Harbro Index of Pig Performance (HIPP) allows producers to benchmark their performance and improve efficiency

26 Feb 2020

Although the UK pig industry is renowned for its use of data in striving for improvements in performance and efficiency, for some producers the amount of data can seem quite overbearing. The broiler sector widely use the European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF) formula to assess efficiency but for pigs there is not an equivalent industry standard.

Working in partnership with pig producers operating a variety of different systems, Harbro has developed a program that takes a producers’ data and gives them an indexation figure relating to efficiency.  Beyond the simple indexation figure the database can be interrogated or cross referenced to ascertain what combination of factors are the best performing e.g. genotype, feed type, health regime, site size etc to maximise both physical and financial performance.

There are two platforms available, one designed for finishing batch systems and the other for continuous flow breeder systems.

Jim Wright and Andrew Irwin of JMW Farms Ltd finish around 500,000 pigs/year, with over 10,000 pigs finished weekly across multiple sites. They recently started using the HIPP platform and it now forms a routine part of their weekly management meetings, helping to identify the key differences between the sites at the top and bottom of their league table which then enables them to focus attention on replicating the most efficient sites and thus the best practices within those sites as standard across the other units.

Since introducing HIPP Andrew said it has played a major role in focusing attention on where improvement margins can be gained and has subsequently made a major contribution to the JMW business. Jim commented: “it has formed an excellent platform in which to benchmark all of our sites. We would welcome the opportunity to work with other likeminded producers to benchmark our findings so that as an industry we can have a better understanding of how various factors including genotype, group size and feed type amongst others affect overall efficiency.”

Kate Moore of Pockmor Ltd in Yorkshire finishes approx. 80,000 pigs p/a through AI:AO finishing sites. As a business they started using HIPP last year, and its introduction has enabled an efficiency factor to be allocated to each batch of pigs they finish. This objective figure of efficiency has helped Kate to manage her many B & B sites by making maximum use of the good sites and focusing management time on sites where added performance can be obtained. She commented “HIPP has given us an invaluable objective means of assessing efficiency and driving improvements in efficiency across our units. The results rarely come as a surprise and in most cases confirm our subjective opinions about which sites are performing well and which could do better.”

 

Iain Lyle, Monogastric Technical Manager at Harbro who designed the program said “We’re very lucky to be working with some of the UK’s leading producers helping them centralise and interrogate their data to bring about improvements within their businesses. The sheer scale and throughput of some of the larger producers is so vast that having a central platform to analyse KPIs is essential. The insight HIPP gives us is enabling businesses to make even small incremental changes to the management of their systems which in turn is making huge differences to their overall performance and profitability.  We are very excited about the opportunity that HIPP offers not only to individual producers looking to improve but to the industry as a whole with the benchmarking capability enabling the sector to move forward collectively as it strives to optimise efficiency and in turn profitability.”

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