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Close call for research proposals

9 February 2018, at 12:00am

A first call by Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL) for research proposals to enhance the competiveness and sustainability of the Australasian pork industry closes Friday, February 16.

APRIL, which replaces the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), is fully member based with an initial investment in 2018-2019 approaching $3 million and is actively seeking new science and creative new ideas.

APRIL’s strategic plan for research is largely about making the Australasian industry more resilient and sustainable by markedly reducing cost of production through enhanced productivity and differentiation in specific areas.

The target cost of production (COP) is $2.22/kg carcass weight. The current COP, with feed at $370/tonne, varies from $2.60 - $2.80/kg carcass weight.

APRIL’s three programs cover resilience, cost and return on assets.

Under resilience, APRIL seeks proposals on the more judicious use of antibiotics.

Under cost, APRIL seeks proposals to help the Australian pork industry reduce reliance on more conventional feed ingredients and help insulate the industry from global grain and soybean markets.

The target is to reduce average feed cost by 10%, based on ‘current’ ingredient prices.

The return on assets program covers new science to markedly enhance reproduction and progeny health and performance.

APRIL will also consider innovative proposals in the following areas:

  • Novel methods to control vermin in production systems.
  • Novel, cost effective precision farming technologies relevant to the pork industry.
  • New low cost technologies for assessing the sensory quality of Australasian pork.
  • Real time assessment of eating quality.

Intending to commission research by the middle of 2018, basically one year before the close of Pork CRC operations, the APRIL call should ensure continuity of the current level of research and support opportunities for relevant research during the wind-down.

Pork CRC and APRIL Chair Dennis Mutton is determined to drive Australia’s pork industry into areas it has never been before by encouraging fresh, game changing ideas from incumbent and new researchers and harnessing a new wave of scientific power.

Pork CRC CEO, Roger Campbell, agreed, inviting researchers to apply if they thought they could dramatically improve sow reproduction, for example, or lift the inherent feed efficiency of grower pigs:

The same invite goes out to anyone with new ideas on how to reduce Australia’s reliance on global grains and soybean meal to reduce feed costs, or those with thoughts on how best to reduce antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance.

Details can be accessed from APRIL link on Pork CRC website.

As reported by Pork CRC/APRIL

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