Pork CRC’s production manager Dr Charles Rikard-Bell, said the body had a number of products under wraps that can improve pork production and profitability. He said the projects, which include sow enrichment pens and disease vaccines, may generate income for further research and development.
“Our pipeline has already delivered products such as the Ridley Sow Enrichment Block, which was launched commercially in October last year, after being showcased at the 2016 Pan Pacific Pork Expo,” said Rikard-Bell.
“It now has an international patent pending and 170 tonnes of product was manufactured in the first batch.”
The sow enrichment blocks should help reduce aggression rates among sows when they are first placed in mixed groups – a common practice in Australian pork production.
‘Impact’ global pig production
“Our sow enrichment blocks are delivering positive, measurable outcomes,” said Rikard-Bell, who added: “Excitingly, we are about to commission some promising research into refining the block to suit weaners and finishers, rather than just sows.”
Pork CRC is also working on commercialising vaccines for Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) and swine dysentery.
“All of these technologies have the potential to impact global pig production, particularly our swine dysentery research,” said Rikard-Bell.
“The commercial success of AusScan, a joint venture between Pork CRC and Aunir UK, which made online AusScan near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) calibrations available to customers worldwide two years ago, is a stand-out example.”
Pork CRC has already made hundreds-of-thousands of dollars from the AusScan business and Rikard-Bell said the “future is bright” for R&D in the swine sector.
In the summer, the Australian pig body published research which found that using eco-shelters to house pigs can slash on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by a third. The research came after Pork CRC said in February 2016 that its pork industry is a "force to be reckoned with".