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Welcome to Benchmark 2013

Welcome to the eighth edition of Benchmark, published by PigCHAMP and Farms.com. We have been very pleased with the on-going response from industry professionals who look forward to getting this annual magazine so they can “see the data” from the past year.

Sow Non-Productive Days and Their Opportunity Costs

By Blaine Tully DVM
Opportunity costs can be defined as the opportunities forgone in the choice of one expenditure over others. We have the opportunity to work with farms ranging from 80 sows to 7,000 sows at our veterinary practice in Manitoba, Canada. No matter the farm size, shape or product, hog farms in 2013 cannot afford to leave dollars on the table at the end of the day.
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Summary of the 2012 Benchmarking Data

By Susan Olson
Knowledge Center Manager
PigCHAMP

As a whole, PigCHAMP continues to see opportunities, particularly for those farms in the lower percentiles of specific productivity measures. 2012 has brought another year of improved productivity and a continued wide range of performance across farms.
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How I Utilize Benchmarking

By Larry Himmelberg
Benchmarking is an extremely useful and important tool to measure a producer’s competitiveness in today’s pork industry. There remains significant variation in production and economic parameters between producers. Accurate benchmarking helps producers verify competitiveness and/or prioritize efforts to become more competitive.
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Alberta Pilots Traceability Project using PigCHAMP® Mobile

By Susan Joyal, M.Sc.
Over the past 3 years, PigCHAMP has been actively involved in several government-funded projects in Canada to help provide efficient, low cost solutions for producers to help comply with animal traceability regulations. The following article, prepared with the cooperation of The Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, provides the results of one of these projects. It shows that traceability compliance does not have to be costly and time consuming, and that with the right technology, you can actually provide better efficiency and time savings throughout a farm’s operation.
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Elevating the Image of Careers in the Swine Industry

By Erika Osmundson and Mary Barefoot, AgCareers.com
The swine industry is plagued with a negative stereotype that job opportunities are unrewarding and labor intensive. However, as industry professionals we know that this is untrue and that careers in the industry can be gratifying and encompass much more than most think.
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A Lenders View of the US Pork Industry

By Mark Greenwood, AgStar
At AgStar, we are very fortunate to work with some of the best producers in the United States. We are often asked about our perspective on the industry. I’d first like to share the current “profile” of a successful producer and then I’ll focus on the future, from an overview of the US pork industry.
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Impact of Gilt Breeding Condition on Lifetime Productivity and Performance

By Dan Bussieres, Groupe Ceres Inc.
As most swine producers know, gilts are the foundation of all sow herds, and thus all aspects related to gilt development prior to entrance into the herd are important.
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Using Production Data to Make Decisions

By Ron Ketchem and Mark Rix
Swine Management Services, LLC (SMS) is owned by Ron Ketchem and Mark Rix. The company is involved in production analysis, financial analysis, employee training, farm consulting, bookkeeping and has a data entry bureau using PigCHAMP. They currently work with producers, primarily in the USA and Canada. Their mission statement is to provide “information solutions” for the swine industry.
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Keys to Successful Benchmarking

By Darwin Hall, Hintzsche Pork
It’s a perfect time to reflect on the business side of things and plans to make an operation even more competitive. From a production standpoint, what is it going to take to be competitive in 2013 and beyond? What type of improvement did we make in 2012? How do we know if we’re moving forward or backward in the different segments of production? What method is used to get the information to employees, owners and decision-makers?
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