How much mortality was in the final fences?

Has Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) really been that bad? Each year, PRRS is introduced into each production phase, with the heaviest impact on mortality in young pigs. But what does the impact look like for finishing pigs? The latest and most well-known of the PRRS breaks, identified as the 144 Lineage 1C, has been touted as the most difficult and expensive of all previous varieties. In this month’s article, analytical analysis will be done by looking at various analytical comparisons of mortality spanning multiple years to complete group closings between the months of January through August.

All closings are based on a standardized set of business logic and computational algorithms that enables our analysts and users to make apple-to-apple performance comparisons between and within companies using the MetaFarms platform. Ag.

The completion of the closed group analysis was performed using the MetaFarms Ag platform with a particular focus on customers in the United States only. In the first eight months of 2021, US customers of MetaFarms registered just over 5,900 fences (5,951) with a total of started hogs at over 10,000,000. The characteristics of a finishing group would be a average starting weight of around 45 pounds with an average ending weight of 285 pounds. Pigs are normally fed for about 120 days, have an average daily gain (ADG) of 1.90 and feed efficiency (FCR) of 2.87. As stated earlier, the fattening groups are generally fed for 120 days, or four months. Groups starting in November 2020 would not end until February or March 2021.

Chart 1 analyzes the last ten years of closeout divided into three different percentile ranges, from best (first 10%) to worst (last 10%) as well as the annual average. This year had the distinction of having each its percentile, as well as the average, of being the highest of all years. Each percentile and mean of 2021 was 0.16 to 0.47% higher than the next nearest month. This is a clear indication that the year 2021 was an above-average death year, but one that also saw severe mortality closures.


Chart 2 analyzes the finishing close data that separates the 2021 closing closing groups into three different mortality percentage ranges. Fences that fall within the mortality ranges will have their performance and financial metrics within that range. By focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs) in the> 6% range, the average closing mortality is more than doubled from the median range of 3-6%. Pigs are fed an additional 11 days, which correlates with pig growth (ADG) 0.19 below the 6% range and

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Chart 3 examines the last four years of closing death rates by month, with the first five months of 2021 having ends above the average by half a percent or more of the previous three years. 2021 remained at the top until June, when fences became similar to 2020, the COVID-19 year average. However, they were still significantly higher than in 2018 and 2019. As a reminder, the finishing groups that closed in February 2021 were placed in a nursery in September / October 2020.

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Graph 4 focuses on the final mortality per feeding week for the closed groups in 2019, 2020 and 2021. As a reminder, these closed groups took place between January and August of each year. When analyzing mortalities, it is important to look not only at why the mortalities occurred, but when. Late mortalities should be analyzed at each fence to determine if these deaths are from transport losses, late lameness or from background pigs. Assuming marketing begins on day 100, or diet week 14, data from 2021 shows that 1.23% of all deaths occurred between week 14 and week 24. For a 1000 head finishing barn, this 1.23% mortality represents nearly 12 pigs. Twelve pigs may not seem like much, but with the amount of feed given to these pigs or the drugs and / or vaccines given, the financial losses start to pile up quickly. There is never a good time to lose a pig, but the financial impact of mortality is felt as pigs are fed longer.

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The final mortality runoffs of 2021 were statistically the worst year in the past decade. The cause could be traced to many different things, but most of it has to be attributed to PRRS, especially the 144 Linage 1C strain.

The severity and longevity of last year’s PRRS season baffled everyone in the pork industry. Closing performance also indicated lower growth rates, lower feed conversion, and higher feed cost per pound gain.

With the weather moving from summer to fall, cooler temperatures are upon us. Farmers are harvesting and harvesting in the fields, bringing in the pits and lagoons pumping season as well as the PRRS and influenza season. For many growers, preparation to minimize outbreaks is a daily point of attention; now is the time to ensure that appropriate biosecurity measures are in place. Let’s all hope the PRRS 2020/2021 season doesn’t repeat itself this year.

MetaFarms Analytic Insights was used to provide the context and trends for this article. If you would like to see an analysis of the impact of PRRS on your finishing performance, or if you have any suggestions on production areas to write articles about, please email or call us.

If you have any questions or comments on these columns, or if you have a specific performance metric that you would like us to write about, please contact Bradley Eckberg.

Sources: Bradley Eckberg, MetaFarms, who are solely responsible for and own the information provided. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for the content of this information asset.