Pork production software provides decision-making tools for producers

While it is a wonderful calling to provide safe high quality pork protein to consumers in the U.S. and the world, Iowa State University extension swine specialist Colin Johnson said farmers still must cover production costs and earn a living.

“Let’s face it, achieving a profit in the business has been a struggle in recent times,” he said. “The pork industry is a very competitive global market and trade relations fluctuate.”

Barn owners and pig owners have been evaluating potential decisions of farm consolidation and in validating their stay in the industry. The costs of health impacts and labor are significant industry factors today regardless of operation size. Johnson said it’s important to know Iowa Pork Industry Center has several resources such as Pig Profit Tracker that can help producers assess value and performance changes within their operation.

“Spreadsheets and other tools from the IPIC website and content from the ISU Ag Decision Maker website have seen increased use as of late,” he said. “Our tools can model the economic performance impacts that may result from changing parameters such as facility, health, genetic costs and more.”

Sometimes it’s not just the economic feasibilities of the barn that need to be considered.

“I’ve had many discussions on the regional pig supply and site logistics as well as how barns fit in with a sustainable future for the farm as a whole,” he said. “IPIC swine specialists are available to talk through a variety of options and can aid in projecting cost inputs.”

See available IPIC tools and information from the Ag Decision Maker spreadsheets. Find and contact your extension swine specialist.