Five-Year Project with University of Leeds Extended

UK - Leading piglet starter feed company, Primary Diets, has signed a contract with the University of Leeds to undertake a further five years of research on piglet nutrition.
calendar icon 8 February 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The company’s commitment is guaranteed following the success of joint research projects over the past 10 years, the results of which have formed the backbone of their formulation and nutrition programme.

Producers have seen, perhaps unknowingly, many cost benefits from this trial work in the recent past along with the launch of new diets directly derived from results obtained. One of the last completed trials clearly demonstrated additional liveweight gain and improved FCR worth £0.79 per pig.

In the trial, Primary Diets set out to confirm that the performance enhancer package they had developed in conjunction with the Professor Helen Miller at the University ahead of the antibiotic growth promoter ban in January 2006 was still giving significant performance and margin benefits to the producer. The performance enhancer IP21 (named to reflect the Intellectual Property gained during the 21 piglet trials undertaken at Leeds to refine the product) was developed when wasting disease was still a major issue and it was important to see if it was still as effective with PCV2 vaccinated piglets.

The trial (PD164) showed no reduction in the effectiveness of IP21, quite the opposite. In the three weeks after weaning liveweight gain increased by 0.87 kg (+14.4 per cent), daily liveweight gain increased by 44 g per day (+14.4 per cent) and FCR improved by 0.14 (-11.1 per cent). With all costs taken into account the addition of IP21 increased margin by £0.79 per pig which added a staggering £103 value to every tonne of feed in which it is included.

This trial alone confirms savings made by UK pig producers every year since IP21 was introduced has been £2 to £3 million and this is only one of many innovations developed by the collaboration between Primary Diets and Professor Helen Miller and her team at Leeds.

Future research will include more raw material evaluation and nutrient dose response trials to look for performance improvements and reductions in the cost of production.

Primary Diets’ Technical Director, Paul Toplis, said, “Leeds is an outstanding facility for product development and we are delighted to continue our investment in research here. Every aspect of our diet development is based on scientific results in line with our improved fixed formulation policy, which ultimately makes more profits for our UK pig customers. Having one of the best research units in the world working with us can only result in further improvements in post-weaning performance.”

Antony Merrin, UK Sales Manager, Primary Diets, said “Working with the University of Leeds allows us to test our understanding of piglet nutrition under typical UK commercial conditions. With the dedicated technical staff we are assured of trial accuracy which allows us to achieve a much quicker rate of progress in delivering on-farm improvements in post-weaning performance for the benefit of our customers.”

Professor Helen Miller, Professor of Pig Science at the University of Leeds said “We are delighted to have been able to help Primary Diets formulate piglet feeds that benefit health and performance. We anticipate further benefits to the pig industry from our continuing collaboration.”

Work at the University is already underway and producers will begin to profit from the new contract as soon as April 2010 when the latest improvements will be introduced into Primary Diets’ feed range.

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