BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Fri Dec 7 01:07:40 CET 2007


COMMERCIAL FOCUS FOR PORK CRC IN TOUGH TIMES<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
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Opening the 2007 Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) annual conference
and update in Brisbane, CEO, Dr Roger Campbell, described researchers,
including students, as the industry’s future.


He was pleased to announce that 26 Pork CRC scientific papers had been
accepted to be published at the 11th Biennial Australasian Pig Science
Association conference, which followed the CRC conference.


Effectively setting the theme for a dynamic and informative one day CRC
conference for 100 delegates, Dr Campbell noted, however, that great
research findings meant nothing until they were adopted by industry.


Addressing the conference on the issue of commercialisation of research, CRC
Board member and lawyer, Andrew Maughan said all future research proposals
to the CRC must include a business plan and all researchers had to focus on
maximising value by delivering their findings into the ‘hands’ of pork


Along with CRC Business and Finance Manager, Michael Crowley, he is ensuring
the Pork CRC develops a very commercially focused culture.


To help achieve this, new user friendly software has been developed and a
commercialisation training camp will be held for researchers in February.


Dr David Meisinger, CEO of the US Pork Centre of Excellence and Paul
Pattison, CEO, QAF Meat Industries, were conference keynote speakers.


Dr Meisinger told delegates that US pork producers were losing money, due
mainly to high grain prices and high pig numbers, with the over-supply
probably due to increased progeny survival associated with using Circo-virus
related vaccines, considered ‘wonder drugs’ by US producers.


He estimated that 110 million pigs would be slaughtered in the US in 2010.


US trends he highlighted included limiting litter sizes, as some piggeries
had gone as high as 30 pigs weaned per sow per year and older weaning ages
(21-24 days, rather than 10-14 days).


Important traits for the pork sector in the US include: robustness,
adaptability, longevity, balanced breeding, biodiversity, meat quality and
food safety.


Interestingly, Dr Meisinger traced the characteristics of what he termed the
ideal pig over the last 20 years, noting that producers were first concerned
about performance, then carcass composition and then pork quality.


“Now the ideal pig must address human nutrition,” he said.


Mr Pattison, speaking as an Australian producer and processor, said industry
expected the Pork CRC to deliver methodologies that cut production costs.


He suggested cost of production could rise from $1.60 to $3/kg HSCW.


“While the CRC must deliver critical advantage to the industry to help make
our industry world competitive, I don’t see the CRC as a short or medium
term fix.”


On an optimistic note, Rob Smits, also of QAF, has just published some Pork
CRC supported research which may help reduce production costs this summer.


The experiment, at Corowa, NSW, in the summer of 2006/07, considered the
effects of five levels of digestible energy, ranging from 13.0 to 15.3 MJ
DE/kg, offered 300 lactating gilts, on the performance of piglets to weaning
at 27 days and the subsequent reproductive performance of the sows.


Mr Smits said that aside from the weaning to remating interval falling from
8.2 days for sows offered the lowest energy diet (13 MJ DE/kg) to 5.7 days
for gilts offered a diet containing 14.7 MJ DE/kg, the key data, in terms of
sow longevity, was retention rate, which was about 30 per cent higher for
gilts offered the three higher energy diets (14.2-15.3 MJ DE/kg).


Assuming 10 extra sows per 100 sows could be retained from lactation to
subsequent farrowing, by feeding 14.7 MJ DE instead of 13 MJ DE and 10
replacement gilts cost $3800, the diet cost per sow between 13 and 14.7 MJ
DE was $7 per sow over 26 days, plus five days pre-farrowing, or $700 per
100 sows. 


“This equates to a five to one payback. Saving sows doesn't take much to pay
back the extra diet costs,” Mr Smits said. 


The results suggest that energy intake in the first lactation is likely a
major factor affecting the subsequent fertility of sows and, potentially,


Dr Campbell said Pork CRC researchers such as Mr Smits and his QAF
colleagues, Dave Williams, Peter Rich and David Henman, plus Dr Ray King

of  RHK Consulting, were doing a magnificent job.


“On behalf of producers, our partners and supporters, including the
Australian Government, I thank everyone for their outstanding work in the
last year.”

HYPERLINK "http://www.porkcrc.com.au/"www.porkcrc.com.au

Authorised by Pork CRC and issued on its behalf by

Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dr Roger Campbell, Mobile 0407 774 714.




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