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Published on June 24, 2020

Biosecurity Boosts the Bottom Line

If you don’t think strong biosecurity is essential to your business, try surviving without it. In this age of growing disease threats from PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), ASF (African Swine Fever) and whatever comes next, protecting animal health is not optional; it’s essential. With that in mind, breeders are calling for tools to secure their herds and protect their bottom line, and some genetics companies are answering the call with solutions like the BioHypor program.

“BioHypor establishes a mini nucleus within a client’s production system,” said Dr. Patrick Charagu, Senior Geneticist for Hypor, part of Hendrix Genetics.

The program begins by stocking a farm with GGP (great grandparent) gilts as breeding stock. Once this is completed, live animals are no longer allowed entry to the system or farm. At this point, the introduction of new genes can only occur via fresh GGP semen provided by a Hypor gene transfer centre.

Reaping the rewards

For clients, the advantages of BioHypor are significant. Thanks to this biosecure gene delivery, customers gain access to the best Hypor boars and benefit from better technical performance on their farms. For support, guidance and training, they can tap into a team of multidisciplinary experts that provides custom reports to aid in selection decisions and ensure continuous genetic improvement.

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We provide the expertise and make sure users are doing everything as scheduled. When you enroll in the program, we don’t just supply the animals and forget about you; we work with you as a partner. We also conduct periodic reviews and make at least one farm visit per year to monitor progress and adjust the program as needed.

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Dr. Patrick Charagu
Senior Geneticist for Hypor, part of Hendrix Genetics

Though help is ongoing throughout the program, clients are involved at every step, and see firsthand the power of having cutting edge genetic tools at their fingertips.

Removing the risk

“Farmers see genetic improvement without the risk that comes with regularly bringing in animals from the outside,” said Dr. Charagu. “They get all the information and advice they need to make the right decisions when it comes to replacements; which sows to replace and who to replace them with. Because we provide all genetic values for the animals, breeders can make these decisions on that basis rather than just on physical attributes.”

For an added bonus, customers with farms located far from Hypor nucleus farms can save on the transportation costs of shipping replacements when they have a closed, BioHypor system.

“It comes down to maintaining genetic improvement for a client while mitigating against disease and distance. As a company, we are all about Total System Profitability (TSP), and BioHypor is a perfect example of TSP in action.”

Of course, as pork producers can attest, nothing of value comes without effort. To maximize the benefits of the BioHypor program, clients must practice good recordkeeping and data entry, and approach all aspects of breeding with discipline and consistency. They also need to maintain a weekly data exchange with Hypor through a compatible sow management system software. As well, because they will have purebred animals on the farm – including barrows – BioHypor customers need to take this into account when managing the animals.

Strength in numbers

Like any aspect of business, success with BioHypor requires a team effort.

“The feedback we get from clients is that communication with farm staff is vital, so that everyone knows why they are running a BioHypor program. It’s important for all employees to participate in the program, from the farrowing technician all the way up to the general manager.”

Though there is extra work involved in adopting the program, the payoffs are well worth the effort. Many customers report feelings of greater security and peace of mind around the health status of the farm when no new animals are introduced, and often liken it to a “security blanket”.

From an economic standpoint, avoiding health breaks and the need for a quarantine barn, as well as associated costs such as vaccinations and antibiotics, means substantial savings.

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In light of the major health challenges facing the swine industry all over the world today, the BioHypor program is a powerful tool to secure your farm against those disease threats. Any disease break impacts production levels and also affects export opportunities for those clients selling live animals. For example, someone marketing weaned piglets might have to guarantee that their animals are PRRS-negative, and running a successful BioHypor program on farm will help them do that.

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Dr. Patrick Charagu
Senior Geneticist for Hypor, part of Hendrix Genetics

Given all the rewards of the program, it’s not surprising that BioHypor has been going strong for two decades now, with satisfied customers in Europe, North and South America, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, among others. As data collection and processing technology becomes more advanced and accessible, the program continues to grow, welcoming more farms every year.

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