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Welcome to Benchmark 2017

You can't manage what you don't measure is an old management adage that is still accurate today. The Benchmark summary information we provide here each year from the PigCHAMP Benchmarking program provides a good high-level overview of trends over time for keyproductivity indicators. PigCHAMP participants get a quarterly snapshot of how they are doing compared to industry averages. But the concept of what to measure, and how to turn those measurements into better decisions, is becoming more complicated.

Pork production operations – large and small – generate and depend on vast amounts of data from many sources to run the operations, monitor performance and identify areas for improvement. There’s the information you collect in the barns through your own observations or data generated by equipment like electronic feeding stations. There’s data provided by external suppliers like genetic companies, feed and pharmaceutical suppliers, as well as third party researchers. At the other end of the chain, you have feedback from consumers and packers, as well as domestic and international distribution opportunities. Each data source needs to be closely considered to determine what decisions producers make on a daily basis.

" DATA IS NOT INFORMATION, INFORMATION IS NOT KNOWLEDGE, KNOWLEDGE IS NOT UNDERSTANDING, UNDERSTANDING IS NOT WISDOM."

Information from a single source can be useful but probably doesn’t tell the whole story regarding effectiveness, efficiency or productivity for whatever production attribute you are looking to improve. So this year, we challenged some industry experts to think about opportunities to combine information from various sources to make more informed decisions. We have gathered insights from the points of view of veterinarians, feed companies, genetics companies, equipment companies and more.

You’ll also find articles that extend this holistic thinking to human resources and animal health management. We hope you find value in the points of view provided here and we welcome you to join the discussion.

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 Farms.com group of companies which strives to provide innovative information products and services to the global agriculture and food industries.

More Than the Sum of the Parts

Bob Hunsberger

Western democracies were built on the belief that when individuals or businesses act in their own self-interests, the most efficient means of production are achieved. However, the question always is: “What exactly is our individual selfinterest?”....

Of course, the goal of virtually every business is profit. Notnecessarily short-term profit but long-term, stable return on invested capital. That focus means suppliers and customers have to be chosen to support the long-term goals.

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How the consumer Influences a Commerical Breeding Program

Konrad Broekman

Breeding goal
Supplying top genetics for pork production at the lowest costs is at the core of Hypor’s business. To support efficient pork production, Hypor focuses on balanced breeding, which means producing pigs that thrive under all conditions. Balanced breeding contributes to an increase in total system profitability – meaning profitability in the entire value chain.

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Leveraging VFD Information to Improve Decision Making

J.T. Holck, DVM, MS, MBA

Many American producers and veterinarians are still adjusting to the changes that the expanded Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) brought at the start of the year.

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The Hottest Partner in Agriculture

By Curtiss Littlejohn

One of the most overused terms right now on the Internet of things is “big data.” My definition of big data, condensed from multiple sources (and my own experience), is being overwhelmed by the great big amount of data available to you.

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Replacement Rates : Successful OR Not

By Dr. Tom Gillespie

“Our persuasion about change impacts many aspects of our lives. It affects our perception of risk and thus guides most business and personal decisions. Further, our persuasion about change affects our ability to persuade others, to impact the lives of our clients and our communities, and to affect the course of change,” said Dr. Dave Reeves, BS, MS, DVM, Associate Professor Emeritus.

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Accelerating Genetic Development And Progress

By Dr. John Eggert

Swine genetics companies not only strive to improve product performance for their customers but also to add value throughout the pork production chain. To accomplish these aims, we collect and connect multiple sources of data, including that on purebred and commercial crossbred production performance, reproduction, carcass and packer, genotypes and more. The goal is to improve performance and profitability for everyone that utilizes our products.

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Creating the Big Picture with Pigchamp Mobile

By Schae Greenzweig

We know that you take any and all investments made on your farm very seriously – and we think you should! Making decisions for your operation means taking factors like time, finances, staff and more into consideration.

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2016 Year End Summary

Total farms = 419

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The Right Staff

By Bonnie Johnson

Introverts and extroverts. Analytical and creative. Leaders and followers. Easy-going and meticulous. GED and DVM. The composition of your staff often brings together people of various backgrounds, personalities, education levels and experiences. Knowing what unique qualities each employee can bring to your business helps you build an effective team and make the most of each person’s potential. If built successfully, the whole team is greater than the sum of the individual employees.

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Soaring Bacon Prices : A Boon for Hog Producers!

By Moe Agostino and Abhinesh Gopal

Let’s start with the bottom-line for a change: consumer preferences, and hence consumer demand, drive meat prices. The evidence for this fact could not be starker than in pork cuts. With “meaties” craving heartier flavours, like those in bacon, the primal cut value of pork bellies reached US$1.85/lb in February 2017.

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Industry Profiles : Gustavo De Sousa E Silva

By Schae Greenzweig

At PigCHAMP, we have the honor to work with producers who raise pigs for a variety of different areas of the pork industry. One such producer is Gustavo de Sousa e Silva, a research scholar in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University (ISU). He has worked on several swine-related research projects using PigCHAMP software during his time at ISU and agreed to share some of the details with us.

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Evidence Based Pig Production

By Fredrik Sandberg

Raising livestock as part of a business can be challenging in volatile global markets. Many external and internal factors affect income and expenses.

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