Economic Analysis Reveals How Pork Producers Can Profit from Intact Boars

US - Experts point to cost savings and increased revenue potential from intact males using Improvest, according to Zoetis.
calendar icon 3 December 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

IMPROVEST® (gonadotropin releasing factor analog – diphtheria toxoid conjugate) is a safe and effective alternative to physical castration in male pigs, successfully addressing the issue of unpleasant odours that can occur when cooking pork.

In the US, a panel of independent economists has released a report showing immunologically castrated barrows can generate a potential increase of more than $5 per head in net income for producers. Their studies revealed that benefits from added weight, a slight increase in lean muscle and reduced finishing weight variation contribute most to profit benefits. Producers gain additional value through increased feed efficiency and other cost savings as well as from a decrease in castration-related mortality of piglets.

These findings demonstrate financial advantages for pork producers who adopt IMPROVEST. The profit improvement for male pigs is derived from $2 in feed savings, $6.71 for carcass revenue included its premium and $1.61 in more wean-to-finish net income, which totals $10.32 per male pig. The full cost of utilising IMPROVEST is estimated to be $5 per male pig, which covers the cost of the product as well as inputs needed for administration and documentation, leaving a net profit to producers of $5.32 per male pig.

“IMPROVEST has become known primarily as a feed-cost-saving technology,” said Bobby Cowles, DVM, MS, MBA, associate director of Pork Outcomes Research at Zoetis. “However, that narrow economic assessment overlooks significant value to be gained from added meat production and revenue-generating potential — all without adding grow-out days.”

Based on the panel’s analysis, producers who adopt IMPROVEST may expect the optimum market weight to increase an average of 10 to 12 pounds per male pig on a live-weight basis (four to six pounds per carcass) compared with a physically castrated barrow. Furthermore, males managed with IMPROVEST will attain this added weight without any additional days on feed, and the carcass could command a slightly improved premium value, primarily due to increased uniformity.

The potential economic benefits described herein provide an estimate of the economic benefits for pigs managed with IMPROVEST. The panel’s conclusions were based on the results of the trials described above and reflect the specific conditions under which the studies were conducted. Your actual economic benefits may differ in your specific production system.

To view the full economic analysis, click here.

The introduction of IMPROVEST into the US market builds upon the success of Zoetis’ global brand, IMPROVAC®, which is approved for use in more than 60 countries, including top US export markets such as Europe, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and Mexico.

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