Answers to a weighty pig problem
Pig producers can now decide if it is worth taking pigs to a higher slaughter weight, or lower to minimise feed costs with the help of a BPEX computer model which can answer these questions.
With feed costs rocketing pig producers are asking themselves how best to minimise the effects.
Should pigs be taken to a higher slaughter weight to spread the costs further, or lower to minimise feed costs? Which will be the cheaper option?
With this as the starting point the British Pig Executive (BPEX) has developed a computer model which can answer those questions.
BPEX Pig Technical Manager Dr Pinder Gill said: "As feed conversion deteriorates progressively with increasing slaughter weight, the feed cost of producing those extra kilogrammes may be greater than the potential 'savings' of spreading the other costs over a heavier carcase weight resulting in higher losses.
"The Feeding Herd Calculator has been developed to allow producers to estimate the effects of their feed costs and other costs, slaughter weight and sale value on net margins.
"It is important the calculator is not used in isolation to make business decisions as it only provides an indication of potential outcomes.
"Producers should discuss their individual circumstances with their commercial feed representatives and other advisers taking into account slaughter contracts and requirements.
"This is an area where the BPEX KT Team would be pleased to provide any assistance."
The feed calculator can be found at http://www.bpex.org/technical/general/pdf/calculator.swf