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Description, evaluation, and validation of the Teagasc Pig Production Model

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019 The Author(s).The Teagasc Pig Production Model (TPPM), a stochastic simulation model of a farrow-to-finish pig farm, was developed to investigate effects of changes in production systems on farm profitability. The model simulates, on a weekly basis, the annual production of a farm. Biological [e.g., herd size, number of litters/sow/year, and mortality rates (%)], physical (e.g., infrastructure), and technical (e.g., feeding practices) variables and their associated costs are included as components of the model. These inputs are used to calculate physical (e.g., feed usage and number of pigs slaughtered) and financial (e.g., annual cash flow, profit and loss account, and balance sheet) outputs. The model was validated using the Delphi method and by comparing the TPPM outputs to data recorded on 20 Irish pig farms through the Teagasc e-Profit monitor system and with complete receipts for the year 2016. Results showed that the TPPM closely simulates physical and financial performance of pig farms indicating that the TPPM can be used with confidence to study pig production systems under Irish conditions. Model applicability was demonstrated by investigating the impact of 2 changes in technical performance: 1) building of extra accommodation to increase body weight (BW) at sale by 15 kg (EXTRA ROOM) and 2) a change in feeding practices by providing finisher feed from 28 kg of BW (EARLY FINISHER) compared with over 38 kg of BW. In both scenarios, the same biological parameters were used. Mortality rates, feed ingredients costs, and price per kg of meat produced were included as stochastic variables with the input distributions derived based on historical data simulated using Monte Carlo sampling using the Microsoft Excel add-in @Risk. Annual mean net profit was €198,101 (90% confidence interval [CI]: €119,606-€275,539) for the TPPM base farm, €337,078 (90% CI: €246,320-€426,809) for the EXTRA ROOM, and €225,598 (90% CI: €146,685-€303,590) for the EARLY FINISHER. EXTRA ROOM was associated with higher costs and required higher income to cover the additional costs. The 90% CI of the EARLY FINISHER was similar to the TPPM base farm while the EXTRA ROOM scenario resulted in a wider confidence interval, suggesting that a change in feeding practices could be a better option for farmers looking to improve profit with minimum investment. Thus, the TPPM could be used to facilitate decision making in farrow-to-finish pig farms.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Diaz JAC, Shalloo L, Niemi JK, Kyriazakis I, McKeon M, McCutcheon G, Bohan A, Manzanilla EG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Animal Science

Year: 2019

Volume: 97

Issue: 7

Pages: 2803-2821

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 11/05/2019

Acceptance date: 10/05/2019

Date deposited: 05/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0021-8812

ISSN (electronic): 1525-3163

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jas/skz163

PubMed id: 31077274


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