EU PiG Newsletter August 2019


View this newsletter in its original format

Announcing the Winners: EU PiG 2019 Grand Prix

The eight winners of the 2019 Grand Prix have been announced, with each of these innovative producers awarded the title of EU PiG Ambassador.  Their winning best practices address eight key challenges, which were identified by the industry.

Theme: Health Management
Challenges: Early warning of diseases and production errors / Influence of gut health on disease and production

  • Pig temperature app for early disease detection - Spain  
  • Fermenting liquid feed, an alternative to zinc oxide - Netherlands 

Theme: Meat Quality
Challenges: Replacing GMO in soy for feed production / Opening farms to engage with public

  • Locally grown protein can replace soy in pig feed - Finland 
  • Community management for pig farming - Ireland 

Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenges: Strategies to reduce aggression between animals / The quality of the farm atmosphere

  • Doors for familiarisation between piglets - France 
  • Reducing ammonia emissions by separating faeces and urine - Belgium 

Theme: Precision Production
Challenges: Reducing piglet mortality / Dashboard systems/benchmarking

  • Reducing pig mortality through a high standard of care - Netherlands 
  • From pig data to big data - Denmark 

For further details about these winning best practices, including the contact details for each of the Regional Pig Innovation Group (RPIG) leaders, please click here.

There will be two new challenges for each theme for the 2020 Grand Prix.  Further details, along with how you can get involved, are shown at the bottom of this newsletter. 

2018 Ambassador Focus: Health and Welfare 

The EU PiG project seeks to share the benefits of on-farm best practice between producers to promote a sustainable pig industry across the EU.  This issue focuses on four of the project's 2018 Ambassadors and how they approach key health and welfare challenges. 

Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenge: Enrichment materials
Ambassador: Granja Rosa, Spain

Feed conversion ratio has improved and pigs have become easier to handle, since farmer Granja Rosa began changing the type of environmental enrichment in each pen every day on her finishing unit. This is to promote a greater sense of novelty for the 616 pigs and help reduce risk of tail biting.

Theme: Animal Welfare
Challenge: Loose farrowing systems
Ambassador: Doris Verhovsek, Austria

Piglet losses during lactation have been reduced from 25% to 15% on this breeding unit, equipped with a Pro Dromi loose farrowing system. Management changes were key to reducing these losses and included: changing sow genetics, optimising feeding and close observation and intensive care of piglets.

Theme: Health Management
Challenge: Reducing zinc oxide
Ambassador: Kris Gios, Belgium

Kris Gios’ farrow-to-finish unit has trialled feeding herbs in piglet diets instead of including zinc oxide and has reduced production costs by 2.4%. Average daily gain and feed conversion rate have improved and weaner mortality rate has been reduced.

Theme: Health Management
Challenge: Optimal vaccination strategies
Ambassador: Tom Mertens, Belgium

A group of 13 pig farms in the same region have reduced PRRS problems by 30% in a three-year period by working together and learning from each other to help tackle the problem.

The next issue will feature the four best practices from the Precision Production and Meat Quality themes. 

Tell us your Challenges: EU PiG 2020 Grand Prix

Prior to the 2020 Grand Prix, EU PiG wants to hear from producers about which specific challenges to tackle within four key themes, so the network can respond to emerging issues. There are eight different challenges each year and the network will collate and share knowledge and best practice to help address them.  The four key themes are:

  • Health Management
  • Meat Quality
  • Animal Welfare
  • Precision Production

Please get in touch with your Regional Pig Innovation Group (RPIG) leader to find out more.

Please continue to visit the EU PiG website to keep up to date in terms of developments.  The website is being refreshed over the coming months in order to further facilitate knowledge exchange to help producers drive and adopt innovation on farm. 


Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the EU PiG Innovation Group.

About EU PiG

Exchanging knowledge, sharing innovation. Action to improve the pig industry.

About the project

EU PiG Grand Prix

A contest to identify best practice in each of the project's four thematic areas.

Get involved