Why am I not able to produce more? Why my business is not more profitable? All pig producers have asked these questions at least once. We believe the answers are in how farmers consider their operations.
Identifying problems means you need to stop looking at individual operational details, such as mating, weaning, farrowing, feeding, and vaccination, and to consider the farm as a business, analyzing the production process as a whole. The question then is: Where do I start?
Information is essential
Once you realize you farm could produce better results, you are already in the right path. Acknowledging symptoms is the first step for seeking solutions. The next step is to have good-quality information, which helps understanding what could be improved. Information is critical for diagnosis. When you see a doctor because you are feeling unwell, for instance, you expect him or her to request some tests. After all, if information is not sufficient, the probability of obtaining the correct diagnosis – and treatment – are reduced.
The same thing happens on the farm. To trace a problem, you need reliable and systematic information on production aspects. The figure below shows the key information required to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the farm.
This tree analysis provides a comprehensive view of the farm, and allows identifying the most critical point, which should be in the top of your priority list. This means that, despite the wide range of monitored indexes, it is possible – and required – to identify those that have a stronger impact on productivity and should be improved. Example: If the index “number of piglets weaned per sow per year” (WSY) is below the target, the problem may be farrowing rate or farrowing unit management.
I have identified the problems. What shall I do now?
The interpretation of the production data will allow you to identify the bottlenecks that prevent you from obtaining better results. If you have many, don’t be discouraged. You should prioritize the solutions for the problems that most affect productivity, and consequently, business profitability. During this process, do not forget to involve and train your team. When people understand the problems and the proposed solutions, they can become the agents of change.
What about you? Have you already made the diagnosis of your farm? Share your experience with us! Tell us in the comments section.