Projects focused on improving pig nutrition, enhancing weaner performance, increasing reproduction and enriching the lives of group housed sows are at various stages of development and commercialisation with the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC).
According to Pork CRC Manager, Commercialisation and Research Impact, Charles Rikard-Bell, pictured above, the projects range from proof of concept to ready for adoption.
Dr Rikard-Bell said the key projects which are nearing commercial reality are AusScan Online, a performance enhancer for weaned pigs, patents on improving reproduction and poured blocks to enrich group housed pigs.
Pork CRC CEO, Roger Campbell said all four were well advanced and poised to make a positive impact on Australia’s pork industry.
Dr Campbell said close working relationships, built on trust and mutual benefits, with Aunir, University of Queensland, Elanco and Ridley, had helped turn well thought out, cleverly researched ideas and concepts into commercially viable propositions.
Pork CRC research developed AusScan the world’s first in-vivo energy values for cereal grains and reactive lysine values for ‘heat damaged’ canola and soybean meal using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Pork CRC now has a business agreement with UK company Aunir to make AusScan NIRS calibrations available on-line.
Dr Campbell said Pork CRC was working with Aunir, pork producers, laboratories and feed mills to ensure Australia’s pig industry had access to the latest calibrations.
In conjunction with BEC Animal Nutrition, Dr Eugeni Roura from University of Queensland and Pork CRC developed a performance enhancer pre-mix for weaned pigs.
“This novel pre-mix is based on the outcome of some excellent science on ingredient preferences of weaned pigs,” Dr Campbell said.
Pork CRC holds patents on improving reproduction via research it supported by Dr William Van Wettere, University of Adelaide, who showed that adding ractopamine to sow lactation diets minimised sow body protein loss.
“The commercial product, produced by Elanco and marketed as Paylean, supports improved subsequent reproduction. Executing the patents will allow Australian pork producers to access this potentially valuable technology,” Dr Campbell said.
With enrichment of gestating sows a major consideration for the industry, Ridley Mills and Pork CRC have begun commercial studies on the behaviour of sows at mixing.
“Early Pork CRC supported work at SunPork Farms North in Queensland by Tracey Muller showed that providing poured blocks reduced chase time and increased lying time in the first four days after mixing,” Dr Campbell said.
“As Pork CRC moves deeper into its second half, we are running a commercial eye over any potential game changers and this is where Charles Rikard-Bell will focus his time.”
For more from Pork CRC click here.
First published in Leading Agriculture Issue 12