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Improving pig system performance through a whole system approach

Challenge - Current EU pig production has suboptimal resource utilisation, resulting in unnecessarily high emissions and wastes. At the same time, animal welfare is of increasing concern, farmers are struggling to maintain economic competitiveness and the public image of the sector is poor.

Objectives - PigSys will address these issues by the adoption of a multi-disciplinary, system level approach to pig production systems. A model of mass and energy flows and Decision Support system, as well as novel building climate control systems, will be developed to underpin sustainable improvement in system performance and increase animal welfare.

Expected results - A whole system model of energy and mass flows and decision support system will be provided, as well as measurement and control devices for improved barn climate control and animal welfare. Other outputs include ‘big data’ to support barn and control system design, sound LCA and LCCA, increased animal welfare and performance, and increased sustainability of production through increased resource efficiency. The goal is also to reduce emissions, waste and carbon footprint, and improve the public perception of the sector. In addition, decreased production costs will increase the competitiveness of the sector.

Potential Impact - By taking a cross-scale, multi-disciplinary approach, the project will ensure that all aspects relevant for the development of sustainable, socially acceptable and economically viable pig production systems are adequately addressed.

Coordinated by: Dr. Barbara Sturm - University of Kassel (GERMANY) - Contact

Funded by: BMEL, DAFA, ANR, VIAA, Formas and DEFRA as part of the ERA-NET Cofund SusAn through a virtual common pot model including EU Top-Up funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 696231).

7 research partners:

  • DENMARK: SEGES Pig Research Centre
  • FRANCE: French Institute for Agricultural Research and Institut du Porc
  • GERMANY: Thuringian State Institute for Agriculture
  • LATVIA: Latvia University of Agriculture
  • SWEDEN: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • UNITED KINGDOM: Newcastle University

More information

This project has been funded by BMEL, DAFA, ANR, VIAA, FORMAS and DEFRA as a part of the ERA-Net Cofund SusAn (grantnr 696231) through a virtual common pot model with EU top-up.