Reduction in energy usage and environmental footprint using biological growth models
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
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.