An overview of Irish pig production, research and knowledge transfer since 1960
AuthorBoyle, Laura A.
Garcia Manzanilla, Edgar
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CitationL.A. Boyle, C. Carroll and L. Clarke et al. An overview of Irish pig production, research and knowledge transfer since 1960. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research. DOI: 10.15212/ijafr-2020-0153
AbstractPig production in Ireland has gone through enormous changes during the past 60 yr, from pigs being primarily produced as a sideline on dairy farms, to an industry with one of the highest average herd sizes in Europe. This happened in part due to external pressure on the industry, whereby economies of scale were needed to compete with pigs produced in other countries, but largely due to the instigation of national programmes to support the pig industry through research, education and knowledge transfer. These efforts helped producers to take advantage of genetic improvements and monitor their own performance over time, as well as allowing for benchmarking of the national herd against other countries. The research programme initiated in the 1960s continues to grow and expand, providing the pig industry with internationally renowned data and knowledge in the areas of nutrition, animal welfare, the environment and energy use. Recent initiatives such as the establishment of the Teagasc and Irish Farmers Association Pig Joint Programme, and a Pig Health Check section in Animal Health Ireland, will help to promote further cross-collaboration between stakeholders in the pig industry, and enable it to rise to the challenges of the years ahead.
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