“ Some variation is largely unavoidable – but manageable!” (Dr. John Patience, 2008). This last year I seem to have visited more farms than usual where this problem was raised. The problem of variation in shipping weights resulted in under-occupied pens holding up the re-occupation of the finishing building with new pigs. I’m sure you have noticed it, but housing costs as a percentage of real-term total costs (outside inflation) of raising a finishing pig have nearly doubled in the past 20 years, especially for new-builds. Empty pens waste capital resources.
We checked each farms position from their processors’ returns for each batch shipped against their market target. In terms of overweights, underweights and carcase achievements (grading/probe results).
The monetary payment you will get from the percentage of pigs enclosed in the box will guide you to which contract is likely to be the best to suit your typical/expected performance. It is important to do this calculation as, for instance a ‘lenient’ box could pay you less for your pigs inside their box than one which might exclude more overweights/underweights/grading failures – but pay you more for those which do get in.