BPEX blog

Thursday, 30 September 2010

New arrivals

We have just welcomed two new faces into the Knowledge Transfer team to cover maternity leave.

Jen Waters, who joins following a masters degree at Leeds University, is filling in for Lis Ravn as Knowledge Transfer Manager for the North of England.
07969 792022

Helen Brookes is looking after skills development and training on behalf of Tess Howe. Helen worked previously for breeding company Innovis.
07891 214335

And congratulations to both Lis and Tess, who gave birth within 24 hours of each other! In the blue corner, Lis and Stephen had baby Thomas on the 18th September and, in the pink corner, Tess and Matt had Elouise on the 19th September. All doing well.

Monday, 27 September 2010

High standards of AI improve performance

We've produced a one-page summary on the BPEX AI Standard, which is now available to download here. It's a reminder of what the Quality Standard programme includes, the time invested in it over the last few years and the key points farmers should be aware of.
To try to improve the competitiveness of the English pig industry, BPEX and the NPA recognised that the industry needed to focus on improving reproductive performance and spread the costs of production over more pigs. The standard includes 'best practice' at each step of the production processes for collection and preparation of semen.
The five main British pig breeding companies (ACMC, Hermitage Seaborough, JSR Genetics, PIC, Rattlerow) all worked with BPEX and the NPA for 12 months to develop the BPEX AI Quality Standard, which was launched in September 2006.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Viability of small scale AD

BPEX has launched an exciting new Photo Diary following the progress of a new farm-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) unit being installed at Cockle Park Farm, University of Newcastle. The AD plant will be fed on a combination of pig slurry, cattle slurry, FYM and vegetable waste from a local vegetable packer.
BPEX hopes that this demonstration and research site will show that small-scale AD plants can be a viable option for small and medium-sized farmers who want to invest in renewable energy.

Follow this link to visit our AD photo diary and follow its progress: http://www.bpex.org/KTRandD/environmentHub/ADPhotoDiary.aspx

If anyone has any questions on farm-scale AD, please feel free to comment below or contact Anna Davis at BPEX for more information and advice.

024 7647 8798

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Make pigs at home in the farrowing house

It’s important to make sure the farrowing room is clean and comfortable before sows go in. And, once they’ve farrowed, regular checks on the piglets’ progress and environment are a must.
Out on farm with staff at Ling Farm near Driffield, we went round the farrowing accommodation and discussed some of the priorities.
In between batches, the farrowing room is washed and disinfected and drying is equally important to make sure the cleaning and disinfection is effective. Plus it’s warm and dry for the sows coming in.
On farrowing days, spending more time in the farrowing rooms is well justified, as all piglets are checked daily and can be given extra care if needed. Staff can also monitor and adjust heat pad and room temperature. Over-heated pads can not only affect piglet lying behaviour, but also counteract the cooler room temperature set for the sows. It’s worth buying min/max thermometers for all rooms and logging the temperature.
For more advice, click here to download 2TS Action for Productivity sheets no. 14: Newborn management and no. 24: Improving KPIs pre-weaning.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pigs popular at college

Kingston Maurward College in Dorset has offered a pig production unit to its second year NDA students again this year and it's great to see that half of them (11/23) have chosen to study it.

They have a new member of staff, John Lockett, to teach the unit and he is organising several pig farm visits and some visiting speakers. I will be talking to the group about what BPEX does and what opportunities there are for them in the pig industry in the future.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Comparing performance figures online

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section on the Market Intelligence area of the BPEX website has been completely revamped and updated. So now producers can add their own performance figures to compare their units against the average.Using Agrosoft data, figures will be available for indoor breeding herds, outdoor breeding herds, rearing herds 7-35kg, finishing herds 35-110kg and combined rearer-finisher herds 7-110kg.

Click here to go to the KPI area.