Group Tracker Management System

David Stender, Swine Field Specialist, Northwest

Problem Statement:

Many independent swine producers have a more difficult time obtaining real time information to use in their management systems.  Record keeping in most cases is not well organized for data analysis and for making sound decisions.

Programmatic Response: 

Software has been developed by ISU Extension to assist swine producers in keeping, organizing and analyzing records regarding performance and financial grow-finish production.  Several small meetings were held for producers and agri-business professionals discussing the need for accurate records, how to keep the records, how to send in the records for summary and how to use the record analysis to make more informed business decisions.  Additionally the spreadsheet record system helps producers track feed budgets avoiding over or under-feeding nutrients; to track food safety pork quality assurance and to track herd health (total loss and causes).   Producers use the system and report back their numbers and then benchmark their system to help them make management improvements. 

Impact/Outcome

Over fifteen producers and agribusinesses have received training and have been able to successfully use the software. A number of meetings have been held to help producer obtain accurate records and to analyze them properly. 

The nice thing about evaluating a record system is that success can be measured in adoption of the record system and the records themselves can tell the story if management changes have been successful. 

Table 1. Data for sample 59 closeouts representing 155,899 market hogs.  Each line of data represents the average of 8 close-outs over time:

Date
  Mortality
ADG (Group)
F/G (Mkt gain)
Starting out - Apr to Sept 05
5.65% 
1.59
3.18
Oct to Nov -05
5.70%
1.61
3.08
Dec 05 to Feb 06
4.62%
1.59
3.10
Mar to May 06
4.02%
1.73
2.99
June to Oct 06
5.12%
1.66
2.86
Nov 06 to Jan 07
5.62%
1.68
2.94
Ending groups of closeouts --Feb to June 07
6.11% 
1.67
2.86

No real difference was seen in mortality or average daily gain, but time and effort was invested in feed conversion.  Producers were instructed on method to improve feed conversion and efficiency was indeed improved for 155,889 pigs from the start of using the program through the last summary in summer 2007. Feed efficiency can be easily valued, average gain per pig about 220 lbs means that at 3.18 conversion a pig will eat 700 pounds of feed to reach market weight.  At a 2.86 conversion the pig only needs 629 pounds of feed to reach market weight.  The program amounted to saving 71 pounds of feed per pig. At todays prices 71 pounds of feed is worth $9.59 per pig.  The total value of this program for this subsample of 155,899 pigs will benefit the producers ($9.59* 155,899) $1.495 million dollars. 

4/16/08

150  Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: June 13, 2008
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu