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Pork publications

1 April 2020

It is vital to monitor water use in pig production for improved efficiency and cost control

9 April 2020

This section provides guidance on water system setup and maintenance, the importance and methods of maintaining water quality and how to avoid waste. It also explores water supply management.

25 March 2020

A template checklist for inducting new employees

24 March 2020

Canadian consumers are ethnically diverse which has a profound influence on the foods purchased and eaten. We discover what the opportunities are for British meat, dairy and potatoes.

6 April 2020

Vietnamese consumers have growing incomes and there is an increasing appetite for high-value imported foods. Food safety and health and wellness are priorities when choosing food.

16 March 2020

This report examines the relative costs of pig meat production up to farmgate level in selected countries (data relates to 2018).

3 April 2020

The April 2020 edition of our monthly UK Pig Meat Market Update is now available, providing the latest on prices, production, international trade, consumption and the feed market.

26 March 2020

Reduce the risk of disease entering your pig unit by making sure all visitors follow this biosecurity policy

26 March 2020

Essential guidance to keep vehicles from bringing disease on to pig farms

11 March 2020

The EU trading situation with China has changed significantly over the past 18 months, in this report we address how this might affect our original analysis.

3 February 2020

In this section you will find information on the nutrient content of organic materials such as manures, compost and digestate.

3 February 2020

The AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) offers best practice guidance on the application of fertilisers and organic materials to crops and grassland.

30 January 2020

This factsheet takes you through the steps required to deep clean a farm drinking system.

16 January 2020

Develop a basic understanding of pork yield figures from farm to plate. This guide sets out a range of individual cuts and muscles taken from the primal cuts, from which weights have been taken to calculate the overall yield.

18 February 2020

Find out what makes soil and how it is classified. Discover common soil-related issues and how to manage them.

4 December 2019

Learn how to be compliant with rodenticide use guidelines

27 November 2019

The eating-out market grew over the last year, with breakfast gaining the most visits. While pork has increased occasions slightly, beef, lamb and potatoes have seen declines. We take a look at new trends affecting the market, including the environment, health and provenance.

22 November 2019

The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how lean pork can be promoted to consumers accurately using scientifically substantiated nutrition and health claims expressed in consumer-friendly language.

3 March 2020

All the latest facts and figures from the UK pig industry. From pig numbers to costs of production to imports, exports and consumption.

13 January 2020

Celebrations and seasonal events boost food spend significantly. Explore how Christmas, Easter, Halloween and other events affect sales of meat, dairy and potatoes.

22 October 2019

It's important to measure light, make sure any new installations have timers fitted and provide uniform lighting for pigs. This guide covers the principles of light in relation to pig production, both from a behavioural point of view and from optimising production.

22 October 2019

Key factors to consider when choosing lighting for pig units. This includes the requirements at different stages of production, as well as measuring light and selecting systems.

22 October 2019

A review of lights currently available for pig buildings.

16 January 2020

A range of cuts created from the forequarter that aim to stimulate new ideas in the retail and foodservice sector.

15 October 2019

We explore how engaged consumers are with food production issues, which elements of the food system are most trusted, how demonstrating shared values can boost trust, where consumers get their information from and will look at potential barriers to trust in the future.

16 September 2019

Online is one of the fastest growing channels in grocery. However, red meat under-trades online and has specific barriers that prevent it from being bought more frequently. We look at the shopper journey for customers buying meat online and compare how it differs to shopping in store.

22 August 2019

Keeping pigs is a satisfying experience but, before making the decision to become a keeper, you need to know the basics. This guide takes you through the key areas you need to be aware of and provides contacts for additional information.

19 July 2019

Output from the UK beef and sheep livestock sector exceeds £5 billion equating to 20% of gross output. The UK imports and exports large volumes of both beef and lamb with trade taking place in both directions as a result of seasonal variations, states of product and carcase balancing activities.

27 November 2019

Explore the benefits of developing your team, and put this into practice using a Skills Matrix

10 July 2019

This report introduces the use of slurry cooling and associated heat recovery in the reduction of ammonia emissions from stored pig slurry.

9 July 2019

This report recounts the activities of the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) during 2017 and 2018. This has been a challenging time, with the PHWC working to enable the industry to introduce changes in practices that are necessary to meet the targets in respect of reducing antibiotic usage and driving up welfare standards across production systems.

10 July 2019

This guide will take you through the process of preparing a contingency plan, for example, if you are placed in a restriction zone. It also contains a 'key contacts' template for you to fill in and print.

9 April 2020

The latest research and advice on grass, forage and soil management to help improve grassland productivity on livestock farms

26 November 2019

Tap into opportunities for meat, dairy and potatoes across Asia by exploring its diverse and changing needs

11 March 2020

Is the meaning of 'health' evolving? We explore how health is increasingly subjective, how the supply chain is reacting to these changing needs, as well as opportunities for the future.

2 January 2020

In this webinar we will look at the benefits of taking a step back and assessing what you do in your day-to-day activities.

22 January 2020

Useful, fact-based info about red meat and the environment

29 April 2019

Useful advice to help livestock farmers, deal with, or plan for, water supply disruption.

12 April 2019

Understand how different Brexit scenarios could affect your farm business incomes

30 January 2020

Poor water quality can negatively affect pig health. To dislodge biofilm and disinfect water systems, a shock treatment with a high concentration of a suitable chemical is recommended.

18 March 2019

In the first four years of the Real Welfare Scheme, over 8 million pigs were individually assessed by specially trained vets to provide a credible, benchmarked level of welfare at both an industry and an individual farm level. This report summarises the findings from the first four years.

13 March 2019

Cull sow prices are potentially very sensitive to a no-deal Brexit, as at the moment cull sow carcases are typically exported to Europe. Under a no-deal scenario, this trade would face additional tariffs, and a lack of alternative markets means farmgate sow prices would be expected to fall. While income from cull sow sales makes up a relatively small percentage of producer incomes, this change would be unwelcome at a time when producers are, on average, already in a loss-making situation.

23 May 2019

This short factsheet is a starter's guide to what microorganisms, pathogens and pests inhabit the soil and the benefits or drawbacks of each of them.

23 May 2019

Soils contain a very high diversity of organisms. These soil organisms interact with one another and the chemical and physical properties of the soil to drive soil processes.

19 February 2019

Find out about the link between mineral levels, water system efficiency, and pig growth and health.

12 February 2020

Calculate the cost of farm machinery, per hectare or per hour, with this simple calculator.

3 June 2019

Understand how agri-food trade could be affected once the UK leaves the EU, under both an agreed withdrawal and under a ‘no deal’ scenario.

12 July 2019

Find out how Pork trade could be affected once the UK leaves the EU, under both an agreed withdrawal and under a ‘no deal’ scenario.

4 March 2020

All the latest analysis on weather events and their effect on farming and growing

6 March 2020

Find out what's changed in RB209

18 January 2019

This factsheet discusses how to provide adequate, good quality drinking water to pigs. It includes details on flow rates, drinker heights and drinker requirements.

17 January 2019

Identify the early warning signs and take early action which can help prevent tail biting. This poster is helpful for training unit staff and particularly useful for new starters.

16 October 2019

The ‘think soils’ manual is a practical guide to soil assessment. It aims to help farmers, land managers, government and non-government advisers to recognise problems with erosion and runoff from agricultural land. Our changing climate makes this issue increasingly important.

6 March 2020

Share the facts about red meat and nutrition with these useful graphics and messages

26 November 2019

The United States has some of the highest levels of food consumption in the world. We discover how their desire for low cost but high quality affect consumer demand and how premium British products could stand out in this highly competitive market.

26 November 2019

Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly wealthy and their dietary patterns are changing. We take a look at how these changes are affecting demand for imported food and where the opportunities lie for exporters to China.

26 November 2019

Japan's consumers are wealthy, highly urbanised and ageing. They seek convenient meals to fit around their busy lives and have a strong interest in health and wellbeing. We identify opportunities in Japan for exporters of British foods.

23 May 2019

Soil organic matter is the term used for all living, or once-living, materials within, or added to, the soil. This factsheet takes a closer look at how you can measure and add soil organic matter.

16 August 2019

As the UK population continues to age, the older consumers grow in influence. How do we meet their needs for convenience and healthy ageing? Does the older customer still want to eat meat and two veg and a roast on a Sunday? We discover the evolving needs of those aged 55 and over and how they are embracing change.

6 August 2019

Don’t get left in the dark. Tackle hidden costs caused by disease that would otherwise remain unseen and join 300 other businesses that are receiving valuable data for their herds through the Pig Health Scheme.

7 May 2019

This outlook is based on the latest data available, combining feedback and insight from contacts across the agri-food industry with AHDB sector specialists’ expertise. What follows is an examination of the factors affecting different sectors. Whether you’re using it for business planning, aiming to understand the market dynamics or just interested in a flavour of what agriculture faces in the year ahead, I hope you find this publication useful and informative.

26 November 2018

The latest publication in this series of annual reports examines the relative costs of pig meat production up to farmgate level in selected countries; all figures relate to 2017.

21 November 2018

The UK is now facing productivity constraints that, as yet, remain unconquered. It is critical that these constraints are addressed so UK agriculture and horticulture can compete in an increasingly global market, and secure its future. This is particularly important in the context of a post-Brexit UK, and uncertainty over future levels of direct support and trade agreements. It is not only physical constraints that are facing the UK. Although predominant, most publicised factors, e.g. yield plateaus, the weather and environmental factors, there are also many contributing structural, behavioural and regulatory constraints. This publication presents the findings of a stakeholder consultation that aimed to understand the constraints considered most limiting by the industry.

19 November 2018

This farm case study demonstrates the importance of sampling water on farm and the benefits that can be observed by carrying out a deep clean through shock dosing.

23 May 2019

Soil health is the ability of a soil to sustain, in the long term, its most important functions. A healthy soil will be able to sustain crop and livestock productivity and maintain or enhance environmental benefits. It requires a good balance of physical, chemical and biological soil properties, many of which can be tested.

15 October 2019

What really drives consumers to buy particular products? We explore pre- and in-store influences across different meats, cuts and shopper missions; guiding retailer and producer strategies to improve category performance.

27 November 2019

The value of the eating-out market is nearly as big as retail, highlighting its importance to understand as a category. Find out about market performance, with a deep dive on proteins, and wider category trends.

7 November 2018

This guide aims to give practical advice to pig farmers surrounding the complex issue of providing suitable environmental enrichment to pigs. The information is set out in sections by housing type, and in each, the types of enrichment that are most suited to each system are discussed.

6 November 2018

Many of the current intensive livestock production systems require the provision of a controlled environment for housed stock. This handbook covers some of the fundamental principles involved in controlled environment. Some practical systems and equipment are illustrated and design examples are given in the appendices.

5 November 2018

This factsheet provides guidance on the assessment of water quality for pigs

5 November 2018

This factsheet explains how the mineral content of water can affect pig health and unit infrastructure

5 November 2018

This factsheet includes examples of water contaminants and their sources, as well as potential counter-measures to address the source of contamination

31 October 2018

This directory sets out the wide range of partnerships we have with farm businesses across the country, the unique stories and challenges they are tackling and how we are working collectively in an open, honest environment to drive productivity.

13 November 2019

Learn the things which set the highest-performing farms apart from the rest and improve your own farm performance

23 May 2019

AHDB has revealed eight key factors that are the hallmarks of high performing farm businesses in a new report

27 March 2019

The UK retail scene has seen enormous structural change over the last decade, driven by technology, new entrants and changing demands.

9 April 2020

All our resources on identifying and stopping the spread of African Swine Fever

13 August 2018

Some of the alternative bedding materials mentioned here can be used in conjunction with traditional cereal straw, either to replace it or offset the increased cost and allow straw-bedding supplies to go further

15 August 2018

Alternative feeds, such as root and forage crops and some food industry co-products, become more attractive as the price of cereals and soya rise.

22 August 2018

Around 10 per cent of feed may be wasted on a typical farrow-to-finish unit. Improve or start recording feed conversion ratio (FCR) in all stages of production to allow better decision-making.

13 August 2018

With potentially increasing feed costs, it may become more profitable to finish pigs at a lower slaughter weight, with a reduced feed input

15 August 2018

Feed is the largest cost of production for the pig industry, making up around 60 per cent of total costs. Effective savings in this area can help mitigate price volatility.

16 August 2019

Report on the topic of the growth of vegans, flexitarians and plant-based food.

30 July 2018

A webinar to demonstrate the electronic medicines book

3 August 2018

Pigs kept outdoors are particularly vulnerable to radiant heat gain and it is important that they have access to shade in sunny weather. There are a number of ways in which producers can minimise heat stress

22 January 2020

This guide outlines the basic principles of field drainage, including information on installation and maintenance. It also emphasises the importance of good soil structure and includes information on subsoiling.

18 March 2020

Tools, market insight and farmer views on dealing with the heat wave and resulting drought

12 March 2019

Foodservice is an entry point for world cuisines into our lives but who are the biggest players and who is at risk of losing out?

8 April 2020

Targeted at managers of arable-based systems who are thinking about livestock opportunities for the first time, this guide includes sections on leys, cover crops, forage crops, maize, outdoor pig production and manures.

27 August 2019

The UK undoubtedly has some of the most productive, dynamic and inspirational farming and growing businesses in the world.

17 January 2020

Project 3: Molecular approaches for routine soil-borne disease and soil health assessment - establishing the scope

26 September 2018

African Swine Fever affects pigs and has a devastating impact on productivity and the ability of a country to sell pork. Biosecurity is the first line of defence against disease. Biosecurity applies on the farm and when travelling, particularly to and from areas where ASF has been confirmed

4 October 2018

The original EPI (electrostatic particle ionisation) trial at Harper Adams university pig unit concluded in September 2016 that pigs kept under the EPI equipment were significantly less likely to have enzootic pneumonia (EP) like lesions.

25 February 2019

eMB-Pigs is an electronic medicine book. It's a safe and convenient way to record usage so producers can understand and optimise their antibiotic use. eMB is a Red Tractor assurance scheme requirement. Annual, aggregated records of antibiotic use must be kept, including antibiotics in feed

15 July 2019

Pig Pro is a FREE online training recording system accessed through Pig Hub. It allows approved training providers to make their training available to any interested user. It enables automatic recording of training and certification confirmation at at individual user level.

26 November 2018

Poor feed and straw quality can present a risk to the physical performance of breeding and finishing herds. Reducing the risk of Mycotoxins in straw is key. There is much research on mycotoxins and their effect on animal health however, little is known about their chronic effects at low levels.

26 November 2018

Heat stress will increase the pigs respiration rate in an attempt to keep cool. Animals will seek opportunities for cooling, ie wallowing, soiling pen and lying in urine. If the pig cannot cool itself sufficiently it will collapse and, in the worst scenario, die.

12 March 2019

This market analysis will provide levy payers with an invaluable top-line estimate of the performance of red meat in the out-of-home (OOH) food market

18 March 2020

This report explores key areas in which young consumers’ habits differ from the rest of the population and considers what challenges and opportunities this may pose for the food and agriculture industries.

11 October 2018

In this report we explore opportunities for livestock products, from the beef, sheep meat, pork and dairy sectors.

18 July 2019

AHDB’s series of Horizon reports has previously looked at some of the issues that will be critical in shaping the agri-food sector following Brexit.

3 August 2018

Heat stress must be avoided in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and reduced productivity in indoor herds

9 August 2018

Pig Pro is a FREE online training recording system accessed through Pig Hub. It allows business users to record details of staff training and development and provides easy access to evidence for assurance schemes.

10 August 2018

The pocketbook contains details about the size and structure of the industry, plus data on Pig numbers, abattoirs, slaughterings, livestock and meat prices, imports and exports, consumption, feed prices and classification

10 August 2018

Water is key for health, welfare and productivity. Sampling water may be an assurance scheme requirement. You may also wish to test minerals, flow rate and temperature to assess quality and quantity of a new supply or to investigate issues such as poor water intake or blocked pipes and filters

13 August 2018

The Yearbook provides updates on the work undertaken by AHDB during the previous year. Teams from knowledge exchange, research & innovations, health & welfare, consumer marketing, exports, market intelligence, consumber insight and the pork strategy director all share details of progess on projects

4 October 2018

All staff tagging piglets should have read the associated risk assessment and method statement (RAMS).

4 October 2018

AHDB Pork Weighing and Handling Systems

4 October 2018

Electrostatic particle ionization (EPI) is an air cleaning system designed for reducing dust, microbial load and gases in a contained environment.

7 November 2018

The 'Don’t bring it home!' poster is aimed at workers in the pig industry and those involved with moving pigs. It warns that diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF) can be carried in pigmeat, which is harmful if fed to pigs

20 March 2019

In order to better-understand the implications of Brexit for the Lake District, the Lake District National Park authority requested that the AHDB use the model developed by Informa Agribusiness Consulting to investigate the impact of the three Brexit scenarios on the income of grazing farms in the Lake District National Park. The AHDB commissioned Informa Agribusiness Consulting to carry out this work.

11 April 2019

Antibiotics are a medicine that in most cases should only be used to treat bacterial infections. Over-prescribing and the unnecessary use of antibiotics can increase the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Livestock producers have a responsibility to protect human and animal health by using antibiotics responsibly in order to minimise the risk of antibiotic resistance (AMR).

23 May 2019

Soil water supply is critical to managing the yield and quality of high-value horticultural crops. Improving soil health can benefit the supply of water from irrigation and rainfall by increasing infiltration rates and water-holding capacity.

11 September 2019

Staff appraisals provide an opportunity for a conversation between an employee and line manager to review and plan the employee's performance

28 November 2019

A list of companies that offer soil testing services and possibly forage analyses

11 December 2019

Meetings are important to ensure everyone is working together to achieve your business goals. But when they happen, many meetings are not structured, recorded or valued.

17 January 2020

Tips, tools and advice on slurry and manure management to help dairy, pig and beef farmers to reduce costs, add value and protect the environment.

7 February 2020

Reseeding is an important part of grassland management on any farm and is essential for maintaining productive grassland.

1 April 2020

Guidance on how to manage waste water and field drainage

1 April 2020

Guidance on the rules and regulations around water use on your farm

30 March 2020

Read more about the latest market trends in the pork sector, from production to consumption

18 March 2020

Within this report, we investigate whether the EU referendum is likely to deliver a boost for domestic growers and producers on the back of improved consumer sentiment towards buying British. We look at how shopper behaviour may be impacted going forward and look to see if there is any evidence of change so far.

26 March 2020

How to reduce the spread of disease to keep your pig unit healthy and cost-efficient

26 March 2020

Understand the basic steps of cleaning and disinfection to keep your pig unit healthy and productive

26 March 2020

Important advice on managing biosecurity risks on your pig unit site

30 March 2020

Download this letter template to issue to workers making essential journeys for the food supply chain.

13 August 2018

Large roundworms (Ascaris suum) are endoparasites which cause milk spot liver and are the most prevalent of worms affecting pig productivity

13 August 2018

Strawing up farrowing arcs correctly can help combat piglet mortality in outdoor systems by reducing heat loss

13 August 2018

Creep feeding is feeding a solid diet to piglets while they are suckling, preparing their digestive system for weaning. Creep feed initiates gut enzyme development, enabling the piglet to digest nutrients and encouraging feed intake, one of the greatest challenges to post-weaning performance.

13 August 2018

Killing-out percentage (KO%) determines how much saleable carcase weight is obtained from the live pig. The most valuable part of the pig is the meat ontained in the carcase. Producers are paid on the weight of the carcase and an assessment of its leanness, rather than the weight of the live animal.

13 August 2018

At weaning, piglets experience multiple challenges: stress of leaving the sow, mixing with other pigs, establishing a new 'pecking order', new environment, change of diet and a health challenge. Daily liveweight gain, which can be 300g/day prior to weaning can be reduced to 200g/day

13 August 2018

Biosecurity; measures taken to limit spread of diseases within farm and from one farm to another, or from outside. Reducing spread of disease helps to maintain unit health, reduce cost of disease and maintain productivity. It should be part of every unit’s disease risk management programme.

13 August 2018

Piglets need warmth after birth as energy reserves to produce body heat are limited. They are also born with no immunity so need colostrum soon after birth a min 100ml per kg of birthweight within 16 hours is crucial to provide the energy, nutrients and antibodies to survive

13 August 2018

Colostrum is produced following farrowing. It contains essential antibodies (immunoglobulins) for the health of the newborn piglet; antibodies kill bacteria and viruses. Piglets are born with very few protecting antibodies and rely on colostrum to defend against bacteria and viruses.

13 August 2018

Feed makes up ~76% of variable and ~56% of total costs. It may be possible to decrease the cost by switching to a cheaper ration or purchasing in larger quantities, but it can also be achieved through simple, practical actions to minimise feed wastage and to improve the efficiency of utilisation

13 August 2018

Sow body condition is a critical factor affecting health, welfare, productivity and longevity. Maintaining optimum condition of the breeding herd throughout the sow’s lifetime, will help reproductive performance, production efficiency, strategic culling decisions and mortality rates

13 August 2018

Ventilation systems can improve living conditions. An efficient ventilation system draws fresh air in and removes stale air along with microbes, dust, harmful gases and water vapour. Inefficient ventilation is detrimental to pig and staff performance (particularly on hot days) and costs more to run

13 August 2018

Understanding /meeting the contract specification and increasing the uniformity of finished pigs will help improve financial returns. This factsheet will help you review your contract, taking into account your location, pig production system and current grading.

13 August 2018

Improving the number of pigs born alive and piglet survival rate through to weaning has a significant impact on profitability – an increase of 1.7 pigs weaned per litter (the difference between average and top 10% performance) improves net margin by £120 per sow per annum.

13 August 2018

It is important to keep the cost of producing piglets to a minimum to enable you to maximise profitability at sale. Knowing how your breeding herd performs helps you to identify where and how to concentrate your time, effort and investment to improve performance and reduce the cost of production.

13 August 2018

Good management/selection of gilts is key to maintaining a productive herd. 20–25% of production should be from gilts. A 45%+ replacement rate means nearly half the herd will be replaced in the year. Performance from and management of this parity therefore has a large impact on overall productivity

13 August 2018

Accurate heat detection is essential for the correct timing of insemination. However, heat is often missed or misdiagnosed because the signs are overlooked.

13 August 2018

Inseminating at the right time is essential to achieve the best farrowing rates and litter sizes. Follow the guidelines below to ensure good timing, successful insemination and improved reproductive performance. Know your herd, keep records, understand the process

13 August 2018

The lower critical temperature for neonatal piglets is approximately 34ºC. On an outdoor unit it's more difficult to achieve precise temperature control. The provision of substrates such as straw, to build a nest and provide insulation and warmth are therefore important considerations

13 August 2018

Lifetime productivity is not related to backfat alone, but overall fitness. Body mass is important, gilts should be fed a diet that creates both fat and lean meat deposition. Where gilts have a high growth rate, or problems have been an issue, feed intake should be restricted to 80–90% of appetite

13 August 2018

Gilts arriving on outdoor units may have come from indoor systems. Environment change can create problems during the acclimatisation period. Incoming gilts should be managed well and isolated for at least four weeks to avoid a health breakdown.

13 August 2018

Achieving successful isolation, acclimatisation and integration of incoming gilts is the first stage of any good gilt replacement plan. Maintaining the health status ensures productivity so it's important to know the disease profile of incoming stock and the receiving herd