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Targeting Core Weights Improves Profit Potential

by 5m Editor
23 October 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1369. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1369

The Manager of the Prairie Swine Centre's Elstow, Saskatchewan research barn says hog producers can improve their profitability by increasing the number of animals marketed within core weight ranges.

The costs associated with conducting research at the Prairie Swine Centre are partially offset through the sale of the hogs that are produced.

As a result, the research that helps producers improve their bottom lines also has a direct and immediate benefit on the Swine Centre.

Research Barn Manager Troy Donauer says tightening weight tolerances at the packing plants are making it ever more important to hit ideal weights.

"We found about eight months ago that we could only market, with our current practice, 60 percent within the core weight range of the marketing grid.

That was by weighing and eyeballing pigs under a crude system. Now we've gone to individual weights on every pig, marking them individually every two weeks starting at 20 weeks of age and now we've gone from that 60 percent in the core to 90 percent in the core.

You can save over five dollars and up to ten dollars a pig just by marketing that animal within the core.

The marketing grids these days are pretty tight and they are specific as to what kind of hog they want and what kind of weight range so that's where you can make money...by making sure you spend time at that end of the barn.

Also, the grids are changing continually so packers will change their grids and make the margins a little tighter for us.

If we keep on top of marketing these animals within the core, the effect of that change on us is minimized"

Donauer says the extra effort has doubled the amount of time spent at the centre weighing pigs but, he points out, it only takes a half a kilo under to be out of core.

He estimates the Prairie Swine Centre markets 13 to 14 thousand pigs a year so five dollars per hog makes a big difference on its bottom line.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor