GB sow productivity continues to improve
Performance results for the twelve months ending March 2016 show continued improvement in GB sow herds.
For indoor sows, a slight increase in numbers born alive and a small improvement in pre-weaning mortality resulted in the number of pigs weaned per sow per year continuing to improve. The average is 26.4 piglets weaned per sow per year, with the top 10% achieving just over 30 for a second time. For outdoor sows, a small increase in litters per sow per year and pigs born alive, together with an improvement in pre-weaning mortality, resulted in an average of 22.5 pigs weaned per sow per year, with the top 10% achieving 26.57.
Whether indoor or outdoor sows, GB producers still lag behind our main EU competitors. The EU 2014 average was 26.53 pigs weaned per sow per year, with Denmark achieving 30.0 on average for two years running. The main reason GB has a below average number of pigs weaned per sow lies in the number of pigs born alive per litter, with GB still performing below the EU 2014 average of 13.2.
Whilst finishing Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) and Daily Live Weight Gain (DLWG) have not improved during the latest rolling 12 month period, compared to the twelve months ending in December 2015, this is likely due to the trend observed in the past two years of increased finishing weights. However, on average, GB producers are reasonably successful compared to their EU competitors at rearing and finishing piglets after weaning.
Carol Davis, Senior Analyst
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