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Welcome to Benchmark 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Edition of Benchmark Magazine. Over the past 10 years we have been delighted by the interest that the publication of our annual Benchmarking program results have generated. When we ask what it is about this information that makes it interesting and valuable there are a lot of responses, but one response we hear quite frequently is “You need to understand how you are doing with your KPIs”.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators; also sometime referred to in our industry as Key Production or Productivity Indicators) have been used in many industries for a number of years to help organizations understand what’s important for success and monitor how well they are doing on these factors. And like a lot of good ideas it seems like it has become a bit of a “buzzword” without a lot of common understanding and context. So what KPIs are the right ones for pork production? Ask a few people and you find that this can mean a lot more than just the data points you find on page 19. You find that it depends. Size of operation? Geographical location? Environmental or geopolitical factors? People skills? We thought it would be interesting to ask some leaders in the industry what KPIs mean to them and their organization. We were very impressed with the thoughtful insight provided from their respective points of view. We think you will be, too.

Another area we focused on in this issue is the changes in the VFD requirements for use of medically important antibiotics in animal feed that took effect last October and will be fully implemented by January 1, 2017. We collected insights from a variety of experts including the Pork Board, NPPC, leading veterinarians and feed suppliers. We hope you find this information helpful and informative.

As always, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to all our contributors, advisors, advertisers and everyone who makes the publication of Benchmark possible.

The PigCHAMP Benchmarking program is open to pork producers who share their production information. Participants receive free quarterly updates of how their operations compare to the Benchmark averages. PigCHAMP also offers in-depth customized reports for a modest fee. PigCHAMP is part of the family of companies which strives to provide innovative information products and services to the global agriculture and food industries.

Key Production Indicators

Tom Gillespie

Efficient sow reproduction is fundamental to achieving a successful, sustainable and economically viable swine industry. Many economists have shown us that the swine industry in North America continues to improve on the number of pigs weaned per litter. Therefore, a key production indicator (KPI) used to assess the efficiency of sow performance is the number of pigs weaned per litter, per year, or per lifetime. The modern hyperprolific sow has a great potential to produce numerous quality piglets at weaning....

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Upcoming Changes Regarding Antibiotic Use; Increasing Veterinary Oversight

Sam Holst, DVM , Laura Bruner, DVM

We are now less than a year away from the implementation of new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that will eliminate sub-therapeutic (growth promotion) use of antibiotics deemed medically important for human medicine, as well as increase veterinary oversight of antibiotics used for therapeutic purposes....

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Prepare For New Antibiotic Regulations Now

Jennifer Koeman, DVM

If ever the old adage “There’s no time like the present” carried meaning, it is today. Pork producers need to start preparing for the Jan. 1, 2017, deadline, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will implement new regulations for antibiotic use on the farm....

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Overcoming Unique Challenges

Kiddivong Sombuntham, Natasha Freguson

KIDDIVONG: The first issue is to just understand the environment. The areas we are looking to grow in have not had a very high density of pork production. So we need to make sure there is a good water supply and understand the local climate conditions that will impact production. We also need to understand our supply chain for raw materials, what can be sourced locally and what can’t...

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Benchmarking Summary 2015

Mike Porth

Pork production today is ever-changing and has many stakeholders throughout the value chain. We can get so caught up sometimes with taking care of our direct duties that we may not do a good job of keeping abreast of those other segments that impact the pork industry. I take pride in having some key resources to increase my awareness of performance issues and opportunities in these segments. That’s one reason why I’ve been following PigCHAMP’s Benchmark data since 2000....

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The New VFD Rule

Paul D. Ruen, DVM

In June 2015 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), due to increased concerns and pressures surrounding the use of antimicrobials in livestock, implemented a new Veterinary Feed Directive1 (VFD). The result is that all use of antibiotics for the purpose of treating disease – prevention, control, and therapy – will soon require veterinary oversight. All drugs that the FDA has identified and ranked as important to human medicine (Guidance 152 Appendix A2) will require a VFD beginning on January 1, 2017. Additionally, through Guidance 2133, the FDA is transitioning food animals away from all growth promoter use of medically important antibiotics, and establishing veterinary oversight via prescription for use of therapeutic antibiotics in water....

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Industry Impacts

Liz Wagstrom, DVM

The implementation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Guidance 213 will signal one of the most significant changes ever in the regulation of antibiotics in food animal production. These impacts are likely to vary depending on the type of producer or veterinary practice. However, the overall impact on public perception of food animal production will be dependent on the industry’s commitment to successfully implementing the changes outlined in the FDA guidance....

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Hogs in Demand as a Safe Haven Investment!

Moe Agostino

Most commodities have plummeted in 2016, responding to a weaker macro-economic picture, but the one exception, oddly, seems to be hog futures, which have rung in a healthy 6% rise thus far making it the best performing commodity in the first quarter of 2016....

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KPI Thoughts From Russia

Olga Miroshnikova , Anton Miroshnikov

“Needless to say there are a lot of generally accepted KPIs that we try to reach. However most of the focus is on piglets rate of growth and final outcome by way of kill out,” observed Nadezhda Glazkova, Chief Husbandry Technician, Altaymyasoprom LLC....

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Ahead of The Herd

Brynna King

Business owners today are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, using computers not only for deskwork, but also for complex field tasks and mobile data collection — and pork producers are no exception....

Farm owners who use advanced technology in their operations expect to hire workers who are prepared to use these tools in their daily tasks, without the need for extensive training. Fortuitously, most of today’s agriculture students have used computers daily for their entire lives, and they expect to use productivity-enhancing technology in their jobs to simplify tasks and improve their work performance.
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Identifying Measurement Targets to Improve Production Efficiency

Matt Culbertson, PhD
Commercial swine production operates in an increasingly competitive global industry with a wide range of regional challenges, each with their unique characteristics and underlying competitive positioning. However, the primary driving factors of sustainable, cost efficient pork production remain highly consistent across the globe. Identifying appropriate KPI (Key Performance Indicators) that allow monitoring of success and identification of opportunities in a real-time and efficient manner is a critical component to building a culture of continual improvement and high performance. These KPI can take on many forms, from leading to lagging indicators to those that help visualize input, output and financial results....

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The Impact of VFDS on Swine Production

Matt Frederking

Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) will fundamentally shift and change how food is produced and will impact every level of production including feed mills, producers and the veterinarians that serve them. There are and will continue to be unknown costs associated with VFDs. Also, feed mills will more than likely be required to police the system....

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Four Pillars of Success for America's Pig Farmer of the Year

Paul Nolan
For Keith Schoettmer, the success of any pig-farming operation is based on four specific pillars of support. Herd health. Genetics. Buildings and Environment. People and Pig Care....

“It’s like a four-legged stool,” explains America’s Pig Farmer of the Year for 2015. “All four legs are very important to success, be it on our farm, or any other farm.”

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Demystifying New VFD Compliance

Teres Lambert

If you’re a bit – or even a lot – confused about the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule that took effect Oct. 1, 2015, and the new feed and water antibiotic labels that will be phased in by December 2016, you are not alone. That said, the confusion can be lessened....

Per Creighton Abrams: “When eating an elephant, take one

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KPIs in HR

The Team
In the swine industry, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important to monitor from a human resources perspective as well. The people of your pork production operation are essential to its success. Hiring the right people, then providing the necessary training, guidance, compensation and rewards enable your organization to grow and prosper. Performance management systems help confirm you are meeting objectives and recognize employee accomplishments....

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