Four Pillars of Sow Robustness Part I: Genetics & P1 Development | Dr. Sergio Canavate & Dr. Saskia Bloemhof

About the Guests

Dr. Sergio Canavate was born in Spain and obtained his veterinarian degree from the University of Murcia. He started his career in the pork industry in Agropor SL, where he learned the core principles and values of pork production. In 2010 he joined PIC Spain, and since then, he has shown willingness to embrace new changes.  In 2013, he moved to the United States with his family, where he joined the PIC North America Technical Service team, mentored by Dr. Juan Carlos Pinilla. Over the past 11 years, he has had the privilege to work closely with  large systems in North America and Europe, gaining unique experience and a broader view of pork industry from customers, colleagues and teammates.

During this time, he has grown professionally, gaining responsibilities, and performing various roles within PIC. Sergio is currently the North America Technical Service Reproduction Director. He and his team are responsible for providing the best customer support in all areas related to site 1 and reproduction.

Dr Saskia Bloemhof-Abma was born in the Netherlands and has a MSc and PhD in Animal breeding and genetics from Wageningen University. Saskia joined PIC in 2013 as a geneticist and is currently the Genetic Services Director for both North and Latin America. Additionally, she still provides genetic support to Dutch customers in Europe.

Sergio Canavate Saskia Bloemhof-Abma

From this episode of the Popular Pig Podcast with Dr. Saskia Bloemhof and Dr. Sergio Canavate, listeners can learn about:

  • The challenges in sow mortality and how it has increased due to factors like genetic improvements leading to larger and heavier litters, affecting sow robustness.
  • The concept of the “four pillars” for reducing sow mortality, which includes genetics, P1 development, body conditioning and feeding, and individual sow care.
  • How genetic advancements are applied in practice to improve sow longevity and reduce mortality, with a focus on understanding and managing reproductive failure, lameness, and prolapse risks.
  • The importance of management practices in realizing the genetic potential of pigs, including proper selection, development, and care of gilts and sows to improve their productivity and longevity.