August 28, 2019

Interpretive Summary: Description, evaluation, and validation of the Teagasc Pig Production Model

Interpretive Summary: Description, evaluation, and validation of the Teagasc Pig Production Model.

By: Anne Wallace

In this study published in the July 2019 issue of Journal of Animal Science, the Teagasc Pig Production Model (TPPM) – a bioeconomic farrow-to-finish pig farm system model – was evaluated. The authors' goal was to develop and validate a pig farm model specific to the Irish pig production system. Such predictive models are vital in decisions affecting farm productivity and profitability. Predictions from general models are applied broadly and are less accurate than models designed for a specific farm system.

Variables used in the TPPM system were both biological (e.g. size of herd) and technical (e.g. feeding) using an Irish farm with 775 sows. These variables were used to predict physical and financial outputs. 

Two predictive scenarios, "Extra Room" and "Early Finisher" were evaluated. Extra Room simulated what would happen when pig BW increased by 15 kg when sold. Early Finisher simulated what would happen when providing a finisher feed at 28 kg instead of 38 kg BW. The goal of each simulation was to reduce overhead costs and increase carcass yield for Extra Room and to reduce the cost of feeding without impacting performance in Early Finisher. Annual mean net profit was predicted for both simulations, and it was determined that Early Finisher was more cost-effective and profitable model. 

To conclude, predictive models are a valuable tool in determining how changes to farm systems may impact productivity and profitability. Although general production models are useful, predictive models designed for a specific farm system may have more value. Additional studies comparing and validating the predictions of general models versus specific models against real farm outputs may be warranted. 

To view the article, visit the Journal of Animal Science.