Published on Feb. 1, 2022
Using high quality swine genetics for the best ROI
Using high-quality swine genetics for the best Return on Investment (ROI), should be an easy decision, but that’s not always the case. It depends on multiple factors and as a breeding company we have identified and tackled the most important ones. The best return depends upon (1) the quality of genetics, (2) the fit of the genetics with the environment, and last but not least, (3) the market fit.
With the newest insights on DNA & genomics and how it affects a pig’s potential, we are able to identify differences between individual animals and/or families. We are therefore capable of identifying the best pigs and ways to realize their maximum potential. We improve our Hypor breeding program by selecting better parents for each new generation. Better selection results in an average of around 2% total genetic progress per year. With buying the latest genetics, a producer can reap the benefits of this progress automatically as it provides a 2% increase in their commercial results across all life stages.
As we believe in sustainable breeding the 2% average genetic improvement is divided over many traits, not just allocated to one single trait. Our focus on sustainable animal breeding, which is a natural transition from balanced breeding, looks at genetic progress from an economic, social, and environmental perspective. Some important aspects of our program are:
- Healthy animals: by increasing the survivability in all life stages we can increase income and reduce costs of health measurements. It will also lead into a reduction of the usage of antibiotics.
- Efficient animals: by improving growth performance and feed efficiency as well reproduction parameters, pigs are more efficient. It starts with a high birth weight that ensures that every piglet born should be able to develop into a full value finisher.
- Meat quality animals: by incorporating the different market demands in our breeding program we focus on the different carcass requirements and meat quality parameters to have an added value product for every market.
An animal’s genetic code (or genotype) is linked to different traits, and the interaction between the genotype and the environment can have a major impact on genetic gains. Our Hypor breeding program deals with this in a number of different ways to ensure that our animals perform well in a commercial environment.
Our satellite nucleus farms are located in different regions around the world, where the animals are fed using the same diet specifications, but the ingredients that make up the diet vary from country to country. In addition, by exchanging semen between different continents, we have family members in both Europe and North America, and we are able to assess how animals perform when eating the local feed ingredients.
We introduced Combined Crossbred and Purebred Selection (CCPS) years ago: the practice of using information from both purebred and crossbred progeny of a sire to estimate his genetic potential. The thinking behind this is that the genetic potential of an individual (boar) when he is used to produce purebred progeny in a nucleus environment is not necessarily the same when he is used to produce crossbred progeny. Hence the reasoning is that the ranking of, for example, three boars might vary when they are evaluated under the two different setups, or a combination of the two. With CCPS, we test hundreds of offspring from each boar to gather data on how these offspring will perform under commercial conditions.
For the dam lines, BioHypor is our program where a mini nucleus is set up within our customers’ production system. These systems are located all over the world and allow us to collect data on reproduction traits in all environments. On top of the reproduction data collected from these BioHypor farms, we gather the reproduction data from another 75,000 – 100,000 sows sent in by our customers. Combining the data from these sources allows us to better understand and predict performance in a range of environments.
Differentiated products that fit the market
The fit between animal, environment and market is essential to realize the full value of swine production. We offer a differentiated product portfolio in our swine breeding program as we know that different market demands will need different sire lines. Choosing the right genetic solution is key to commercial results and depends on several factors.
A producer can choose to go for the highest growth, the lowest feed conversion, or the highest meat quality. Or one can also choose for a more predictable and robust solution instead of only placing emphasis on a higher growth to realize the maximum market value. It all depends on the market needs, the payment grids of the packer, production management, housing, quality of feed, and so on and so forth.
Our breeding program delivers many solutions and one of our combinations might be the right solution to achieve the best return on investment for you.