AI - it looks the same but...

UK - Switching semen supplier could save pig producers more than 312.50 per litter - or over 314,000 per year for a 500-sow herd, according to Ed Sutcliffe, technical director of Yorkshire-based pig breeding company, ACMC.
calendar icon 14 March 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

ACMC's Ed Sutclilffe, who says AI should not be bought just on price
"The routine use of AI in the UK has grown tremendously in the last ten years, but because semen, as a product, looks the same, it tends to be treated as a commodity and is therefore mostly bought on price," he says.

Once the sow has conceived, performance benefits take a while to work through the production chain so are not immediately obvious. But there is evidence from the field that using semen from superior bloodlines can improve feed conversion among the offspring by over 0.1.

He points out that if feed costs an average of £125 per tonne and ten pigs per litter are reared to a finishing weight per head of 100 kg then each double-dose of semen would save 10 kg of feed per pig, reducing costs per litter by £12.50.

"This figure is added straight to the bottom line of the business because no extra labour is involved in achieving this improvement," said Ed.

"Attaining optimum performance is vital in today's economic climate, so I advise any producer to check out the performance potential of the semen they are buying."
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