plenty of attention paid to breeding

The breeding theme receives plenty of attention in this edition. We interviewed Martin Bijl, CEO of the merged breeding company Topigs Norsvin, just over a year after the companies Topigs (the Netherlands) and Norsvin (Norway) merged. How does he look back and where is the new organisation heading to? Read more on pages 14-16.

Martin Bijl, 51, has been CEO for pig breeding organisation Topigs Norsvin since mid 2014. Prior to this, he was head of the Dutch breeding organisation Topigs. Since the merger, the company has been headquartered in Vught, the Netherlands. Prior to joining Topigs, he was a member of the board of Royal Barenbrug Group, a global plant breeding company.

On another note, contributor Benny van Haandel dives into the concept of genome wide selection and analyses the consequences for the future of pig production. His contribution can be found on page 29 onwards.

Pig Farmer of the Year

As you could read last month, Pig Progress was happy to sponsor the award ceremony of Farmers Weekly's Pig Farmer of the Year. It's time to turn our attention to the UK and take a look at the farm of Rachael Bright – you can take a look on pages 20-21.

Winning thanks to an intelligent wet feed system
Oak View Farm in Honiton, Devon, UK has a 500-sow breeding unit, a weaner unit and a 4,000-capacity finishing unit operating on three sites. The farm has genetics from Hermitage Seaborough. The total farm surface is 80 ha. The jury decided to award Bright for her impressive performance metrics; smart wet feeding system; spotlessley clean operation and willingness to try out new ideas. (Pictured - Rachael Bright)

Other articles include:

• John Gadd's third column on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) – page 12;
• A close encounter with feed ingredients producer CCPA from France – page 22;
• An analysis of the state of pig farming in Bulgaria – page 24;
•  Updates on the use of cough monitoring in barns – how much quicker can producers and vets be alerted of potential respiratory issues? – page 34;

For these articles and more check out Pig Progress digital magazine.

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