Well over 700 people attended the Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) from all over Canada and internationally. Canada’s top pig producers, industry specialists and decision makers represented nearly 80% of the attendees, and nearly a quarter were pig producers. Overall, presentations and discussions could impact many of Canada’s 1.2 million sows and, since 8 of the top 16 USA Mega Producers (Pork Powerhouse) were present, influencing >2.0 million sows in total.
Key players from all sectors of the industry, including production, veterinary, feed, genetics, pharmaceuticals, and provincial pork organizations were in attendance. This audience represents a goldmine for academics to share their research and to hear what questions they need answering for the future success of the industry.
During the conference, Hypor announced a new research partnership with Gentec supported by an Alliance grant from NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada). This 4-year project will identify the underlying genetic and phenotypic relationships between different traits in order to achieve more balanced selection to improve sow lifetime productivity, production profitability and sustainability. Greg Simpson, General Manager at Hypor North America, stated “This is an incredible opportunity to work collaboratively with world class researchers to further knowledge on sow longevity.” See article here .
The project is based on Gentec’s core principal of “Research into Reality”. “From this project, we will be able to provide recommendations for the management of gilts, sows and their progeny to deliver improved performance at the commercial producer level.”
BPS continues put on an excellent program hosting world-class speakers and a blend of plenary speakers and practical breakout sessions. Banks Baker from PIC spoke on the role that genetic improvement plays in a sustainable food system. He noted how genetic improvements address problems and reduce impacts before they occur, that raising the right animal is critical to the sustainability of protein production (i.e., healthy, robust pigs are more profitable, and reduce environmental impact). PIC believes that technology advances such as gene editing are a part of future animal health, delivering value and supporting improvement across the full value chain.
Dr. David Rosero in the “Technology” breakout stated that, “Swine production systems are rapidly adopting smart farming technologies to address the increasing pressure of higher production costs and the limited access to qualified labour”. At Gentec, we see that imaging technologies will allow us to collect difficult-to-measure phenotypic traits that also play an important role in implementing genomics.