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Technology to Add €55,000 to Pig Farm Profit

by 5m Editor
18 November 2009, at 9:40am

IRELAND - Increasing technical efficiency on pig farms could add a staggering €16 million to the profitability of Irish pig enterprises.

Last week's Teagasc National Pig Farmers' Conference in Clonmel was told that an extra €55,000 profit could be generated on the average pig farm by lifting the number of pigs produced per sow and improving feed conversion and growth rates.

Raising production to 23 pigs/sow/year would contribute an extra €5.3m profit to the national herd, Teagasc expert Michael Martin told conference delegates.

Independent.ie reports that improved feed conversion and growth rates would add €4.8m and €6.4m respectively.

The top 25 per cent of farms in PigSys-recorded herds have already outperformed the 23 pigs per sow target by producing an average of 24.5 pigs per sow over the past five years.

Their performance is 2.1 pigs more than the average for all recorded herds and four pigs per sow more than the average of all unrecorded herds.

Mr Martin told pig farmers that each extra pig produced per sow per year would increase net profit by €23.50. That figure is equal to an increase of 2.5 Euro cents per kilo in pig price.

Similarly, improved feed efficiency and growth rates are equal to a pig price increase of 6.5 cents per kilo.

Pig prices have plummeted in the past six months, falling from a peak of €1.54 per kilo in June to the current average price of €1.30per kilo.

IFA pigs chairman, Tim Cullinan, said pig producers were outraged at the drop in prices this week, despite a rising EU market situation.

"Pig producers are living on a knife edge between being stretched on credit and then losing money as retailers refuse to dip into their own margins to pay a realistic price," Mr Cullinan said.