Why Bother Keeping Records?

Ron Bazylo Extension Specialist

There are many producers who keep records. The problem is that this is exactly what they are doing — keeping records! Keeping sow litter cards and breedings, as well as number weaned to individual sows, is actually just a recording system. A good record keeping system gives the producer a quick method of analyzing his records. In order to do so, he should be familiar with bench marks in the industry. Once the producer has these bench marks, this will allow her/him to see where improvements can be made. Some bench marks can be used from the PigCHAMP database, which compares a large number of farms. For example, some 2010 averages are listed below as well as the top 10% performing farms.

Average Top 10% Bottom 10%
Farrowing rate 84.06 89.06 76.40
Average pigs born alive/litter 11.47 12.50 10.65
Pigs weaned/litter weaned 0.28 11.37 9.47
Pigs weaned/mated female/year 23.59 26.10 20.54

This particular program also has data for grower and finisher pigs. Using computer record keeping systems gives producers the ability to get this information within minutes each week or month. This allows them to see where improvements can easily be made. Record keeping systems usually don’t cost money, but save money. For further information on record keeping systems contact your nearest Go Office.