Customers will profit from expert nutritional service

UK - Rising feed prices, higher welfare standards, more demanding consumers: keeping pig production profitable is becoming ever more challenging.
calendar icon 30 June 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

And that's why JSR is now offering the services of an independent nutritionist Dr John Barber to its customers. His advice will help producers ensure that they squeeze every last ounce of performance from their pigs, fulfilling their genetic potential.

With feed wheat prices now well above £100 per tonne, specialist pig nutritionist, Dr John Barber believes that achieving optimum feed conversion rates is more than ever the key to maintaining profitability. He explains, "Together with pigs per sow per year, feed conversion is one of the best indicators of whether a farm is working efficiently or not. Getting that right is vital. Generally, in this country, farmers are more likely to be overfeeding, with higher protein levels than necessary. Adjusting formulations can have a significant effect on profitability."

A graduate of Seal Hayne Agricultural College, and former Lecturer in Pig Nutrition at Bishop Burton College, Dr Barber has worked as a nutritionist for major feed companies and has been an independent consultant to the pig industry for over 15 years. During this time his work has taken him all over the world: from Canada, Russia, Hungary and Latvia to Thailand and The Philippines.

This breadth of experience has provided Dr Barber with opportunities to refine and validate his techniques in different regimes and conditions: also to witness dramatic results. On one farm in Latvia improving nutrition for the sow quickly increased reproductive efficiency from 70 - 90%.

Dr Grant Walling, JSR's Director of Research and Genetics believes John Barber's expertise can play a decisive role in helping customers achieve success in a competitive market: "We are delighted John has agreed to join our team and look forward to his input making a real difference to our customers. We provide breeding stock of the very finest calibre, with the genetic potential to succeed. But we all know profitability is the only real goal - and not an easy target at that. Rising feed prices can take their toll on profit margins. That's why John's input is so crucial.

Dr John Barber confirms, "Different genotypes require different nutritional programmes, I see my job as ensuring that the nutrition on farm realizes the genetic potential of JSR pigs. Fed correctly, the JSR Titan achieves incredibly good feed conversion rates. The profitability equation however is all about relating cost of diet to speed of growth. Working out the best programme for individual farms is where I can help. By analysing their current performance and existing feed programme, I can advise on how different formulations can improve those results."

Dr Barber also offers advice on husbandry issues that might impact on poor uptake of feed and conversion rates. With a PhD focusing on the contribution of water to the health and welfare of pigs, he knows the importance of a fresh, liberal supply - also the effect of other factors such as temperatures and stocking density.

Dr Barber is totally independent of any feed manufacturer and feels that this is better for his customers. "I don't sell anything" he says, "my service is impartial and based purely on my assessment of a farm and what they are trying to achieve. That way I can always give them the best advice".

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