The team SIC Sterksel has taken the initiative for a new item ‘Farmers advice’ in this newsletter. Animal care takers and innovation managers share in this item their practical tips for managing a pig farm with all pig farmers. In this newsletter the focus is on the efficient feeding and watering of piglets and fattening pigs. This is the basis for a healthy pig population and in that way it determines the profitability of the pig farm. The ‘Farmers advice’ is there to stay also in the coming newsletters. A nice challenge for the team to prove once again that SIC Sterksel has to offer something of interest for all pig producers.
The uncertainty of the future of SIC Sterksel has triggered our team to start the initiative for the item “Farmers advice”. The animal care takers and innovation managers all have warm feelings for pig farming. Some of them even have a pig farm at home and are in the picture to take over the farm from their parents. The critical remarks of a small group of pig farmers through social media, on for example Pro Dromi farrowing housing, undocked pig tails, innovative pig housing, group housing of sows 4 days after insemination and SIC Sterksel in general are not received well by the team. It is a misperception that SIC Sterksel conducts applied pig research on their own account. Since years the pig industry and government have taken a joined responsibility for financing the research program on market innovations and societal concerns. De added value of SIC Sterksel for the pig farmers lies in conducting scientifically sound research with a high risk for the pig farmer. Much attention is paid to involve both innovative pig farmers and representatives of the pig farmers organizations and government. Working this way has the advantage that economic damage resulting from too early introduction of market innovations or new legislation on the pig farm is avoided.
SIC Sterksel has the ambition to prove its added value for the pig industry now and in the future. With the loss of the financial means for applied research via the product board it is crucial that other private organizations take their responsibility. We are positive that the new producers organization of the pig farmers has announced that they consider the coordination and financing of applied research as one of their important tasks. A statement that is echoed also by other organizations in the pig production chain and the more than 60 companies that are member of the Partnership SIC Sterksel. Let’s conclude with a farmers advice from me: “keep investing in applied research in the pig production chain, because without innovation there is no future for the pig industry!”
(manager VIC Sterksel)