2013 Benchmark Summary - USA
By Susan Olson
It is difficult to define a “typical” sow herd. Size differs. Ownership differs. Herd objectives differ. Some are contracted to sell weaned piglets while others produce piglets to be finished within their own facilities or flow in a multi-sourced system. Many are commercial herds, others are in the business of genetic multiplication. Some purchase their replacements; others produce their own. Some herds experience significant disease challenges; others are relatively healthy.
So what does that mean for benchmarking? Is there an opportunity to find similar herds with a general industry benchmark? By its very nature, the annual year-end summary describes sow herds that share a common record keeping system, but it is currently beyond the scope to define participating herds on the basis of weaned destination, health or genetic programs.
The broad use of PigCHAMP recording on farms along with the wise decision, made many years ago, to benchmark based on the collection of actual production data has created an incomparable opportunity to compare and measure productivity on swine farms.
“Besides the immediate benefit to PigCHAMP customers, the national benchmarking comparisons provide industry influencers with a bird’s eye view of key production indicators”
When looking at the charts on the next page, keep in mind that “Upper 10 percentile” means the upper range for that production variable, not the upper percentile of farms. In other words, for variables such as Repeat Services (%), Stillbirths (%), Pre-weaning
Mortality (%), Annualized Culling & Death Rates (%), the lower the number the more favorable it is. For variables such as Pigs/Mated Female/Year, Farrowing Rate (%), Born Alive/Litter, etc the higher the number the better.
Besides the immediate benefit to PigCHAMP customers, the national benchmarking comparisons provide industry influencers with a bird’s eye view of key production indicators, helping track pork production trends.
All summaries, past and present, as well as the Canadian summaries for 2014 are also located on the PigCHAMP website, www.pigchamp.com/benchmarking.
Spend some time comparing your own benchmark numbers to the ones shown here. Careful analysis should provide the map to making future improvements.
Susan Olson is the Knowledge Center Manager for PigCHAMP, Inc. Having worked in the swine industry for over 20 years, Susan has used and supported several of the largest record keeping software programs, and has extracted data from all to provide some of the largest producers and genetic companies vital data to help maximize profitability. As our Knowledge Center Manager for PigCHAMP, her current role is to manage the development and execution of programs, products and services that create customer and business partner value from their Benchmarking strategy.