We’ve all read the stories, heard the talk, and seen the memes about how horrible 2020 was. For those of us in agriculture and the swine industry, there were definitely frustrations and challenges, but relative to other industries, most of us came through alright. At the end of the day, everyone needs to eat. With more people now eating from home and preparing their own meals, there’s been a surge in interest for easy-to-prepare, nutritious, and wholesome food. Pork checks off all three with bonus points for being delicious!
The anti-meat movement may have been quieted as the world deals with bigger issues, but it isn’t going away. To some degree we do need a social license to do what we do. Countering an activist or concerned consumer with a favourite phrase, “mmm… but I love bacon!” isn’t going to help the cause. As a swine genetics company, our focus is on more than just production traits such as number born and growth rate. We are also focused on economically important traits that impact animal welfare such as piglet survivability, functional teats, weaning weight, appetite, and structure. Other traits related to resilience and behavior continue to be developed through the research projects we are involved in. AGC always has and will continue to use a balanced combination of performance and durability to help ensure our customers thrive both now and into the future.
From our families to yours, we thank you for your patronage in 2020 and wish you all the best in 2021.
The Year of Genetic Progress
While the world essentially came to a standstill in 2020 and in many ways regressed, AGC continued to push through and turned 2020 into another year of impressive genetic progress.
Another Pleased Producer
“We started receiving AGC F1’s in January of 2018. Since that first batch of gilts arrived, we have been extremely pleased with the performance of the sows. Birthweights, low stillborn rates, piglet vigor and survivability, wean weights, and sow temperament are all excellent – overall extremely good mothering ability. Growth of weaned pigs through the nursery rooms has surpassed expectations. Ken has been great to work with as well; he stands behind his stock 100%. We have had very few reasons to request a warranty replacement but it has been done with no question when it has come up. I’m very pleased to be working with Alliance Genetics Canada and Sand Ridge Farm.”
Research Stations Manager,
Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences
University of Alberta
Exports to Korea Resume
AGC Breeders and Gordon Waters, Exporter and AGC Partner are pleased to have successfully delivered a shipment of breeding stock in November to multiple research institutes in South Korea. Gordon has been working with the research institutes in South Korea since 2007 supplying AGC breeding stock annually with the purpose to improve their breeding program. The annual shipment was to be scheduled in May however it was necessary to reschedule in November due to COVID-19. The Korean clients plan to return with another order of breeding stock anticipated for the second quarter of 2021. The robustness, well-structured and unmatched growth rate of the AGC breeding stock are the key reasons for over 10 years of repeat business from clients in South Korea. “Thanks to the AGC breeders for continually providing top quality breeding stock to Korean clients!”
Proper gilt development is essential for lifetime sow productivity and an entire book could be written on the subject. But for now, just a few key points:
Treat them well. Give gilts extra space (over 10 sq. ft. each) and get them on a gilt developer diet at 75kg (120 days/4 months). Walk through their pens often and get to know each other.
Begin boar exposure at 160 days of age to stimulate puberty. If it can’t be done that soon, then ASAP. Exposure means full physical contact for at least 15 minutes daily.
Breed at 140kg and 220 days. Younger is OK if big enough, but avoid going over 240 days. Record their 1st heats and breed on the 2nd or 3rd.
20% of your matings should be gilts. Divide your target replacement rate (40%) by your number of litters/sow/year (2.35) to get 17%.