Published on July 6, 2017
New Hypor Libra* Meets the Growing Global Demand for Carcass Quality
Hypor has combined the top genetics from Canada, France and Spain to improve the carcass quality of the new Hypor Libra* (pronounced Libra star), the world’s most ‘prolificient’ sow: the sum of prolific and efficient. “By combining the top animals of the three Landrace populations we were able to make faster genetic improvements, especially in lean meat percentage,” says Hypor General Manager of the Americas Luis Prieto Garcia.
Hypor geneticists decreased the amount of back fat and increased the overall meat percentage by selecting the best animals for the next generation. To achieve faster genetic progress, Hypor crosses the Hypor Large White with the Hypor Landrace+++ to produce the Hypor Libra*. “The Hypor Libra* is a highly balanced sow which produces finishers with a high quality carcass,” says Hypor Senior Geneticist Konrad Broekman. Carcass quality takes into account the level of muscle depth, loin eye area, back fat, carcass weight and overall meat percentage of the finisher.
Global Trend for Better Carcass Quality
While carcass quality varies between markets, the major global trend is demanding animals that are leaner at a heavier weights. “The bottom line is that a lean animal will produce more quality meat for the market at a heavier weight,” Prieto explains. This is a win for meat packers, and a win for pork producers that may receive a premium for meeting carcass quality standards. Some meat packers in the United States are paying Hypor customers an additional $2 (1,80 euro / 2,60 Canadian Dollar ) per finisher for carcass quality.
Because the Hypor Libra* is lean, she is more versatile and can be bred with a variety of different boars to meet individual market demands—whether the market is demanding finishers with more or less fat coverage at a defined weight. Unlike over-conditioned sows that are limited to producing finishers with a high percentage of fat, lean sows are capable of producing finishers that range from a high lean meat percentage to a high intramuscular fat percentage—depending on the sire line. “The Hypor Libra* is excellent base material to use because she is lean and can be crossed with a wide range of boars,” Broekman says. “We can steer the type of carcass quality with the sire line.” Hypor collects individual data (e.g. feed efficiency, carcass quality) on all the offspring, on pure line as well as on crossbreds, to ensure the Hypor Libra* is lean enough to reach the broadest spectrum of products requested by the market.
Leanness Linked to Feed Efficiency
As a result of having a high lean meat percentage, the Hypor Libra* is also feed efficient and produces finishers with an improved feed efficiency. Feed costs account for 60 to 70 percent of the total cost of production with finishers costing the most to feed. “It takes more feed to produce a kilogram of fat than it takes to produce a kilogram of meat,” Prieto explains. “Meat deposition is significantly more efficient than fat deposition.” Lean animals use most of their energy from feed for growth— animals that are over-conditioned tend to store most of their energy as fat and therefore are more expensive to feed. To meet the market demand for feed efficiency, Hypor utilizes more than 300 feeding stations worldwide to collect the daily weight gains and feed intake of individual pigs. This helps geneticists to select the pigs that maintain a good feed efficiency and leanness at weights up to 140 kilograms and over (over 310 pounds).
Feed Efficiency and Carcass Quality Key to Maximizing Profit
Producers need to consider using the genetics that are cost effective and that are also meeting the demand for a quality end product. The Hypor Libra* has both a feed conversion advantage, and a carcass quality advantage that pays dividends. “The Hypor Libra* is developed to be the sow of the future—she balances prolificacy, mothering ability and feed efficiency with her ability to produce lean finishers that hit the grid for carcass quality,” Broekman says. “We combined the genetics from the best of the best to develop the Hypor Libra* and to help pork producers to reach for the stars.”