New benchmarking programme for pigs

Pig producers in Wales can now benchmark their business’ performance using a free bespoke computer programme developed by Menter Moch Cymru and Farming Connect.

Designed for all types of pig enterprises, the bi-lingual ‘Measure to Manage’ programme is the first of its kind and enables pig producers – small or large-scale – to analyse their business performance.

‘Measure to Manage’ allows producers in Wales to benchmark their business by recording their inputs, outputs, and herd performance over a set period. 

The user-friendly computer programme analyses the data based on targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) such as stock numbers and valuation, purchases and sales, performance data and running costs.

For breeding herds, the KPIs include farrowing rates, non-productive days, or the number of piglets born, weaned and sold. While the finisher section analysis includes daily live weight gain, average days to finish and feed conversion ratio. 

The data can be used to provide a year-on-year comparison, or compared anonymously against other pig enterprises, to help identify a business’s strengths and weaknesses.

Menter Moch Cymru Development Officer, Lauren Smith, said, “Measure to Manage is a useful tool for keeping on top of the cost of keeping pigs and the output at the end. Keeping on top of costs is crucial to running a profitable pig enterprise, especially at a time when input costs are high, as if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

Recording sheet - Menter Moch Cymru

Also, Menter Moch Cymru has designed a data collection book to help producers input the data into the ‘Measure to Manage’ programme. The book’s layout mirrors the pages of the programme, making the transfer of data quick and easy.

Cardiff pig producer, Ethan Williams, has been using the Menter Moch Cymru and Farming Connect ‘Measure to Manage’ online programme. He says the programme and booklet have been invaluable in helping him to manage the data associated with his pig business.

Ethan said, “I had been putting all the numbers into Excel, but with ‘Measure to Manage’, everything is much clearer and obvious – such as how much weight the stock has gained. It has made everything much more efficient.”

Lauren Smith said, “Anyone wanting more information or advice on how to use ‘Measure to Manage’ can contact Menter Moch Cymru (01970 636285) or Farming Connect (08456 000813). There is also a Youtube video of how to keep records:

The Menter Moch Cymru project is funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.