Economics

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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.

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Feeding for carcass value: Considerations of genetics

Posted in: Economics, Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles by PSCI on June 5, 2017


Nutritional and genetic strategies individually and in combination offer tools to influence carcass value in many ways. as our knowledge and technologies develop, these tools are becoming more powerful. However, a bigger challenge is to determine the attributes of the carcass where changes or specific targeted levels can add more value. The additional value could come anywhere in the pork production chain, but there is a need  to motivate changes at one point in the chain when the increased value takes place somewhere else in the chain. For example, if genetic suppliers worked to provide sires with higher genetic potential for marbling, this could give producers to tools to produce more pork that meets the requirements of high value fresh pork markets such as in Japan and in new premium branded markets here in Canada. Feeding strategies can also affect attributes such as firmness of the pork and marbling. However such decisions still need to consider costs related to changing specific attributes of the carcass. In the case of nutritional changes, the producer is directly affected and a change could could have a large effect on the cost of feeding. A change in feeding program can also adversely affect important traits other than the ones being targeted. The benefit needs to be at least as large as the cost and there needs to be a way for producers to cover the costs.  The costs of genetic changes, in contrast, do not affect the commercial producer directly, since the breeding stock suppliers are doing the work, and the cost per commercial hog would be very small. There is potential for large benefits from genetics with relatively little cost, but there needs to be a way for breeding stock suppliers to cover these costs. Feeding to genetic potential and selection of genetics for lean yield are examples that have provided opportunities for large increases in net carcass value in the past and continue to provide more opportunities today. Much of the benefit relates to lowering costs for production, slaughter and processing, but there is also increased market hog value for both the producer and the pack. There is potential today to start work on targeting other traits related to pork quality that can further increase carcass value.

 
 
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