Prairie Swine Centre

 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:

Author(s): Whittington, D.L.
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Reference: Prairie Swine Centre Media Release
Country: Canada


Saskatoon – Financial benefit is an important part of applied research, and the ability to predict that impact on commercial farms just got better. A new analytical tool developed jointly between Prairie Swine Centre (Saskatoon, SK) and George Morris Centre (Guelph, ON) provides pork producers with one more piece of information to help them determine which new technology is right for their farm.

“The new financial model is capable of considering the cost savings and improvement in revenues achieved by applying our research findings on a commercial farm. The model is capable of simulating the typical financial impact of changing growth rates, lowering feed cost, or even changing capital costs such as replacing the feeders to achieve improved performance” notes Lee Whittington, Manager of Information Services and co-author of the study. “Estimating the financial impact of research on the commercial farm is a key step each farm must go through when adopting a new technology or management technique.”

One very interesting finding of the project is that many of the benefits of improved performance are actually not farm size dependant. Many productivity improvements had as large or greater improvement on net margins on farms of 300 or 600 sows as it did on much larger operations. “When you improve Net Margins on the farm through changes to variable costs such as feed, the impact is actually greatest where costs or overhead per pig is largest, so it is more related to initial feed costs, or building depreciation costs then it is size of operation” according to Ken Engele, Assistant Manager Information Services and co-author on the project. The project identified that improvements in Net Revenues per pig generated by the research conducted during the past six years at Prairie Swine Centre varied from a few cents to tens of dollars per pig.

The Prairie Swine Centre was motivated to develop the model to give pork producers, who help identify and fund research at the Centre, an edge in the international market place by helping to answer the question “its good research but what is the payback for investing in a more complex feeding program for example?” By being better able to describe the financial outcome of adopting new research it moves the decision process on the farm one step closer to adopting the information sooner and thus reaping the benefits months or years earlier than the rest of the pork producing world. “As an exporting nation, finding and maintaining an advantage through reduced costs or improved revenues is critical to the industry’s long-term success” notes Whittington. “Although not every producer can adopt every research report produced by Prairie Swine Centre, selecting which research results will have the most impact on the financial performance of the farm just became more accurate.”

Prairie Swine Centre Inc., located in Saskatoon, is a non-profit research corporation affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, and is recognized globally for its contributions to practical, applied science in pork production in the disciplines of Nutrition, Engineering and Animal Behaviour.

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