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TOPIGS Research Delivers Improved Fertility and Mothering Ability

23 May 2013, at 2:14pm

US - Applying genomic selection for traits like litter size, mothering abilities and number of still born piglets results in extra genetic progress.

TOPIGS’ use of genomic selection for these traits has resulted in an increased reliability of the breeding values of young male selection candidates in dam lines by 16 per cent to 44 per cent compared with selection without genomic selection.

The use of genomic selection for these fertility and mothering ability traits on young male selection candidates in dam lines results in a higher intensity of selection. The genomic breeding values of boars are predicted before the end of their performance test, before they have produced offspring. In the past, genetic quality could only be differentiated between full sibs for these traits based on the results of their offspring.

The higher reliability and the higher intensity of genomic selection results in substantially faster genetic progress for economically important reproductive traits in TOPIGS dam lines. Additionally, producers benefit from working with sows that are easier to manage and require less labour and feed.

Performance benchmarking* in the USA demonstrates that TOPIGS sows already outperform other genetics. TOPIGS sows weaned 28.3 piglets per sow per year, which is 3.5 piglets higher than the benchmark. The remarkable thing is that TOPIGS sows achieved this high production level with lower mortality rates and higher farrowing rates. The % of piglets weaned out of total number born was 1.5% higher. This is proof of the robustness of TOPIGS sows and piglets in large US production systems.

It is expected that the difference between TOPIGS and other genetics will increase in the next years as the effects of implementing genomic selection will become more and more visible in the barns of TOPIGS’ customers.

With a production of more than 1,100,000 crossbred gilts and over 7 million doses of semen per year, TOPIGS is one of the biggest genetics suppliers in the world. In several countries, TOPIGS is either the market leader or one of the major suppliers. TOPIGS stands for progress in pigs. This means research, innovation and genetic improvement are the cornerstones of our company. By continuously improving our products, we enable our clients to achieve maximum results.

*SMS (Swine Management System) Benchmarking: average all USA in 2012, TOPIGS vs total