Survey Shows Increased Pork Productivity and Efficiency and Decreased Environmental Footprint

Farmscape for July 14, 2023

Full Interview 15:11 Listen

An analysis of Canadian pork production over the past 30 years shows a continued increase in efficiency and productivity and a shrinking of the sector’s environmental footprint. As part of the “Canadian Pig Production Practices Survey for Improved Economic and Environmental Viability, conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Pork, pork producers across Canada were asked about all aspects of pork production, including the design, floor space, stage of growth and throughputs of their barns, the composition and source of diets, including inputs for producing and transporting the ingredients, everything associated with manure management as well as energy and water use. Dr. Mario Tenuta, the Senior Industrial Research Chair in 4R Nutrient Stewardship and a Professor of Soil Ecology with the University of Manitoba, says the study shows from 1990 to 2020 the efficiency of producing pork improved by a good eight to 10 percent.

Quote-Dr. Mario Tenuta-University of Manitoba:
You name it, it’s improved, in terms of water, electricity or fuel, feed all improved and there is a number of reasons for this.
One of them is genetics. Another is that there’s advances that we’ve had technology wise and then also the utilization of available coproducts from the general food industry and then also distiller’s industries or ethanol or alcohol consumption, so we see a lot more dried distiller’s grains for example. Then utilization of meal, so the coproducts from oil production and particularly canola.
It’s really positive for the industry to see this trajectory that we’ve had and I think we can identify areas of improved trajectory for the near future.

Dr. Tenuta suggests, if we change the diet even more, continue to improve barn design, go to renewable energy sources and further modernise production we can anticipate additional improvements.

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       *Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers