A new 440 sow multiplier herd has been established in Spain to meet the growing demand for AC1 gilts, the prolific hybrid developed by British-based international pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd.
The first gilts have just farrowed on the high-health unit set up on a refurbished farm near Segovia in central Spain by Agapito Torrego Cuerdo, a privately-owned company, at a capital cost of €1,459,000 (£1,313,350)*.
The unit was stocked from the nucleus herd of Genetica Meidam – ACMC’s Spanish arm – in the province of Vitoria, northern Spain. When it comes on stream in October/November 2011 it will be capable of producing over 3,500 AC1 breeding gilts per year for sale to independent farmers all over Spain, but mainly within the Segovia region.
“We are pleased to report that the first year’s production from this unit has already been pre-sold,” said Eric Hindson, Genetica Meidam’s managing director.
Extremely good results with ACMC stock have been recorded by Sat 322, a company whose units were stocked by ACMC about seven years ago. This company now has over 10,000 AC1s. Despite this scale it is averaging over 26 pigs reared per sow per year. Details of this performance has spread through the Spanish industry and has resulted in increasing demand for the stock, says Miguel Chico, who works in Genetica Meidam’s production department. The reputation of ACMC has also been enhanced by the quality of the meat and low fat levels in slaughter generation stock, he points out.
Although the Spanish pig industry has been in crisis for the last three years, due to poor prices, it is still — along with Germany — the largest producer of pork in the EU. Together they have over 30% of the total EU sows, according to Eric Hindson.