How to increase production in 2022? | National Pig Farmers

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Dr. Trey Kellner, AMVC Nutrition Services | November 15, 2021

The pork industry has performed well in measuring and internally and externally benchmarking key performance indicators, such as average daily gain, feed conversion rate, survival rate, delivery rate, total number of births, and number of weaning and sales. However, all these key performance indicators are historical "lagging" indicators. You cannot change these numbers. You can improve the next group, quarter, or year, but these numbers will always remain in any record database you use.

Now, the best predictor is indeed past performance, and you can use past performance to guide and improve. But if you want to improve your sow, nursery, fattening and overall performance, instead of always paying attention to the performance of the previous sow group, batch group, fattening wheel, etc., you should put more emphasis on "LEAD" measures, such as Such as caregiver participation, boar exposure, feed interruption events, pan coverage, number of passes through the barn, pull and treatment success rate, etc.

Definition of "LEAD" and "LAG" measurement

Franklin Covey defines a "lag" measurement as an indicator that shows whether your goals have been achieved. For example, we often set benchmarks for average daily gain, number of pigs per sow per year, market weight and survival rate. The "lagging" metric is the win-loss column. Have we succeeded, or are we short? "Lagging" measures are known for their slowness.

For example, a pork producer may notice that our feed conversion rate from weaning to fattening during clearance is lower than expected. Therefore, we work with nutritionists, feed mills, and growers to correct and improve feed conversion rates. However, the feed conversion from weaning to weaning takes more than six months to occur. First, the reason for the high feed conversion rate may no longer exist. Secondly, if the reason still exists, how many pigs have a higher feed conversion rate than expected because it takes six months to generate indicators to identify the problem? Third, the feed conversion rate from weaning to fattening can be affected by many different factors. If you have no data or poor data on feeder adjustment settings, feed spillage, micron size and deviation, ingredient nutritional information, etc. How should you determine the correct factor or factors to improve?

On the other hand, Franklin Covey defines the "LEAD" measurement as an indicator that indicates whether you are likely to achieve your goal. Pork producers can use "LEAD" measurements, such as corn micron size and deviation, pan coverage or frequency of pan adjustment, and post-finishing mortality to indicate whether feed efficiency is on target or lower than expected.

I recently learned the terms "LEAD" and "LAG" measurement. This is an "aha" moment. It helped me understand the quarantine, our feeding plan, the pigs we are caring for, and our production system by focusing more on "lead" measurement instead of always focusing on "lag". " Measurement.

How to objectively measure the "LEAD" measurement value?

The reason why "lead" measurements are not often or effectively used in pork production is that they are usually subjective (opinions) and objective (actual measurements). The second reason is that although our "LAG" measurements are usually stored in a database and easily accessible, the "LEAD" measurements (if recorded) may at most be stored in a personal Excel worksheet.

It is important to make "LEAD" measures as objective as possible. For example, avoid describing the sow's physical condition based on the lean or ideal viewpoint. Instead, use calipers to objectively measure physical conditions. Another example is not to subject growers or caregivers to judge how they started feeding pigs with feed. Instead, objectively measure how often the pigs eat porridge and mats, the percentage of pigs that are pulled and/or treated, or the number of times each caregiver passes through the pig house per day. At the very least, use the "yes" or "no" classification when answering questions such as: whether the pig house is properly heated before placing the pigs, whether the air velocity and quality are sufficient, and whether the pigs are properly classified and cared for.

Is it important to decide which "LEAD" measures to track and use them as improvement tools? Which objective units will be used to measure, and how often will the measures be taken? 

How to scorecard and guide "LEAD" measurement?

As an industry, the biggest obstacle we encounter when using "LEAD" measurements is being able to record, access and summarize them. As mentioned earlier, most "LEAD" meters are not objectively, documented, or system-wide accessible. This obstacle makes it impossible to use the "LEAD" measure as a scoreboard and guidance tool. Therefore, the system must find ways to record, access, draw, and summarize these "LEAD" measures through open sharing, Teams, SharePoint, etc. It is also important to set benchmarks and use them as guidance tools.

The key to using "LEAD" measures as improvement tools is to use them as a guide to help improve your "LAG" measures. For example, if a farm wants to increase its farrowing rate ("LAG" measurement), then the farm and its leadership team should record and score the following "LEAD" measurements: boar exposure, unheated service, body condition caliper score, semen quality , Suspicious varieties, variety technician training and retention, etc. If the farm improves these "LEAD" measurements, it is likely that the "LAG" measurements of farrowing rates will also increase. Therefore, don't just state that your childbirth rate needs to be increased and end the counseling session. Instead, measure, record, summarize, scorecards, and guide daily behaviors that affect delivery rates.

How should managers, growers and caregivers pay attention to "lead" measurement?

The real advantage of scoring and guiding the “LEAD” measure is that it pays more attention to people’s daily behavior and its effectiveness. If used properly, "LEAD" measures can increase pig production, reduce variation, and increase employee and breeder participation and retention. When using "LEAD" measures, it is important to use them as a positive tool to show that everyone's actions can and will have a significant impact.

All in all, our industry has performed well in measuring and measuring traditional "lagging" metrics. However, the generation and modification of these measurements can be slow. On the other hand, there may be several different factors that can change the "hysteresis" measurement. This multi-factor influence can make improving the "lag" measurement frustrating and time-consuming. As a pork producer, if we want to improve, we should pay more attention to improving the objective single factor "LEAD" measurement, which will ultimately improve the "LAG" measurement.

Source: Dr. Trey Kellner of AMVC Nutritional Services, who are solely responsible for the information provided and fully own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any content contained in this information asset.

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