Recent comments by: Robert
Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm
CQ, you are simply wrong. There are multiple systems being used from different electronic sow feeders, cafeteria/stall feeding & floor-fed group housing that have all not seen huge losses in productivity - they've actually resulted in a higher level of management as you need to become a better stockperson.
At this stage there is no move away from farrowing crates, so overlays are not part of this argument. The industry is however focusing a large amount of R&D into investigating & improving the outcomes of alternative farrowing systems to reduce the negative interactions b/w sows & piglets.
As an industry we are almost cost-competitive with Western-European production. Our labour & feed costs means we will never be competitive against the Americas or Eastern Europe. Our COP and competitiveness is not being held back by our transition to sow stall free housing.
The reason processors by pigmeat from overseas is for a few reasons, somewhat to do with the vagaries of the Australian smallgoods market. Middle bacon comes from a certain size of pig, ham comes from a different size of pig. You can import just a middle or a ham, or you deal with disposal costs of the non-spec product.
David is off the mark with this piece, 10 years ago I would have agreed, not today.
The industry has not suffered productivity losses from the change to group-housing, a minor blip occurred during the transition but most systems have increased productivity.
We know sow stalls have welfare issues & they become worse the longer sows are in them. It's why most sows were already group-housed from six weeks of gestation. the move has been positive for sows in many ways - including increased stockmanship.
The EU has restricted use to 4 wks post-mating, the new Canadian code is 5 wks.
Once again a leading Agricultural newspaper gets the terminology wrong. It's farrowing, furrowing is what people do with their brows when see this mistake continually made...
**EDITOR'S NOTE: Well spotted Robert, and you're right of course. Typo now corrected.