Novel Technologies Offer Opportunity to Improve Competitiveness

CANADA - The Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement suggests new technologies offer the potential to provide Canadian pork producers an edge in an increasingly competitive market place, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 9 May 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement is looking at using novel technologies to optimize pig performance and improve competitiveness.

Centre CEO Brian Sullivan says there's several technologies that getting closer to practical application.

Brian Sullivan-Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement

Some of them are vision based systems where there's cameras taking pictures in two or maybe three dimensions and those could be used to automatically predict something about the pig, the weight, the growth of the pig for example or some carcass characteristics or confirmation.

There's others that could monitor activity of pigs so accelerometers or things like we have in our I-phone to keep track of our own activity.

Those things could work with livestock and get information on behavior that might be helpful.

There's other technologies that could monitor the health of the animals, help with reproductive management, help to enhance the quality of the pork ultimately that's going to be produced for consumers.

Like with all technologies the costs generally start out very high at the research level and early adoption level but these prices are coming down faster and faster.

Technological development, the pace of that is picking up.

The other thing that's happening is operations are getting larger so, if you have a technology that can be used on more and more animals, then the cost per unit of output of pork or piglet starts to come down very rapidly.

Mr Sullivan says the other side of it is that we're able to do more and more with the information that technologies can gather so there's more value that could be potentially coming out of the technology.

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