Optimum pig weights help optimize profits

By Karl De Ridder

Editor’s note: Karl De Ridder is a swine technician with Cargill Animal Nutrition. He can be contacted at karl_de_ridder@cargill.com.

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The checklist for pork producers on a daily basis is daunting enough before you even take market conditions and production constraints into account. Given the volatile nature of the industry, finding ways to optimize your profitability is no easy feat. A combination of strategic planning, market analysis and effective management practices is crucial.

Optimizing profits starts by connecting ingredient and diet decisions with marketing strategies. Clearly defined end goals are key to identifying those strategies. There are tools and a service in the marketplace that help you make the best decision when it counts, by using your data in real-time to better understand current and future economic considerations, determine optimum weights and first-cut forecasting, and scenario planning for your what-ifs.

Forecasting optimum weights to ship the pigs is one way Cargill’s Producer Profitability tool and exclusively tailored advice from experts can help producers grab a few extra dollars, especially as summer months draw near.

Our four-month forecast (Figure 1) and associated variables (Figure 2) predict increasing market weights by two kilograms will maximize profits for producers from May through August. With a natural reduction in weight gain during summer months of about four-and-a-half kilograms per pig, producers really need to be picking up an extra six-and-a-half kilograms.

Summer strategies shouldn’t be decided on during the summer; now is the time to start talking about which diet strategies will be best for your operation. Digital tools, such as Producer Profitability, are at your fingertips to help you confidently capture every dollar. In an unpredictable industry where margins are narrow, every penny left in your pocket counts. Because nothing else matters, at the end of the day, if you aren’t optimizing profits.