The Axzon Group was one of the first Danish businesses to set up pig production operations abroad. Poldanor was set up with 1750 sows in Poland in 1994, but has since then expanded to become several farms across different countries and today encompasses approx 42,000 sows producing approx 1.3 million porkers annually.
Data sharing and less 'gut feelings'
"The bigger the production facility, the more important it is to have valid data in the right place at the right time. It is, of course, important for the farm management to have correct figures so that they can devise sales and production strategies, as well as figures for estimating the value of the herd," Bjarne Vest tells us.
In his opinion, it is important that data is not just collected at the top level of the business. Employees on the individual farms, too, need easy access to the information so that they can achieve better results and work more efficiently.
"The employees are proficient at looking after the pigs, but often make decisions based on their 'gut feeling' – it's important that we can provide them with data in an easily understandable form that will either back up these 'gut feelings', or prove otherwise," says Bjarne Vest.
Camera weighings require less ressources
Bjarne Vest sees ProGrow as a good opportunity to give the manager of the farm the knowledge necessary to optimise production of finishers. "The automatic and constant camera weighing of the pigs is one obvious plus. Manual weighing of the porkers is hard work and time-consuming, and is stressful for the pigs as they have to leave the pen," Bjarne Vest informs us. The farm manager can now monitor the pigs' feed consumption and gain on a continual basis, which enables them to optimise production in terms of choice of raw materials, feed mixture and change of feed. Likewise, finding suitably qualified labour is a challenge on many markets, so use of employee resources really has to be optimised.
Overview and knowledge sharing despite geographic dispersion
"Our business is spread far and wide geographically speaking, so we would like to use our key staff members and their specialist knowledge in the best way possible, which we can only do once we know what is happening at the individual farms," Bjarne Vest wraps up.
The visit prompted the decision to install ProGrow at one of Axzon's finisher units in the Ukraine, which has 1300 pen places.