MetaFarms Production Index Highlights Productivity, Operations Key Performance Indicators
MetaFarms, an information platform for agriculture, has released 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, according to a company release.
Indicators from the index show that the industry continues to see an increase in sow mortality, with the percent of sow mortality 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, chief operating officer, MetaFarms, in the release. "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 costs continue to rise. Feed cost is the highest it's been since 2013, coming in at $309.76 per ton on average, the release says. The data shows that, on average, pig feeds were on feed for nearly a 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 among 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 MetaFarms Production Index shows that sow mortality has increased by nearly 15 percent from 2018 to 2019, whereas U.S. farms only saw an increase of 0.2 percent, the release says.
Lighter start weights lead to lower performance. The MetaFarms Production Index found that, on average, finishing groups with lighter average start weights saw higher mortality while adjusted feed conversion and average daily gain was significantly lower compared to other finishing groups.
The index is an aggregate of more than 1.1 million female animals from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines, and Australia. MetaFarms is focused on capturing data and delivering real-time insights to help producers optimize production and their overall operations.
AP Offers New On-Site Training, Equipment Audits for Swine Producers
Automated Production Services (AP) has introduced three new on-site services to provide swine producers with barn controller training and equipment audits. Called AP Services, the programs are offered at producer locations within the continental U.S. and at AGCO facilities in Assumption and Taylorville, Illinois; Sioux City, Iowa; Jackson, Minnesota; and Omaha, Nebraska, according to a company release.
“This is a new way to help swine producers by offering professional operational staff training and reducing equipment downtime,” said AP national sales manager Mark Hayden in the release.
- Controller training is available for any AP controller model, including programming and testing of all hardware and instruction for up to five barn staff. For those more experienced with its controllers, AP can pre-program the unit, save it on a memory stick and send it to the producer for uploading, the release says.
- Ventilation equipment audits are designed to help producers create a better environment for their staff and animals, as well as reduce energy costs. The results of the audit, which are offered for AP as well as competitor systems, are presented in a written report with recommendations for corrections or improvements.
- Equipment audits help ensure that AP barn equipment, such as fans and heaters, remain in good operating order. The audits can also cover its gestation sow feeding and electronic sow feeding systems, as well as AP Bio-Dri units, which help prevent the spread of viruses by thoroughly heating and drying trailers after a washdown.
The release notes that all services are fee-based and AP will continue offering controller training as part of new barn installations. These new services are not intended to address repairs or immediate troubleshooting issues, which usually can be addressed at no charge by accessing AP’s online video library or by arranging for a technician video link.
To learn more, visit https://www.automatedproduction.com/ap-sales-and-service/ap-services.html.
Oklahoma Pig Farmers Provide 2,600 Pounds of Meat to Food Bank
As pork processing plants across the country operated at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19, pigs were stuck on farms longer than usual, so okPORK staff began to search for local processing plants that were available to process pork for donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center answered that call and Prestage Farms of Oklahoma had pigs to donate, according to a release from okPORK.
“The reality that we have people in our great country who go hungry on a daily basis is tragic,” said Greg Stephens, general manager for Prestage Farms of Oklahoma, said in the release. “Any entity or individual that has resources to help alleviate this situation should feel morally obligated to help in any way possible.
Each week through June and July, Lloyd Hawkins, okPORK community outreach specialist, drove a truck with a trailer loaned by Larry & Debra Cheatwood of Vanoss, Oklahoma, to Texhoma, Oklahoma, to pick up pigs and deliver them to Stillwater for processing into ground pork and delivered to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
The end result was about 2,600 pounds, or 10,400 servings, of much-needed protein given to the families served by the food bank, the release says.
"We are so grateful for the Oklahoma Pork Council. Our partner agencies across central and western Oklahoma have seen a large increase in new clients during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank, in the release. "During these difficult times, it is so important that we are able to offer protein to Oklahomans living with food insecurity."
The OSU Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, known as FAPC, was a key partner in the donation.
“It was challenging to find a local processor who had the capacity to help us turn these pigs into a product that will benefit the food bank,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director, in the release. “We appreciate the FAPC staff fitting us into their busy schedule and making this project possible.”