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Significant Pork Industry Initiatives Launched at Victorian Pig Fair

16 April 2013

AUSTRALIA - This year’s Victorian Pig Fair will include the launch of two significant Australian pork industry projects – the "PigGas Pork Industry Greenhouse Gas Calculator" and the "Feeding Pregnant Sows in Groups Manual".

The two industry initiatives will be launched at 3.40pm on Tuesday 16 April at the Victorian Pig Fair, held at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, 16 April, and Wednesday, 17 April 2013.

PigGas Pork Industry Greenhouse Gas Calculator

The PigGas Calculator provides pork producers with a better understanding of the range of existing energy uses, emissions profiles and mitigation options across the broad range of production, waste treatment and reuse systems in use in piggeries in Australia.

The calculator addresses the strong interest from Australian pig producers in renewable energy technologies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on their farm. The industry was the first in Australia to have a Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) approved by government demonstrating a pro active commitment to reducing emissions from the industry.

Unlike other calculators that are too complex and don’t take into account the broad range of production systems, PigGas is tailored specifically to calculate the emissions profile of a individual piggery and identifies the major sources of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). It then has a “what if” scenarioto calculate potential mitigation options and therefore opportunities for producers to enter carbon trading schemes such as the CFI.

Demonstrating the benefits of PigGas are six case studies that found a large variation in on-farm emissions (0.99 to 6.39 kg CO2-e / kg HSCW) depending on infrastructure, production and management. Different scenarios to reduce emissions were also modelled yielding greenhouse gas reductions from 5 per cent to 87 per cent, showing a large potential for significant reductions.

The Australian Pork Limited (APL) funded project was was undertaken by Ian Kruger, Greg Mills and Patrick Madden of NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and will be made freely available to pork producers as a Microsoft Excel ® file on CD or by downloading the file from the DPI NSW website or the APL website. A User Guide is also available.

The six case studies of piggery enterprise GHG emissions as part of the project are also available to producers by clicking here.

Workshops will be delivered during 2013–2015 to assist producers with using the model and making decision about reducing their piggeries’ emissions.

Feeding Pregnant Sows in Groups Manual

APL and the Pork CRC have worked in collaboration with a number of producers to compile a manual
summarising the latest knowledge on feeding pregnant sows in group housing systems.

The 12-page manual is a succinct summary of much of the sow nutrition research undertaken by the CRC for an Internationally Competitive Australian Pork Industry and also addresses priorities in Program 1 (Confinement Free Sow and Piglet Management) in the current CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork.

APL and the Pork CRC ran two very informative Group Housing Solutions Workshops in October 2012 to assist producers with decision making around the move to gestation stall free.

Another workshop will be convened later in 2013 to build on this information, and sow nutrition and feeding will be a focus.

Hard copies of the manual will be sent to APL Members and Pork CRC Participants. An electronic version is available on the APL website.

ThePigSite News Desk

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