Focus on split times!
A successful marathon runner precisely knows which split times he must have at 10, 20, and 30 km to have a good finish time. They know their competitors' times and the times from completed races. Split times help them correct their efforts so they can reach their goal.
The same applies to pig production, where the producer has to know his split times, so he can, if necessary, correct his efforts and reach his goals.
SKOV has launched a new Performance View in FarmOnline ProGrow, which helps pig producers with split times. In other words, they get benchmarks along the way so they can adjust their strategy.
When producing pigs during weaning to 30 kg, the table shows the day number when the pig producer reaches 9, 15, and 25 kg, respectively. The producer also gets information on daily growth and feed intake during the same periods. He can compare this data with a reference and (or) historical data from previous batches.
Performance View provides a simple overview, where the producer can systematically take corrective actions during the entire production cycle to reach his production goals successfully.
Senior Advisor Anders Amstrup from Hedegaard Agro works daily with guiding pig producers on feeding strategies. In this article, Anders Amstrup, who has been an asset in developing Performance View, offers answers to how he and pig producers can use the new Performance View to optimize production.
How often do you use Performance View during the production process (which work situations)?
"I use Performance View daily when I am in dialogue with customers, and we compare data from the table with growth curves and climate curves and discuss the necessary changes to reach the set goals."
How do you use Performance View in connection with feeding changes?
"I compare data and experiences from previous batches and references to see whether we can improve something in the current batch. I assess whether the time and the pigs' weight and weight distribution are optimal concerning the feed change."
"I also look at whether the protein level and other things in the feed composition are optimal in relation to the feed change in question."
"It always results in a really good dialogue with the customers about the entire production, where we also talk about climate conditions and water consumption."
What has Performance View shown about the importance of proper feed changes?
"When changing the feed, it is important that we focus on the smallest pigs. If the weight distribution is great, we must be cautious not to make the feeding change too early relative to the average weight. On the other hand, if the weight distribution is small in the current batch, we can make the change earlier."
"It has also shown that the pigs' growth potential is very high in the last part of the growth period (15-30 kg), where we can offer the pigs a mixture with higher protein content than the standards prescribed. For example, if we move the last change of feed to 18 kg rather than the normal 15 kg, which is prescribed in SEGES* standards for nutrients. In doing so, reservations must be made for the pigs' age, as the development of the intestines is more related to age than weight. But by moving the weight limit to 18 kg and also looking at the age of the pigs, we have a pig that is tolerant of more protein in the form of a higher soybean content in the mixture, and we have seen very positive results from this in the form of improved growth."
Where do you think Performance View gives the pig producer the most value?
"Performance View provides the most value when data is compared with growth curves daily (real-time data). We have seen several examples that the daily use of ProGrow, where the employees are involved, strongly increases learning and motivation. Performance View is an important tool where current data can be compared with previous batches, experiences, and references and can quickly create a useful overview of whether we are on the right track or whether something needs to be changed to reach the goals."
What is the potential in terms of optimizing production, facilitating workflow, and improving animal welfare…?
"If you want to be at the top of Danish pig production, it requires a constant focus on efficiency, and digital solutions are good tools for this, and we will see a rapid development in these in pig production in the future."
"I think ProGrow has proven its worth as one of the best tools on the market when it comes to the use of real-time data. It allows the pig producer to act on what is happening here and now in the pig units in terms of growth, feed formula, climate, eating activity, and water consumption, rather than reacting to historical data."
"This means, for example, that you can immediately intervene and prevent an outbreak of disease, thereby improving animal welfare and reducing the use of medications, which also makes the workflow much easier. The same applies in terms of feed formula, where the right feed can often save you from any feed-related problems, such as diarrhea."
"Focusing on climate data can also help prevent stress-related problems in the form of tail biting and ear biting, or lack of eating activity due to improper housing temperature."
How should the program be optimized to provide even more value for the producer?
"Even though I consider the program to be the best on the market, there is still room for development and improvements…
- It would be great to be able to include feed consumption as a tool in the
program. There are several opportunities where we could retrieve data
from the customers' mixing plants or estimated feed data retrieved from
other applications if customers do not have a feed weigher on the feed line
to each section or the silo in question.
- It would be great to have an improved dashboard, where all current data
- It is advisable to improve the app solution, so the producer can easily create
a quick overview of the production and initiate any measures/changes.
- Based on the first weight data on the current batch compared to previous batches,
you could calculate a date when the pigs reach 30 kg or slaughter weight, thus
estimating the number of pigs ready for delivery.
- We have all the data to calculate the kg of pigs produced per pen place or m2. It could be a useful parameter/tool to work with in the production. The
customer has to enter the number of pen places and m2, and it would then be easy to calculate this data."
*SEGES is a professional knowledge and innovation center that works with everything to do with farming. SEGES is part of the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.