Pork CRC urges industry to innovate

A stronger focus on research and innovative technologies are needed in the Australian pork industry to maintain sustainable agricultural practices and enhance international competitiveness, according to the Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

At an international Zinpro symposium held in the USA earlier this month, CEO Roger Campbell of Pork CRC announced that the Australian pork industry needed to innovate around social and welfare issues concerning the production and supply of Australia’s pork meat.

He said that innovations were necessary in sow housing, pig management, environmental issues and general welfare likely to affect consumer perceptions and demand for pork.

"The only thing I can guarantee for the future is it will be different and will require creative solutions, but projected increases in population and wealth of developing countries offer opportunities for pork producers globally, provided potential disruptions such as food safety, biosecurity and animal health, are seriously addressed," Mr Campbell said.

Pork CRC are encouraging Australian pork producers to adopt new technologies that could reduce feeding costs and better convert feed to meat Mr Campbell said.

“Focusing much of our science and research and extension efforts at the pointy end of production, at a time when the grain and feed situation is likely to remain volatile globally and threaten sustainable profitability, simply makes sense.”

Some of the feeding innovations include:

• Developing/selecting pig ‘dedicated’ triticale, field pea, wheat and barley varieties.
• Improving use of all feed ingredients through processing and effective/targeted enzymes.
• Immunocastration: reduced feed usage 10-15 kg per pig and increased lean meat.
• NIRS/AusScan: to determine energy value of grains and nutritive value of protein supplements, the next step in improving accuracy and cost effectiveness in diet formulations.
• New selection technologies for disease tolerance to improve feed efficiency under commercial situations.

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