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Commercialised pork CRC research delivered

27 February 2019, at 10:37am

The research focuses on sow enrichment blocks and nutrition innovation.

Addressing the 2019 "Pig production – science into practice" course at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus, Charles Rikard-Bell, Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact with Pork CRC, explained how early Pork CRC research generated commercial products to provide income to Pork CRC going forward.

Dr Rikard-Bell delivered two case studies to the audience of 45 undergraduates and industry participants, including pork producers from across Australia and New Zealand.

He explained how early Pork CRC research into near infrared spectrometry calibrations and sow enrichment blocks had been commercialised with partners Aunir and Ridley Agriproducts to provide an income stream to Pork CRC.

Dr Rikard-Bell said that AusScan’s unique NIR calibrations provided invaluable information for nutritionists and producers.

“The calibrations enable nutritionists to accurately predict the digestible energy of cereal grains to more precisely formulate pig diets and producers now have a measure to help them assess parcels of grain for their digestible energy levels before purchase,” he said.

Reactive lysine calibrations provided nutritionists with an assessment of available lysine which can be destroyed in the by-product due to processing procedures.

The Ridley Sow Enrichment Block was developed out of Pork CRC Program One research into how nutritional strategies could reduce aggression in group housed sows.
The Ridley Sow Enrichment Block was developed out of Pork CRC Program One research into how nutritional strategies could reduce aggression in group housed sows.

These calibrations, developed by Pork CRC, are now being used by feed mills, nutritionists and producers around the world.

“AusScan global NIR scan numbers are increasing every year as the value of the calibration is realised,” Dr Rikard-Bell noted.

The sow enrichment block was developed out of Pork CRC Program One research into how nutritional strategies could reduce aggression in group housed sows.

“The enrichment block changed the behaviour of newly mixed, unfamiliar sows by minimising harmful behaviour and increasing contentment,” Dr Rikard-Bell said.

The sow enrichment block offers an outlet for the sow to naturally forage and suits a range of housing systems, including fully and partially slatted systems unlike other forms of enrichment such as straw which blocks drains.

“The Ridley Sow Enrichment Block is now successfully marketed in Australia, with USA, Canada and Europe currently being investigated for distribution opportunities, while an international patent is pending,” Dr Rikard-Bell said.

Piglet Buddy, an appetite and feed intake enhancer developed out of Pork CRC Program Two and marketed by BEC, is achieving excellent sales in the Korean market.

BEC will register Piglet Buddy for distribution in Vietnam later this year.

According to Dr Rikard-Bell, early Pork CRC supported research indicated that adding Piglet Buddy reduced feed costs.

“Simple weaner diets containing Piglet Buddy performed similarly for growth and feed efficiency to more complex and expensive commercial diets,” he said.