Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Large group penning with weighing and sorting

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production, Uncategorized by admin on July 13, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation outlines the transition of three farms to a large group system with weighing. Large group housing offers significant benefits in the areas of better space utilization, reduced labor, improved stock person working conditions, and improved ability to select more pigs within the marketing grid core as well as improved economics.

Large group penning With forced welghing and sorting


Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

This presentation outlines a series of management practice to reduce variation in the finishing herd.

• Wean more than once per week
• Increasing growth rate
• Increase weaning weight
• Split sex housing
• Increased dietary energy content
• Cull out light weight pigs at nursery entry or exit
• Segregated parity production
• Improve market sorting procedures
• Develop alternative marketing strategies


How animal management changes the expression of disease

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

This presentation discusses current management factors at length.

1. Weaning Age principles- and the ”Suis-ide” diseases
2. Parity affects-parity segregation
3. Pig flow Continuous vs A-1-A-0 by room, barn, or by site, Multi-site: Commingled vs single source on the Finish Door
4. Large group size and subpopulations within
5. Disease agent virulence


How Animal managment changes the expression of disease

Another Look at the Nursery: Financial Considerations

Posted in: Economics, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by admin on July 10, 2017 | No Comments

Farms differ in many ways, but the author suspects that the goals of the nursery are common throughout all commercial units and discusses how best to improve upon each goal:
• Maximize nursery exist weights, as a solid platform for the move to the grow out barn
• Minimize mortality
• Minimize the need for medical treatment
• Minimize feed costs, calculated as feed cost per kg gain and feed cost per pig
• Maximize uniformity

Sometimes, financial value can be assigned to a feeder pig leaving a nursery, even if it is not sold. A model of economic value for the feeder pig, within the context of the full production system, would be highly beneficial, because profits can clearly be made or lost within the nursery.

Another Look at the Nursery- financial considerations

Surviving the Tough Times

Posted in: Economics, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by admin on | No Comments

This lecture offers a variety of methods for reducing cost of operation and increasing revenue.

A feed budget: Provides a foundation of expected performance. Actual measures of
performance can be measured and compared with the expectations. If there is a shortfall in performance, corrective action can be taken.

Seasonal diets: When seasons change, nutrient specifics should be reexamined, as hot weather diets are typically quite different from cold weather diets.

Split-sex feeding: Is not frequently practiced due to the practical challenge of delivering different diets. The savings are worth the effort. Barrows grow 8-10% faster than gilts. Gilts require diets 7-10% higher amino acid levels over barrows. Previous research at PSC shows that split sex and phase feeding combined increases net income by about $4.50 per pig.

Reformulating diets during volatile times in the market: Much of the benefit of phase feeding will be lost however if diets are not regularly reformulated to reflect current ingredient markets.

Hitting the core: A simple method developed at the Centre involves weighing all pigs at the first shipping day. All pigs in the correct weight are shipped that day, but by knowing the typical ADG, you can project forward one week and mark those pigs with a distinct colour that will be ready next week, and different from the colour markings on the pigs to be shipped this week. There are herds that have improved their ability to market only 70% in the core and increase this to 90%+ using this method.

Wet/dry feeders: Address the water wastage concern by incorporating a nipple drinker in the feed bowl as the only source of water, reducing water use by 30%, and slurry volume by 20-40%.

Surviving the Tough Times


Evaluation of Site and Age of Weaning on Piglet Growth Performance and Post-Weaning Behaviour and on Sow Productivity -Monograph

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on July 7, 2017 | No Comments

Site segregated early weaning resulted in a consistent increase in 56-day body weight in all three experiments. Much of the increase can be attributed to enhanced feed intake, especially in the first few weeks after weaning. Later in the nursery, the benefit seemed to accrue from improved feed efficiency.

The very low weaning weight used in this study resulted in reduced sow productivity in the subsequent parity, raising questions regarding the practicality of weaning at 12 days under commercial practice. However, somewhat later weaning (> 15 days), which is more common in commercial practice anyway, might be a reasonable compromise .

Pigs weaned at 12 days of age are slower to develop normal levels of eating behaviour than those weaned at 21 days of age, but do so by 48 h after weaning. During the subsequent 5-6 weeks, early weaned pigs spend more time eating, drinking, nosing other pigs and chewing on objects. The differences in these oral activities appear to be greatest 2-4 weeks after weaning. In particular, nosing of other pigs is markedly greater in those weaned at 12 days of age, and reaches its peak 2-3 weeks after weaning.

The fact that the higher levels of nosing and chewing persist into the grow/finish period for early weaned pigs substantiates concerns that the early rearing environment may have a lasting effect on animal behaviour. However no definitive effect of these behaviours on productivity were found. Advances in SSEW technology and management, such as the inclusion of plasma protein in the diets, have not eliminated the behaviour related concerns related to early weaning.

Further studies are planned to look into the mechanisms which may be responsible for the difference in growth rate off- vs. on-site. Specifically, the next phase of research in this area, in collaboration with the Animal Biotechnology Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, will look at the role of the immune system, and endocrine system in off- vs on-site piglets weaned at 12 days of age. Answers to these questions may allow us to achieve similar performance in conventional all-in all-out nurseries located close to the farrow-finish enterprise without the added cost of going to multi-site production facilities.

Evaluation of site and Age of Weaning on Piglet growth Performance and Post-Weaning Behaviour on Sow Production


Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

The potential exists to improve different sow reproduction traits, such as age at puberty, oestrous symptoms, ability to become pregnant, litter size, piglet survival and weight, milk production, maternal behaviour and ability to show oestrus after weaning. In practice, however, considerable problems are associated with genetic selection for most of these traits as they have low heritability values. The speed at which genetic improvements can be achieved by traditional methods is slow. Many of the new reproductive technologies offer possibilities for improving the rate of genetic progress. These include in vitro embryo production (IVEP), non-surgical embryo transfer (ET), sperm sexing technology (SST), and molecular biology techniques (QTL and MAS). The real impact on genetic progress will come from combining new reproductive techniques with powerful molecular techniques. The former will allow a rapid turnover of generations, whereas the latter can provide selection, which does not need phenotypic information when the selection decisions are made.


Antibiotic Stewardship

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on July 6, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation discusses antibiotic stewardship in the face of consumer demands and antimicrobial resistance.

Antibiotic Stewardship – L Rosengren

Hog Hedging Decision Tree

Posted in: Economics, Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

“• The goal is to develop a standard operating procedure for risk management, just like every other aspect of the farm.
• Properly executed risk management will reduce volatility and may also increase average margins. (depending on targets)
• With a systematic approach, the futures market can be your friend, not your enemy.
• Eliminate emotion from hedging decisions.
• By doing nothing, you are continuously speculating on lean hogs.”

Hog Hedging Decision Tree

Best Practice for Farrowing Management

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by admin on | No Comments

This presentation outlines suggestions for improving pigs weaned per sow per year.

Best Practice for Farrowing Management

Slots Master There is no definite strategy or technique that you can use as you play slots