InterPig 2011: Changes in Performance Are Reflected in the Development of Production Costs

Invited by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food Industry, the InterPig international working group held a conference in Dublin from 27 to 29 June in order to discuss about the first results related to the 2010 pork production costs.

From almost every country involved in the InterPig, two experts at least participated the meeting. Brazil and Canada were the only countries to have sent just one representative each. The German participants were ISN’s Ulrich Pohlschneider as well as Kerstin Reiners and Gerhard Haxsen from the Johann-Heinrich-von-Thuenen Institute. Among other issues, the developing of the biological performance and of the production costs was talked about. The final InterPig results of the 2010 production costs calculation will most probably be presented in late autumn.


As for 2010, Germany together with Denmark and the Netherlands is one of the places where cost increases could be compensated by improvements in the biological performance. In France and Great Britain, however, the costs are expected to go up as a result of declined performance. As is the case in Sweden, Great Britain is facing a cost disadvantage caused by changes in the exchange rate. Both the pound Sterling and the Swedish krona registered an appreciation against the Euro which is still lasting into this year, 2011.


After discussions about the large quantities of data collected, a visit to a farm characteristic for Ireland, where 550 sows are held in a closed system, was offered on the last conference day. The agricultural area which is at the farm’s disposal is limited to the company grounds, which after all is as large as 1.4 hectares. In the region, there are many purchasers interested in buying the liquid manure.

The feed supply is carried out via computer controlled liquid feeding systems. The farm is free from APP and PRRS, yet still has to cope with PMWS. The biological performance, for instance, is up to 25.9 weaned piglets per sow per year. In fattening, the daily growth amounts to 893 g. At a live weight of 111 kg, the pigs are already slaughtered. In Ireland, piglet castration is not an issue; the fattening of boars still is the actual practice.

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