Testing time for Australian pork producers
Despite Australian pork producers achieving commendable productivity gains and consistently good herd feed conversion (HFC) rates, it might not be quite enough to offset the downside of an internationally uncompetitive cost of production (COP).*
This was the blunt warning delivered by CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork CEO, Roger Campbell, in his opening address at the 2017 South Australia Pig Industry Day.
‘The marked decline in our global competitiveness compared to 2014 is due to our feed costs going down slightly and those of all other countries going down substantially, resulting in the biggest differences in COP we’ve seen for 10 years,” Dr Campbell said.
“The recent disparity in grain prices and feed costs is unusual and may only be a blip in the usual pattern, which is generally consistent across the globe.
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Dr Nishchal Sharma & Dr Roger Campbell.JPG: After addressing the 2017 South Australian Pig Industry Day, Pork CRC CEO Dr Roger Campbell (right) happily caught up with Dr Nishchal Sharma, trainee nutritionist employed by ACE Livestock Consulting under the Pork CRC’s SA Government supported Industry Placement Program.
Pork CRC Commercialisation Advances
Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC) Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact, Charles Rikard-Bell, has confirmed that a pipeline of products is being developed which will advance Australia’s pork industry, while, in some cases, earning income for ongoing and future research and development.
“Our pipeline has already delivered products such as the Ridley Sow Enrichment Block, which was commercially launched in October last year, after being showcased at the 2016 Pan Pacific Pork Expo. It now has an international patent pending and 170 tonne of product was manufactured in the first batch,” Dr Rikard-Bell explained.
“It all comes down to reducing aggression between sows when they are first mixed in groups, which is now common practice in modern Australian pork production, and our sow enrichment blocks are delivering positive, measurable outcomes.
“Excitingly, we are about to commission some promising research into refining the block to suit weaners and finishers, rather than just sows,” he said.
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Pork CRC Commercialisation and Research Impact Manager Dr Charles Rikard-Bell (left) met at WA’s Murdoch University with Dr Tom La, Dr Nyree Phillips and Professor David Hampson, the team investigating how to identify, track and control swine dysentery in Australian pig herds.
Happy Homes for Sassy Sows
Recognising that group housing of gestating sows is here to stay, a targeted Pork CRC project, led by Dr Kate Plush of SARDI, with significant contributions from University of Adelaide researchers and Pork CRC PhD candidate Emma Greenwood, conducted five experiments to see how sow aggression at mixing could be reduced. Space allowance, environmental enrichment, olfactory and diet supplements, plus multi-suckle mixing at late lactation were all considered. The findings were revealing, especially on the enrichment front. To learn more go to 1C-103
Benefits of Using Biogas
Pork CRC has released a video highlighting the benefits of using biogas for Australian piggeries. The video shows real life examples of technologies, systems, equipment and uses on Australian piggery sites. Follow the link below to view the video.
Talking Topic 4
Cleaning Piggery Biogas
Biogas is naturally produced when manure is treated in effluent ponds. Biogas is a good fuel for heating or electricity generation, but requires some treatment/cleaning before use to ensure it is safe and cost effective. This Talking Topic describes methods for cleaning of biogas and associated Pork CRC research activities. Click here to download
Talking Topic 3
Covered lagoons capture biogas from manure treatment. Biogas is an excellent fuel which can be used at piggeries to produce electricity or for heating. This Talking Topic describes how covered lagoons work, handling of sludge, biogas collection, and associated Pork CRC research activities. Click here to download