22 August 1997

Savings made on farm

COSTS a dose for on-farm semen collection are about £1.75, compared with about £4 a dose for bought in semen.

On a 300-sow unit using one natural and two AIs a week a total of 36 doses would be needed. In this case a saving of £81 a week or £4212 a year would be made, according to Bob Gornall of breeding equipment specialist Rotech.

"Boar numbers could also be reduced from 15 to 10 by using AI on such a unit. Space saved can then be used to house sows. Savings in boar costs could be invested in higher pointed boars. Every index point above the average is worth 5.7p a slaughter pig . On a 300-sow unit the reduction in boar numbers could pay for an extra 50 points – worth £20,520 a year," says Bob Gornall.

This saving would easily cover the investment made in setting up a lab and purchasing equipment. An on-farm lab with all equipment included can be set up for £2000.