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Raised Without Antibiotics: Analyzing the Impact to Biologic and Economic Performance

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Production by student on July 3, 2018

Author: Clayton Johnston

Reference: Banff Pork Seminar Proceedings 2018


Concern for antibiotic resistance has lead to an expected decrease in antibiotic use in animal agriculture. RWA (raised without antibiotics) is a certification developed to ensure consumers the animals products they are consuming have been produced without the use of antibiotics.

Products produced antibiotic free have a premium placed on them, however it is important that producers compare the cost to production with potential revenues to calculate the impact to net profit.

Cost Estimates: Cost estimates are specific to the genotypes, nutritional programs, and process in which the transition from conventional to RWA was made. Studies have estimated that switching to RWA would result in approximately $4.40/CWT increase over 14 months. This price increase is due to decreased ADG in nursery, decreased F:G and increased mortality rate.

Revenue Impact Estimates: Most producers that have high health herds market 75-85% of pigs into RWA market, and the other 15-25% not meeting RWA standards.

A partial budget can be developed to evaluate financial effect. It is calculated through examining added income and costs as well as reduced costs and income. If the outcome is negative, it indicates a change will reduce producer profits. A positive outcome indicates that the change will increase producer profits.

Other considerations: Precision agriculture principles need to be employed to reduce antibiotic use, as precautionary measures when using antibiotics will no longer be applicable.

Raised Without Antibiotics

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