Cost survey of CWF (Computerised Wet Feeding)

24-05-2010 | |
John Gadd Topic: Pig Management

Over the past four decades that I have been closely involved with CWF, I have tried to monitor what has been the cost of both newbuilds (17) and conversions from dry pellet feeding (over 100) to growing pigs.

Of course the capital cost of adopting this method of feeding pigs has always been a bone of contention, so these carefully collected figures may be of interest.
©Of course the various manufacturers of CWF equipment will have their own figures.
©What my records show are as follows:
  • ©Comparative costs (CWF v.Dry; all before-and-after) vary considerably by over 200% so it is difficult to compare like with like. Having said this, the following averages may be of interest, corrected to a 5000 pig unit.
  • ©Newbuilds, especially if they involve a dedicated processing building worked out between 3 to 5 times more expensive than ©new dry fed set-ups
  • Where an existing building is used as a processing space CWF has cost between 3.8 to 4.2 times more.
  • ©The proportions of the capital needed for a conversion to CWF for ad-lib dry pellets seem to be…
©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© – 3% for the computer facility
©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© – 12% for the milling facility
©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© – 65% for the mixing and pumping equipment.
©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©© ©©-©20% for the pipeline and troughs.
  • In real money terms (2009) CWF set-up costs have varied from €42,000 to €78,000 with a mean of €65,000.
  • Dry feeding in comparison was less variable at around €15,000. ie. €3 compared to €13/pig, both amortised to 20 years at 5.5 % interest.
  • Paybacks.© On the face of it this seems a daunting hurdle – but what about paybacks comparing more saleable meat sold per tonne of feed (MTF) put through both systems? I have over 50 reasonable before-and-after figures and paybacks on the CWF investments have been between 1.3 and 4 years. The mean has been 2.8 years. This is not onerous compared to other major capital projects , such as a new nursery or farrowing barn, sewage disposal update, the use of renewable energy etc. Several manufacturers haven`t disagreed too much with these findings of mine, although of course they have their own figures.
  • I mention this because my figures involve all the main manufacturers over the last two decades and might therefore be considered an overview.
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