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AHDB Pork Blog

Producer-led knowledge exchange by Samantha Crocker

undefinedAs we welcome in 2018, I now have two months under my belt as AHDB Pork’s Knowledge Transfer Officer. During this time, I have had the opportunity to meet pig producers and professionals from allied industries as well as, of course, many different colleagues at AHDB. The passion I have seen across the industry is second to none and has been inspiring as we prepare for the exciting activities planned for the New Year.

With Gilt Watch due to launch later this month, I’ve been busy helping the Knowledge Exchange (KE) Managers prepare practical information for participating producers, complementing the fantastic events held recently on ‘Lifetime Performance’. The KE team is also recruiting producers to be new Strategic Farm hosts, who are keen to find out what works on other farms and try out new ideas to improve pig performance. In preparation, I’ve been pulling together practical farm hygiene tools for possible trialing on these farms in order to develop a producer-tested product guide.

Another guide we’re working on is for pig lighting, based on one previously produced by AHDB Horticulture. It will include results from a trial on optimal photoperiods for indoor finishing pigs, following a review of all the available equipment in LED lighting for pigs, based on the latest academic research.

Following feedback from producers, I have also been developing the latest guidance on managing small piglets, based on information from two AHDB-funded PhDs on reducing weight variability within pig herds and treatments for light pigs, to improve growth.

Throughout all of this work, I have been collating best practices, both nationally and internationally, utilising the knowledge of the EU Pig network to contribute to our planned activities and stay ahead of industry trends and challenges, including the use of zinc oxide and managing tail biting.

Having so many exciting projects planned, I look forward to collaborating with producers and allied industries to make 2018 a fantastic year for the pig industry. Therefore, my New Year’s resolution (in addition to eating less chocolate) is to match the passion and commitment in the industry to further drive excellence and innovation.


By AHDB Pork at 8 Jan 2018, 14:46 PM

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