Микола Бабенко, генеральний директор ТОВ «Центр підвищення ефективності в тваринництві», фото: latifundist.com

Pig Breeding in Ukraine is a business of contrasts. Pig-complexes with solid concrete floor, manual feeding, with holes in the roofs and broken windows adjoin modern buildings  with kulpades, slotted floors, ventilation, heating and fodder stations for sows. Paradoxically, the results both in the first and second cases can be the same: as very good: the first category of pigs, growing for 154 days, as very bad: the second and lower category, growing for 200+ days. Therefore, not the level of equipment and technologies, but the approach to managing this business is decisive.

not the level of equipment and technologies, but the approach to managing this business is decisive

Next, I want to describe five elements that, in my opinion, are distinguished by an effective enterprise.

Regular audit.

Current work blurs your eye. You stop noticing problems and things that need to be changed. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to critically review all production processes regularly, and to analyze the financial performance of the pig complex. This can be an express audit or a full business analysis. The best best decision would be to engage experts from specialized companies for such events. So you get an unbiased view from the side.

 it is necessary to critically review all production processes regularly

Work Business Plan.

In pig breeding, the year begins in September. That is, from January 1 sows will be farrowing, which were mated in September. In order to predict the work for the coming year, it is necessary to have up-to-date information on insemination and farrowing, so effective companies begin to plan the next year already in August-September of the current year. But unfortunately, most pig-complexes do not have business plans. And if it is, then it is rather a formal document that “lives on its own”. It is necessary to take the rule to make a business plan in the form of an approved document. This should be detailed on a monthly plan of inseminaries, farrowing, sales, feed consumption and pharmaceutical expenditure. At the end of each month, it is necessary to compare the planned indicators and the actual ones, adjusted for the change of prices. Differences in indicators will indicate where the problem or vice versa – well-organized production sites.

Accounting should be carried out in a specialized program (not Excel!)

Accounting must be automated. To do this, you need to use specialized computer programs. Frequent practice in Ukraine is accounting for a farm in MS Excel. Of course, this is a great program, but it imposes a number of limitations and inconveniences. A file with a table (or many different similar documents), which, in fact, is the entire database, is easy to lose. Over time, the file size increases and it becomes difficult to work with. If an error is made in the calculations, then it is easy to ignore and all subsequent calculation will be wrong. And then, when such errors become more and more, a voluntary decision to start from a blank sheet in a new Excel file is taken. And everything starts again. If the accounting is carried out in such a way, then instead of the control tool, it turns into a torture for both the accountant and the manager. It is better to use specialized programs. By their help, it is possible to automate any production site: to select pairs for insemination, to form a farrowing plan, to receive analyzes on fertility and productivity of sows, to write off feeds and veterinary preparations, to calculate increments and other production indices.

  It is better to use specialized accounting programs

Modern programs for accounting in pig breeding are designed not only for zootechnics or veterinarians but also for owners and top management. In them, it is possible to formulate reports on financial and production indicators, which help to assess the state of farm pig raising and the cost of animals. Access rights can restrict access for specific users to different sections of the program, such as finance. In short, all businesses will sooner or later join automated accounting, as it was at one time in America and Europe. And the sooner the pig complexes will begin to implement it, the more they will benefit from identifying their weaknesses and improving farm management.

Minimum cost, not maximum productivity

High increases, increased meat yields and reduced fattening time – this is definitely important and necessary. But should not be at the expense of business. In pursuit of productivity, pig-breeders invest enormous money in the reconstruction, updating of genetics, feed additives, and medicines. However, each such step needs to grow to get the desired result, otherwise, these additional 10-20-30 grams of increment will cost at times more expensive than the extra income earned from them. It is better to increase productivity gradually, step by step, and track what gives results, and what is not.

 It is better to increase productivity gradually, step by step

It is necessary to determine what exactly is needed for the pig: super indexes or profit. If the choice is made in favor of the indicators, then this will be no longer a business, but a hobby.

Prevention instead of treatment

The scheme of medical and preventive work must be necessarily drawn up and approved in the form of a document signed by the head and veterinarians. From the experience of our Center, even large enterprises of 10-20 thousand heads and big ones neglected it. And the veterinarian lives separately from the company: as if everything is done, doctors carry out various manipulations, and diseases progress. When the scheme is formalized there is an opportunity for analysis – where is the problem that is now being addressed to solve it and why the existing approach is not working. Another important aspect is the principle on which the veterinary scheme is based. For example, European and American farmers are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics and pay more attention to prevention and biosafety.

European and American farmers reduce the use of antibiotics, more attention is paid to prevention and biosafety

Consider the example of one of the most common diseases in pig breeding – mycoplasmosis. This is a bacterial respiratory disease. Mortality – up to 30% in running cases. Losses from mycoplasmosis are significantly higher due to a reduction in average daily increments of 40-100 grams per day on fattening. For the average pig-breeding complex it is 4 kg of live weight at sales on a meat-packing plant or + 5-10 days of fattening. The cost of vaccination is 20-40 UAH / head, the income received from the disease is not well received from 200 UAH / head without taking into account the cost of antibiotics and loss due to death. It’s worth remembering that pig farming has always been a profitable industry. Even at low prices for live weight in 2015-2016. Even at market prices for the entire feed base and the growth of the foreign exchange rate.

Even the most abandoned pig complex can earn a profit

It’s time to invest vigorously and money first and foremost in knowing and improving farm control. From our experience, even the most abandoned pig complex can earn a profit even at a price of 30 hryvnias per live piglet for six months without capital investments, reconstruction, and stock replacement. Try the listed changes in the pig complex, and already in the first month, there will be an understanding of what to do and where to go. And after three months you will see the first results.

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