DanBred’s continuous breeding progress results in direct profitability for you as a pig producer.
Not only have we seen a progress that contributes positively to your bottom line, but our breeding progress also contributes to reducing the climate footprint and making the pig production more sustainable through better utilisation of resources.
The developments are a result of comprehensive breeding work, e.g., through performance tests of more than 100,000 breeding animals every year, selection of the best breeding candidates, as well as extensive data collection and analysis. This has created unique word-class pig genetics! But what impact has the breeding work had for the individual pig producers, and what can you expect in the future?
Innovative method – Genomic selection
In 2010, DanBred was the first in the world to implement genomic selection in pigs. The method has been revolutionary and contributed to a significant breeding progress for the traits included in the DanBred breeding goal. With genomic selection, we can find exactly those breeding candidates that have the best genetics for the traits, we want to improve.
And this technology has contributed to world-class results that benefit you directly! For example, since 2010, we have seen that feed efficiency has improved by 0.25 kg feed per kg gain, lean meat percentage has increased by 1.3 %, and daily gain has increased by 132 g per day in production herds. And we expect to continue the impressive progress in the future.
Focus on piglet survival
A trait that we have focused particularly on for many years is LP5 (number of live piglets on day 5 after farrowing). This has led to huge improvements in LP5 and resulted in a higher number of live piglets on day 5 and better piglet survival, leading to even more weaned piglets per litter. When managing sows with high litter size the implementation of the right routines will increase the herd productivity.
However, these improvements do not stop us from working to increase piglet survival even more. We are very close to a new and better genetic solution for improving piglet survival. We expect that this genetic solution will contribute to a more sustainable breeding goal.
Benefits for your bottom line and the climate
Our breeding progress and ongoing work have a positive impact on your bottom line and contributes to reducing the climate footprint and making the pig production more sustainable, through better utilisation of resources. As we can see from graphs 2, 3, and 4, finisher traits have improved significantly from 2010 to 2020.
In 2018, a stronger focus on finisher traits resulted in great improvements for feed efficiency (Graph 2), lean meat percentage (Graph 3), and daily gain (Graph 4). We can see from Graph 2 and Graph 3 that feed efficiency and lean meat percentage have increased even more rapidly than previously, since 2018. The lean meat percentage has improved by almost 0.5 % in just two years for production herds!
The graphs show the progress from 2010 to 2020.
The red line is the breeding progress calculated as an average of DanBred Duroc, DanBred Landrace and DanBred Yorkshire. The average from 2020 for the breeding progress is scaled to the average from the production herds in 2020. The grey line is the national average results from Danish production herds extracted from SEGES Innovation, note 2115. The production results follow the breeding progress. This means, the breeding progress generated in the nucleus herds also manifests in the production herds.
DanBred’s continuous progress contributes to more economic gain and more sustainable pigs – also in the future. Better feed efficiency means a lower feed consumption in the pig production, which reduces the carbon footprint significantly. At the same time, the breeding progress for LP5 allows DanBred sows to produce more piglets than before. So, fewer sows can produce the same number of finisher pigs with less feed than previously.
More robust and sustainable pigs in the future
Looking into the future, DanBred’s R&D department has several promising projects in the pipeline, e.g., with focus on survival until slaughter and sow longevity. With these projects, we want to achieve a positive impact on pigs’ robustness and health, as well as on animal welfare. And we hope to see real results within the next few years.
Improved feed efficiency and reduced CO2 emission
Another project, we expect to have positive effects on your pig production is Metabolomic Selection. In 2020, the Breeding & Genetics department at Danish Agriculture & Food Council, together with Aarhus University and Nordic Seed, started a research project to achieve a deeper understanding of breeding work using metabolomic data. We expect that the findings with metabolomic selection will contribute to an increase in the breeding progress for feed efficiency for DanBred pigs by 25 % over the next 30 years. The preliminary calculations show that this breeding progress will result in a reduction in the feed consumption of 0.3 kg feed per kg gain – on top of the effects the breeding work already contribute with. This corresponds to a cost reduction of approx. 40 DKK (or € 5.4) per pig for you, and a yearly reduction in CO2 emissions corresponding to 150,000 tons CO2 equivalents.
The Danish pig producers can look forward to a future where we will see increased breeding progress for the crucial traits, which will have a positive impact on the pig producer’s bottom line, the climate, and the animal welfare.