Mitigate volatile pig prices by hitting target spec

Pig producers have the potential to mitigate volatile pig meat prices by hitting target specification and preventing feed waste.

Speaking at Pig and Poultry LIVE last week, Mark Wilson of Vion made a call to suppliers to understand the market place and consumer needs.

“There is an ideal pig that can give a value and yield out of butchery. However we receive a wide range of pig weights delivered to the abattoir and farmers are losing money because of this.”

Mr Wilson said producers could be loosing as much as £55,000 a year. “Hypothetically, when pigs fall out the weight range, if they are losing on average 3p/kg and that is on 80 carcasses that is 2.4p a pig. If that is then multiplied by 220 pigs in a load that equates to £528. Then if that was happening 52 weeks of the year that is £27,456 and multiplied by two loads a week, is nearly £55,000 producers could be losing a year.”

He urged producers to maximise weight within the contract, minimise variation and to make use of the information available to business form abattoirs.

Pig nutritionist Phil Baynes of Baynes Nutrition added that farmers could also make savings by not wasting feed. “With feeds costs standing at £70 a finisher, we have to make sure there are no losses in the system.”

Mr Baynes said that for every 1% of feed saved a pig on a 100-sow unit would net about £1,569 a year. “On a 500-sow unit a 3% saving would equate to £23,000, which just highlights why less wastage is critical.”

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