In this issue of the newsletter;
- Landing High Health Genetics
- PIC Herd Restock for Hermitage
- PIC 337
- PIC 359
- Producers Benefit from Genetic Progress ❏ New Technology at Hermitage AI Centres
- PIC Indexing change
- Real-Time Scanning
- Danish Genetics
In this issue of the newsletter;
Large litters result in more competition for teat space. Piglet viability, survival and growth is dependent on birth weight, colostrum access and milk intake.A sow’s capacity to produce milk varies during lactation. Milk production is a complex process; however it is a heritable trait. Hermitage farms in Ireland have weighed in excess of 6,000 litters and have demonstrated the high potential in milk output by measuring litter weight at weaning.Top weights recorded are 140Kgs litter weight at 27 days of age.
As a greater number of piglets are born alive, there is larger variation in birth weights.Variation in piglet weaning weight results in increased variation throughout the pig’s life. Recent work at Hermitage has shown a 1kg difference at weaning can result in a 5kg difference at slaughter giving an economic advantage of £2.50 per finished pig.
The results from this work have demonstrated that there is a significant variation in the weaning weight output of Maternal Line sows. Sows producing heavier litters at weaning are profitable for two reasons:
1. A heavier piglet at weaning is better prepared to deal with various challenges at weaning.These heavier weaned pigs achieve slaughter weight more efficiently and economically, producing the ‘Full Value’ pig.
2.Sows producing heavier pigs at weaning have an increased feed intake and better feed conversion ratio of feed intake to piglet gain, which creates a more economical and profitable lactating sow.
PIC and Hermitage understand that some farms want to focus on improving litter size as a first priority, while other farms are now interested in the weaning weight of the litter as they are satisfied with the number born alive. PIC and Hermitage can facilitate this option for its customers by using the MLI 2 index with a higher emphasis on litter weaning weight.
Feed is the major cost associated with the growing pig. Efficient feed utilisation is vital while maximising nutritional value and price is very important. Both PIC and Hermitage have been testing and selecting for FCR for the past 30 years; and Hermitage now have the capacity to individually measure FCR on approximately 5000 pigs per year between its 2 nucleus units, Freneystown and Muckalee, located in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Pigs are individually tested from 58kg bodyweight to 110kg bodyweight. Each pig has a uniquely coded ear transponder which is inserted in the pig at the start of the test period. Pigs are typically stocked at 15 pigs per pen and fed a pelleted commercial finisher diet ad lib; each time the pig visits the feeder, feed intake is recoded. Pigs are weighted at the start of the test period and at the end of the test period and in combination with the feed intake data, the FCR is calculated.
FCR has a heritability of 30%, meaning that 30% is controlled by the genes inherited from the parents and 70% by all the non-genetic/environmental factors (room temperature, nutrition, feeding system, management, health). BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction) is used to separate the various components of the phenotype and is the most accurate method to estimate an animal’s genetic merit. This genetic merit is called the Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) and it describes how much genetic superiority or inferiority is expected to be passed on to the progeny of an animal.The EBV for FCR is then used to construct the Maternal orTerminal index along with the other weighting of economic importance.
• +/- 0.1 in F.C.E. is equal to +/- 100g of feed used per kg live weight gained.
• 40 – 110kg is 70kg x 100g feed which is 7kg feed/pig 70kg × 0.1kg = 7kg.
• Every 0.1 improvement in F.C.E is worth £1.47/pig (7kg/1000kg)
× £210 ton = £1.47.
• The range in F.C.E. from 40 – 110kg on commercial farms varies greatly from 2.4 – 2.9.This equates to 0.5 F.C.E or 500g of feed per kg live weight gain: costs £7.33/pig.
These Technical Manuals were originally developed in North America.They are constantly being reviewed and updated as the considerable annual R&D investment improves our knowledge of how to maximise productivity from our animals and farms. For the convenience of our European customers, the information within is presented in both imperial and metric form.
The following Technical Manual titles are readily available on the website:
• Wean to Finish Manual
• Sow and Gilt Management Manual • PIC Boar Stud Management Manual • Nutrition Manual
• Sire Lines
• Maternal Lines
• Health - The PIC Health Programme -
Five Points of Focus
between producers and vets
The specialist responsible for Technical Service support in Ireland and the UK is Sebastian Casiro. Sebastian has recently relocated to the UK from Argentina. He can assist producers with any queries relating to production personally and also with some of the technical specialists within the PIC global network.
Craig Lewis & The Global Product Development Team
This genomics program works with the vast database of unique traits. In addition
PIC believe these programs are creating a sustainable pipeline of elite genetics for their customers and continue to re-invest in the next wave of technologies that will allow customers to expand their competitive advantage.
In November 2015, PIC embarked on a collaboration with the Roslin Institute to fully sequence the genome of over 14,000 PIC animals.These animals represent all terminal and maternal lines in the PIC gene bank with corresponding economically important performance data, which drive today’s genetic improvement program.
There are numerous exciting possibilities with this project. At a minimum they will be able to further enhance benefits in accuracy of Relationship Based Genomic Selection by having all genome sequence information possible from any one animal. Other possibilities include the identification of resistance genes for diseases that challenge our industry.The findings will also be used to further understand new areas of epigenetics as well as maximizing the combining ability of specific genotypes for PIC commercial products. By re-investing in the future of genetic improvement in this multi-million dollar project, will deliver the fastest genetic improvement to customers in the history of PIC.
PIC’s genetic program is driving the fastest genetic improvement in the industry – and it is accelerating.
We select to maximize the total economic potential which translates into differentiating products.
• PIC’s terminal sires maximize profitability for producers. We select for efficient throughput, sur vivability and robustness, and carcass value and meat quality. We have a perfect fit for each production system.
• Camborough® sows are outstanding mothers - producing robust, efficient and fast-growing pigs and the most total pounds of pork per sow lifetime.
And you can see the results: a pig with 100% PIC genetics produced this year creates £3.10 more value than a pig produced last year.
Today, PIC has the largest elite animal populations and we are strengthening our supply chain to improve quality, availability, and reliability for producers.
• We are expanding our boar mother populations so we can offer a more premium boar from our Profit Plus and GN cross breed programs.
• We are adding elite farms and boar studs to improve reliability of supply.
• We are strengthening our semen quality assurance program.
For 40 years, PIC has pioneered the development of health practices that are now common in the industry.
• Examples include: age segregation in production flows and disease elimination strategies for PEDv, PRRSv, Mycoplasma, and FMD.
We continue to lead the industry by developing innovative solutions to protect the health of our multiplication system and our customers’ herds.
• We continue to invest in people, health surveillance strategies, and communication with our customers.
Through personal relationships with PIC Account Managers and Customer Service coupled with the PIC Genetic Services and Technical Ser vices Team, we help you realize the genetic potential of your herd
• We bring you industry experts on genetics, reproduction, wean-to-finish, nutrition, and meat quality
• We support customers with proprietary genetic management tools to minimize lag and maximize value.
• We offer detailed product manuals that describe the feed and production specifications for your PIC pigs.
• You can get access to our latest tools, such as our reproduction assessment PIC© Pro100, to help identify improvement opportunities.
• We help you realise maximum value from our genetics on your unit.
The first of April 2017 marked a major milestone in the history of Hermitage and the Pig Improvement Company (PIC).We entered into a strategic, long-term partnership with the ambition to accelerate genetic improvement and make pig producers in Europe and beyond more successful.The partnership combines the strength of PIC’s genetic improvement approach and Hermitage’s operational excellence in running an end- to-end supply chain.
PIC will take on the responsibility for genetic improvement.The combined PIC- Hermitage pure line population gives us greater genetic diversity which is an important lever for genetic improvement. PIC will apply its leading science and technology platform to the germplasm and both PIC and Hermitage customers will benefit from that. For example, in 2013 PIC was the first swine genetics company to use single step genomics in their breeding program which resulted in an acceleration of genetic gain by more than 35%. In addition the Hermitage customers will get access to the technical know-how from PIC to help them get the most out of their pigs. PIC continues to invest in our genetics, supply chain, and technical support to create more value for our customers. Our motto is “Never Stop Improving”.
Hermitage takes on distribution and supply chain roles in the partnership.The quality and customer-oriented approach of the Hermitage supply chain will further strengthen the support for pig producers.
• First, Hermitage will continue to serve customers in the UK and Ireland and other agreed markets and build on the long term relationships that had been established.
• Second, Hermitage will manage the combined PIC-Hermitage boar stud networks in the UK, Ireland, and Italy.
• Third, Hermitage will serve as a nucleus in the PIC global network.
In the initial months since the establishment of our partnership, we have focused on a seamless transition for our customers.While we integrate our lines and our supply chains, we will continue to communicate with producers and business partners about the progress we are making and how this benefits you.
At PIC, we are excited about the new partnership with Hermitage. In the end we want to create a better pig every day, get that to you in a bio-secure and reliable way, and help you realize the genetic potential in your farm. Our overall goal is to make you more successful and we believe we can do that together with Hermitage.