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Steve Dunkley

Head of Knowledge Exchange (Interim)

AHDB Pork KE

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Reduction in energy usage and environmental footprint using biological growth models

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Research partners: Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and Wageningen University

Sponsors: AHDB Pork and PIC

Project duration: 2009 – 2012

 

Aims and objectives

The overall objective of this project was to improve production efficiency while reducing nitrogen loss, to mitigate the environmental impact of pork production. 

Findings to date

  • Nitrogen losses correlate to increases in daily feed intake
  • Improvement of production traits was highly important for reduction of nitrogen excretion
  • Deposition of lipid requires more energy than depositing protein
  • Leaner animals require less energy intake and thus excrete less nitrogen
  • Nitrogen excretion changed substantially during growth
  • Nitrogen excretion can be reduced by improving feed efficiency, weight gain and body composition 

Further information

Final thesis 

M. Shirali, A. Doeschl-Wilson, P. W. Knap, C. Duthie, E. Kanis, J. A. M. van Arendonk and R. Roehe. (2012) Nitrogen excretion at different stages of growth and its association with production traits in growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 90 (6), 1756 - 1765.