Manure Manager

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Sow mortalities and feed costs continue to rise in North American swine industry


August 4, 2020
By Manure Manager

Topics
MetaFarms, an agricultural information platform, recently announced the release of its Production Index data that provides key performance indicators for the swine industry – including productivity, finishing, and mortality – based on anonymized data from its platform.
Leading indicators from the MetaFarms Production Index demonstrate that the industry continues to see an increase in sow mortality, with sow mortality percentage nearly doubling in just seven years – from 2012 to 2019.
“In general, the swine industry has focused quite a bit on genetic improvements – meaning that we are seeing a steady increase in total born – but haven’t yet closed the gap for mortality,” said Brian Parker, MetaFarms chief operating officer.
“From the tightening trade market due to geopolitical factors, to environmental impacts caused by climate changes and growing populations, this will need to be a key focus in the years to come to ensure that we are able to meet the growing demand in the market.”
Other key findings include:
  • Feed cost continues to rise: Feed cost is the highest it’s been since 2013, coming in at $309.76 per ton on average. However, the data shows that, on average, pigs were on feed for almost one day less, even though the average out-weight was up nearly two pounds compared to 2018.
  • U.S. sow farm productivity increases over Canada: Since 2016, Canadian farms have seen a significant decrease of pigs weaned by mated female per year (PWMFY). Among U.S. farms, this number continues to increase, demonstrating a higher sow farm productivity rate. In addition, the Production Index shows that Canadian sow mortality has increased by nearly 15 percent from 2018 to 2019, whereas U.S. farms only saw an increase of 0.2 percent.
  • Lighter start weights lead to lower performance: On average, the Production Index found that finishing groups with lighter average start weights saw higher mortality, while adjusted feed conversion and average daily gain were significantly lower compared to other finishing groups.
“Each of these data points within the MetaFarms Production Index provides actionable insight for the swine industry to learn and ultimately improve operations,” Parker said. “Leveraging key data points in real-time can help producers make data-driven decisions to improve performance, which positively impacts their bottom line and revenue.”