Reducing GHG Emissions and Improving Protein Efficiency in Pigs
Selecting more feed efficient animals that produce more high-quality protein.
It seems very timely to be talking about the environmental impact of livestock farming as Glasgow currently host COP26. We are all aware of the challenges Livestock production faces, but you will be pleased to know we are working hard to reduce our impact while improving profitability. Read on to understand more:
GHG emissions from pig farming are in the form of methane and nitrous oxide. Methane is released during feed digestion and manure management whilst nitrous oxide is released both when manure is stored and when it is used as an organic fertiliser.
Feed protein is broken down into amino acids in the pigs intestine and then absorbed. Unabsorbed protein or amino acids are found in the manure and unused amino acids leave the body as urine, both then broken down to nitrous oxide.
Selecting the most feed efficient animals with a low FCR and feeding these animals their optimum rations will lead to reduced GHG emissions and ultimately improve economic performance.
These bi products of pig production are also great for reducing the reliance on man made fertilisers and much more cost effective.
Below is a case study completed by Topigs Norsvin in relation to reducing emissions of pigs.
In Norway, TN has several research projects to improve protein efficiency in pigs, ensure high resource utilisation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The goal is to breed pigs that utilise protein more efficiently to reduce the excretion of nitrogen in manure and hence reduce GHG emissions from the pig. Nitrogen efficiency has a heritability of around 20% and is favourably related to feed efficiency, which is already a part of the breeding program.
With this existing breeding program, GHG emissions of pork have already been reduced by 1.2% per year for the last decade. Based on the results of 632 Norwegian farms, the GHG emissions is 2.3 kg CO2e / kg carcass. This means that pork has equal or even lower GHG emissions compared with plant- and lab-based meat substitutes, and the emissions are lower than those for chicken and fish too.
As you can see, we are already breeding more efficient pigs that are better for the environment and the bank account. If you have not already, why not swap to the TN70 and cross it with our exceptional Tempo sire line to improve your efficiency and benefit the environment.