ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Model answers to a weighty problem

by 5m Editor
5 October 2007, at 7:19am

UK - With feed costs rocketing, pig producers are searching for ways to best to minimise the effects. One key question is slaughter weights.

Many producers are pondering if pigs should be taken to a higher slaughter weight to spread the costs further, or do they opt for a lower finished weight to minimise feed costs?

Using this as the starting point, the British Pig Executive (BPEX) has developed a computer model which can answer those questions.

Dr Pinder Gill, BPEX Pig Technical Manager says that as feed conversion deteriorates progressively with increasing slaughter weight, the feed cost of producing those extra kilogrammes may be greater than the potential 'savings' of spreading the other costs over a heavier carcase weight. "This can result in higher losses. Our Feeding Herd Calculator has been developed to allow producers to estimate the effects of their feed and other costs in relation to slaughter weight and sale value on net margins," he explains.

However, Dr Gill is quick to point out that the calculator is not used in isolation to make business decisions as it only provides an indication of potential outcomes.

"Producers should discuss their individual circumstances with their commercial feed representatives and other advisers taking into account slaughter contracts and requirements," he advises.

The feed calculator can be found at www.bpex.org/technical/general/pdf/calculator.

5m Editor