Page 4 - April 2018
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At the September 2017 SunPork Conference, Rod Hamann suggested labour costs ranged from 40-45 cents/kg carcass weight.
☛ from P3
feed, HFC and COP are shown in Table 2.
Assumptions behind the calculations – feed at $360/tonne, 75kg carcass weight, 1200kg sow feed annually.
Sow feed use/utilisation contributes 20 percent to HFC, so increasing num- ber sold/volume has a double whammy effect on COP.
I’ve not shown volume but it’s easy to calculate and the difference in COP between selling 22 and 24 pigs is equivalent to an increase in carcass weight from 75kg to 81kg.
There’s a similar effect between selling 26 and 24.
The good news is we have producers selling 24 pigs/sow/year but need to wean consistently near 11 per litter, 2.35 litters/year and keep post-weaning mortality around 4 per- cent.
Bottom line
So to the bottom line –
enough information on Australian herds to make any valid comparisons, at the SunPork Confer- ence in September 2017, Rod Hamann suggested labour costs ranged from $0.40 to $0.45/kg carcass weight.
Queensland benchmark- ing results showed labour cost averaged 40 cents.
At the SA Pig Industry Day, Kenton Shaw from Rivalea summarised their COP.
Feed at greater than 50 percent, labour above 20 percent, with herd health, freight, R&M and energy all at about 3 percent.
Different sources and values on labour costs may suggest something about wage rates across countries, but it’s influ- enced also by volume.
In contrast, Rod sug- gested finance costs were quite low, but not so sure about depreciation.
Feed costs in the US in 2018 will be similar to 2016 and 2017.
thinking about and is on the agendas of Australa- sian Pork Research Insti- tute Limited and Austral- ian Pork Limited.
Global ladder
We have to sell what we
have rather than worry too much about what others are doing.
Climbing the global lad- der is largely about in- creasing volume and us- ing feed as efficiently as possible.
The good news is some producers are sell- ing 2000kg-plus carcass weight/sow/year and are globally competitive.
I’m sure others are doing better, so it can be done.
If our researchers can come up with a technol- ogy for increasing the average number weaned/ litter by one to 1.5 (to 12), we will be hellishly com- petitive and this is their challenge.
Remember, however, the genetics and knowhow to wean 11 per litter and 26/ sow/year already exists.
Some KPIs for the top three Australian herds are shown in Table 4.
These should be your targets this year.
If you are beating any of these, I want to hear from you.
I have also included a column showing longer- term targets.
If we can achieve these, we will be batting with the big boys.
Hard times
It was clear at the SA Pig Industry Day that price at best remains static but low and producers are doing it tough.
Those in Queensland are doing it very hard because of high feed costs (averag- ing around $450/tonne) and malaise is being felt more now in Western Australia.
APL suggested at the SA Pig Industry Day that price might return to trend by June 2019, but let’s hope we see a turnaround before this.
Meanwhile, it’s a matter of controlling costs and improving efficiency, with emphasis on pigs weaned and HFC.
Novel ways
With novel ways of monitoring and improving pig health and reproduc- tion, alleviating summer infertility and enhancing genetic progress across the Australian pig herd covered in some exciting
research proposals sub- mitted recently to APRIL, I’m optimistic produc- ers will come out of this smarter, stronger and, ul- timately, more profitable.
While our genetics are excellent and very efficient, this efficiency is not being achieved commercially.
The reason is probably multifaceted but includes feed wastage, clinical and sub-clinical disease, ac- tivation of the immune system, overstocking for
short periods as pigs ap- proach sale weight and pigs being below and to a lesser extent above their thermoneutral zones. Tough times
There’s undoubtedly lots to be done and the best driver of focused research is tough times.
They say that’s when the tough get going and I know how tough our producers and research- ers are.
At the 2018 SA Pig Industry Day, Kenton Shaw from Rivalea summarised their COP as feed at above 50 percent, labour above 20 percent, with herd health, freight, R&M and energy all at about 3 percent.
Everything is big about their systems.
Input costs, especially feed, are low, and if they ever overcome their health problems they will be un- stoppable and that is their intention.
They won every cost cat- egory and no performance category.
Labour and deprecia- tion and interest costs for five countries are shown in Australian dollars in Table 3.
The low-cost nature of the US system is obvious. While I don’t have
world in innovativeness and the rapid move to genuine sow stall free production was a game changer.
Can we create a similar level of differentiation be- tween our global competi- tors and us in the areas of enrichment and antimi- crobial use?
We seem to have some- what of an advantage in the level of resistance to antibiotics of human im- portance in the industry, but can we go further with antibiotic use?
It’s definitely worth
Costs other Pigs sold than feed
($/kg cwt)
20 1.33 22 1.21 24 1.11 26 1.03
3.72 2.70 3.64 2.52 3.60 2.40 3.54 2.29
Table 2: Effects of pigs sold/sow/year on HFC and costs.
Depreciation and finance
Total fixed costs
0.24 0.29
Pigs weaned/sow/y
Born alive
Best 3
25.3 12.5
Your value
Table 3: Fixed costs ($A/kg carcass
weight) for selected countries in 2016.
Weaned/litter 11.0
Farrowing rate (%) 88.9
HFC 3.48
Progeny carcass weight sold/sow/y 1923
Table 4: Some KPIs for the best three Australian herds in the Pork CRC benchmarking project and longer-term targets for Australian industry.
Page 4 – Australian Pork Newspaper, March 2018
Wake up to weights and vary volumes
difficult to beat the US. We tend to lead the
IT is with excitement and pleasure that I invite you to attend the Pan Pacific Pork Expo 2018.
The two-day event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 30 and 31, with a comprehensive pro- gram of presentations, workshops and trade displays.
The year’s theme ‘Driving efficiency to- gether’ is a call to action to bring producers and industry stakeholders together to collaborate and adopt cost produc- tion efficiencies to over- come the challenges facing the industry in order to remain globally competitive.
Boosted by a strong trade exhibition, the PPPE 2018 objective for attendees remains the same: to provide accurate, positive, rel- evant and high-quality industry information in an engaging format.
By achieving this, producers will be mo- tivated to apply prac- tical knowledge and processes on farm for profitable and sustain- able pig production.
In its 10th year, PPPE 2018 is designed to be the best yet.
Sessions are being fi- nalised and high-pro- file industry speakers are being locked in, all supporting the PPPE 2018 theme.
Highlights from the program include ap- plying precision farm- ing to pig production, international industry trends and research,
and managing people and change.
We recommend you put May 30-31, 2018 in your diary to be part of this event.
In supporting pro- ducers, the PPPE Committee will again provide an APL Pro- ducer Member ‘At- tendance Assistance Package’ of return airfares plus accom- modation to ensure the greatest numbers of in- dustry participants are available to attend.
Further informa- tion is provided in the Delegate Prospectus, available from pppe.
PPPE 2018 will again precede the Poultry Information Exchange and Australasian Mill- ing Conference 2018 (PIX/AMC 2018), pro- viding additional value to participants travel- ling to the Gold Coast.
PPPE is proudly supported by Austral- ian Pork Limited, Pork CRC and Australian Pork Newspaper, with platinum sponsorship from Stockyard Indus- tries and Qingdao De- ba Brothers Machinery Co. Ltd.
Andrew Johnson Chairman, PPPE 2018
0.58 0.53
Driving efficiency together at PPPE 2018

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