BPEX blog

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Pig industry going beyond Government environment targets

The pig industry is setting out how it intends to achieve reductions in its environmental impact in a Roadmap launched this week by BPEX and its partners.

The document sets out targets for the reduction of key environmental burdens over the next 10 years and goes beyond the 11% reduction set by Government for agriculture in England.

The report targets four key areas; climate change, the amount of nutrients and scarce natural resources used and the release of acidic gases.

BPEX Environment Programme Manager Nigel Penlington, who wrote the report, said: “The aim is to reduce all of these by between 15% and 17%. Since 2001 we have already seen reductions of between 7% and 17%.

“The roadmap not only outlines the targets for the industry but also takes a broad look at ways these targets can to be achieved.

“Here the Two-tonne Sow Campaign will have a major role in helping achieve the targets at a very practical level.

“Lower mortality, improvements in piglets per sow per year, better feed conversion, for example, are all 2TS targets which, when achieved, will help hit the Roadmap target reductions.”

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Choice stalls research: more pigs per litter

At our last Nuffield meeting, Alan Stewart of Harper Adams University Collge gave an overview of recent research. There were a couple of interesting points on using choice stalls:

  • Sows were more comfortable in choice stalls rather than stalls that were shut outside feeding time, meaning submissive sows had to lay in the dung passage

  • The reproductive performance of sows in choice stalls was 1.5/pigs per litter higher
  • Friday, 15 April 2011

    Just what the pig industry needed

    Eleven inspirational pig managers celebrated completion of the first BPEX Professional Manager’s Development Scheme.

    They wowed a small pig industry audience with their energy, professionalism and achievements, both as individuals and as a group, during a special evening of presentations.

    Hear what the pig managers and course leader Alistair Gibb had to say by watching our video.

    They shared many examples of how they changed the way their teams work together and improved pig productivity, as well as their own personal development as people and as managers. These are skills and experiences that will stay with them and build as they continue their careers.

    One of the group, Andrew Palmer, said that the programme is exactly what the pig industry needed – a course that looks at people skills and team management, which can make an immeasurable difference to a pig business.

    For pig managers interested in joining the next course, there is more information and details of who to contact here.

    Monday, 11 April 2011

    Health and safety advice for pig farmers

    Health and safety is vital to all farms. The aim of this new BPEX publication is to help make your pig farm a safe, healthy and legal place of work for employers, employees and others who may be affected by what you do.

    This includes full, casual or part time workers, trainees, customers, neighbours, sales people, members of the public and uninvited visitors.

    Anna Davis, BPEX Environment Project Manager said “BPEX has worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive and been able to create a health and safety document specifically designed to help pig keepers deal with the issues they may face.

    "We hope producers will put a copy in their office or staff room so employees and contractors can take a look.”

    To download a copy of ‘Health and Safety for Pig Keepers’ click here.

    Wednesday, 6 April 2011

    Producers focus on farrowing performance

    Feedback from our 2TS Focus on Farrowing events has been gathered and the numbers have been crunched. Between 70 and 80% of the 300+ attendees were pig producers, with the others representing the allied industry.

    It was great to see so many producers there, keen to pick up new advice and ways to keep improving herd performance. A few thoughts and comments from them after the event:

    “Well done for organising an excellent conference at Cirencester. Everyone who helped pull this together should be very proud. An excellent turnout and a very good mixture of speakers combining technical and practical aspects.”

    “We’ll go away and think about our dry sow feeding.”

    “We always learn something new from BPEX meetings and this was a really excellent event. We will be re-thinking how quickly we start cross-fostering piglets and make sure they have had enough maternal colostrum first.”

    “Great presentations by the two producers. Very interesting!”

    Monday, 4 April 2011

    Be there at farrowing

    Being present at farrowing is critical to ensure the birth process goes smoothly and piglets get off to a good start. If it is not always possible on your unit currently, consider altering routines or introducing a rota to provide cover at this crucial time. You could also talk to your vet about the practicalities of using products to promote farrowing during the daytime, when you can be there to monitor it. There are more tips on newborn management in 2TS Action for Productivity fact-sheet no. 14, which is part of the 2TS Farrowing Pack.

    Friday, 1 April 2011

    My final Nuffield blog

    As I let Zoe take over the baton of the Nuffield Gob — I mean Blog — on the NPA website and I start to form my final report in my mind lots of ideas and thoughts about what this industry will look like in ten years time fill my spare time.

    Can we really service as a whole if half the industry goes? Will we end up like the poultry industry? Is the concept of free-farrowing actually going to shaft us as an industry or should we embrace the early adopters and innovators stance.

    Click here to read the full blog.