2012 PP Conference - Summary
Chris Richards & Assoicates 2012 Partnership Program Conference
This is a reproduction of an Austrlian Pork Journal article from the May/June edition. Click here for the original.
The Chris Richards and Associates Partnership Program Conference was held at the Sofitel, Broadbeach Queensland on May14-15, 2012.
As with previous Chris Richards Partnership conferneces there was an excellent mix of international and locally based scientific talent presenting papers that address key issues for the pork industry in Australia and globally.
The Chris Richards and Associates Partnership Program was supported by a number of companies, including Country Vet, Elanco Animal Health, MSD Animal Health, Norbrook, Zamira, Pfizer, Biomin, Boehringer Ingleheim, PIC Australia, Jefo and Pork Storks Australia.
This years event attracted 200 guests who were treated to not only good science but also a great social program.
Dr Chris Richards opened the conference on May14, and announced the alliance of Portec with Chris Richards and Associates that had, "since its inception 12 months ago resulted in technology and research benefits for all our clients", he said.
"Key current topics concerning the Australian pig industry were management and motivation of staff on farm, effective Iletas strategies and the reduction of antibiotic use".
"Animal welfare, managing compromised pigs, and retailer requirements were issues that would be covered during the conference," he concluded.
The first speaker was Dr Tim Loula from the Swine Vet Center, minnesota USA whose topic was 'Effective health management strategies to optimise profits'.
"Hot topics in the US pig industry included knock-on effects of land prices," Dr Loula explained,
"In 2005 an acre of arable land was around $3000, in 2011 it was $8-11,000 and predicted to rise to $20,000, all mainly due to the ethanol mandate," he explained.
"This" he said, "was contributing to higher feed costs as corn prices rose creating a greater focus on feed efficiency. Milling, feeder design, health, genetic focus on sows as well as on terminal boar lines are all critical factors in achieving overall efficiency. We could achieve a 6 to 7% increase in efficiency with better pellet mills and feeder design particularly as we move to heavier market weights," he added.
"We have constructed four barns containing 10,000 head each, specifically for research. Lameness in grower to finish was now subject of much research as were better use of enzymes. These is a lot of stuff happening with vitamin D and now welfare issues are a rising topic in the US as well as in other global markets."
"There is more public scrutiny and the industry has to lift its game and be pro active in telling the industry's side of the story," Dr Loula said.
In summary Dr Loula stated that, "we not only have to be good, but look good as the era of video friendly rearing is now with us".
"The market is volatile in the US and recently we lost $40 a pig in price swings so most producers practice financial risk management strategies.
"Total piglets born continues to rise, particularly over the last five to six years. the adoption of automatic sow feeders has really helped and our gilt management goal in 14.5 to 15 total. Recently we had our first farm that achieved 32 piglets/sow/year.
"Exports from the US pig industry were at 29% of production in Jan 2012: whole carcasses to China were a significant factor though this market demands Paylean free production.
"African Swine Fever is a big issue in the EU and overall producing more pigs at the right weight to achieve a price premium for a bigger percentage of production were critical factors," Dr Loula said.
"We put a lot of effort into nursery management in the belief that if you start right you finish right and are more likely to achieve full value pigs," he concluded.
Dr Sarah Probst Miller, President and Creative Director of Illinois USA based AgCreate Solutions spoke on the topic of Áccomplish more on farm: flex your motivational skills with DiSC training'.
The main theme of Probst Miller's talk was to identify personality types using DiSC method and then blend these styles into effective teams.
Examples of personality types and how they interacted were shown during the presentation.
Homework assigned delegates returned a after tea break to hear Dr Probst Miller's second paper, 'Training on Farm - What's in your Toolbox?'
"Good communication is hard work and it's easy to turn someone off in just five to 30 seconds," she warned.
In explaining how people learn, Dr Probst Miller pointed out that 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see and 50% of what see and hear is retained but that 95% of what we teach someone else is absorbed.
"The value of establishing a training system based on repetition and verification is tremendous, in fact when people are engaged with what they are doing at work it can be shown that profitability across all industries increases by at least 17%," she said.
"Get new employees started right and keep old employees educated and re-educated as well as excited about their work."
As a specific industry initiative Dr Probst Miller mentioned Pfizer's 'Walking the pens program,'an interactive quiz program for on-farm employees to stimulate attention to detail and competition within and between farms.
Dr Mark Wilson from Zinpro Corporation and Research & Nutrition Services team and adjunct faculty member University of Wisconsin & University Minnesota USA, then spoke on 'Investigating reproduction issues on farm'.
"Key drivers for reproduction issues are gilts, artificial insemination, hygiene and feed intake," he said.
"Reproduction is an energy drain. First and second parity females have an extra nutritional need for growth so it they don't eat enough there is not the capacity to look after reproduction resulting in decreased litter size," he warned.
In the final session on May 14, Dr Chris Richards spoke about interactive business solutions to deal with compliance on pharmacutical welfare and major retailer issues, including approved medication lists, vaccine lists, feedmill lists and the requirement for total traceability - a mobile app to assist in such matters was "on the way" he informed delegates.
"Also there is a new website under construction to assist customers including training programs to improve competence of stock persons and improve compliance with welfare codes," he said.
On May 15 the first speaker was Dr Tim Loula who gave his second paper of the conference, 'Managing people and systems in large piggeries'.
"Cheer your employees on, keep score, create competition because people like to compete and have their achievements measured against fellow employees and other farms," Dr Loula said.
Recent updates in lameness research was the next paper delivered by Dr Mark Wilson.
"The problem is larger than current surveys show. In theUS 15.2% pigs culled through lameness and only 46% of sows make it to four litters," he stated.
Dr Kim Nairn, swine veterinary consultant, Portec Veterinary Services WA, spoke next on the subject of 'Management of the compromised pig - APL's new guidelines'.
"Every pig must be looked at closely every day with a particular emphasis on the leg condition. Animals in needs of treatment should be moved to hospital or recovery pens and examined at least twice a day," he said.
Dr Probst Miller next spoke about the Ídentification of ADCE pigs', where employees can be trained to quickly identify pigs in a compromised health situation and quickly grade them with a carefull but quick comparison of each individual in the overall herd situation.
"Listen to what the pig is telling you," she said.
Dr Branko Karaconji from Pfizer Animal Health explained recent advances in E.coli prevention and explained trials using Neovac vaccine.
From Chris Richards and Associates, swine veterinary consultant Dr Andrew Morris explained 'A novel approach to Maemlytic E.coli, a condition that can result in Oedema disease'. Basically the strategy that Dr Morris outlined was to target the toxin produced by the bacteria.
Dr Kai Kuhlmann from AddCon Asia Co Ltd spoke on the role of KDF in modern swine nutrition.
In the final session of the conference key company representatives gave overviews of new developments within their product portfolios.
First Dr Shyoun Seah from Boeringer Ingleheim revealed the benefits of PCV2 vaccine use in the Australian pig industry with the advent of the Inglevac Circoflex product.
Dr Neil Gannon followed, speaking on developements with Biomin's research progress with combating mycotoxins and offering alternatioves to antibiotics in feed.
Dr Rowan Wilson, Veterinary Technical Consultant at Elanco Animal Health explained the benfits in using Elanco swine attrition analyses tool in helping to deliver full value pigs.
Fred Schwenke from Pfizer Animal Health spoke of the benfits of using Improvac vs entire males emphasised that use of Improvac was not only a financially beneficial issue but also a welfare issue as the treatment reduced aggression, making pigs easier to handle and also reducing carcass damage thereby futher improving the quality of the end product.
David Mair from Jefo International, Ontario Canada, spoke on the benfits of organic acids and essential oils for pig diets.
This is an important year for Jefo as it celebrates seven years since it entered the Australian market and the thirtieth year as an established company selling its products world wide.
Mr Mair explained that organic acids are a natural, safe non invasive defence against potentially pathogenic bacteria. The Jefo product Tetracid 500 has been used very effectively for over 20 years and Jefo is now introducing the added benefit of Organic Acids plus essential oils or nature identical flavours.
On the topic of Porcinat+ Mr Mair stated that, "Porcinat+ has been specifically designed for pigs and pigs only. It is much more that just a blend and its has a key place in the modern day pigs diets. It's applications are numerous from standard pig production to natural pork production".
No confernece in the Australian pig industry complete without an appearance by Dr Ross Cutler who gave the final paper in the afternoon session on MSD and Regumate P and its role in achieving mating targets.
"It all starts with replacement gilts and the use of Regumate in synchronising heat by feeding the product in a small amount of feed to assure it is consumed. Fine tuning of use to achieve best results on farm are necessary," Dr Cutler said.
After a great conference at which a lot of scientific and practical information was delievered it was a happy throng that ascended to the top of the Gold Coast's tallest building for the dinner event.
Apart from the fine food and available beverages the dinner speaker was non other tha "enfant terrible" Mr Sam Keckovich. It is perhaps worth speculating that if Sam was born 500 years ago he would, that to outfits like the Inquisition, have been on the barbeque, rather than spruiking meat products for the barbeque!
A master of politically incorrect he is immensely entertaining and his fabulous spray was a great finale to an excellent 2012 Chris Richards and Associates Partnership Program Conference.