14 April 1995

How to slash pig costs

AVERAGE pig production costs could be slashed by 20p/kg or more deadweight – often the difference between profit and loss.

The message was preached by the Pig Improvement Company at one of 16 workshops for producers being held throughout Britain with the theme "Closing the gap".

At a Suffolk seminar in Ipswich, PIC sales manager Mike Sheldon said there was still a wide difference in costs between top and average producers. The scope for average producers to improve pig performance was huge.

Mr Sheldon cited three basic ways of cutting production costs: Reducing input costs, getting a better price for the end product and improving efficiency.

He said that the scope to reduce input costs like feed, stock and veterinary was limited, but group buying of feed and commitment to long-term buying contracts could help.

Mr Sheldon cited more pigs reared a sow a year, higher slaughter weights, better feed conversion, better growth rates and lower veterinary costs as the main areas which have huge potential for improvement. &#42