Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antibiotic use on swine farms increases efficiency, profits

17.12.2003


Antibiotics used on swine farms may stir controversy about their potential role in the rise of anti-bacterial resistance, but a new study says their use means significant production efficiency and a 9 percent boost in pork producer profits.



The study, published in the December issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, provides an economically detailed look at the use of antibiotics for growth promotion following dramatic changes that have altered the face of the U.S. swine industry in the last three decades. It is based on industry statistics compiled in the 1990s.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that for average modern-day swine facilities antibiotics boost daily growth and reduce swine death rates during the growth-finisher stage of production. Swine farmers operating a 1,020-head finishing barn, researchers found, realize a profit of 59 cents per pig in annual returns.


"Antibiotics used for growth promotion have a positive impact on production efficiency and producer profitability," said principal investigator Gay Y. Miller, a professor of veterinary pathobiology and of agricultural and consumer economics.

"When production is more efficient, there are more products for consumers at lower prices. Improved efficiency also means that fewer numbers of animals are needed to provide the same amount of product. Using less resources takes fewer farms to produce the same amount of pork, less manure is generated and you see a reduction of other environmental concerns."

Antibiotics have been used widely at subtherapeutic levels for livestock production since the 1950s, but such use has been questioned in recent years because of the rise of antibiotic resistance in human and veterinary medicine.

A previous study by Iowa State University had found the benefit of antibiotic use in the swine industry to be almost five times higher than the findings of the new research. However, that study, Miller said, used European statistics.

The new study looks solely at the U.S. industry, which has become concentrated, with large production facilities and advances in genetics and production approaches. A preliminary analysis of even newer data, she said, suggests that productivity and profit estimates may be somewhat higher, though still not as high as those found in the Iowa State research.

The newly published study suggests that a ban on antibiotic use, as has occurred in Denmark, would result in sharp increases in production costs at U.S. facilities, said co-author Paul E. McNamara, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

"Many analysts speak about sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics as if it had no production value at all," McNamara said. "This view is puzzling to both producers and economists, since antibiotics used in animal agriculture constitute a significant input into the industry. With the competitive pressures producers face, if the input did not provide a significant production benefit, we would expect producers to drop its use in order to save money and realize higher profits.

"Our results help to quantify the magnitude of this input’s importance in today’s production environment," he said. "Understanding its importance and role in production is necessary if we are going to shape antibiotic-use policies that consider both the public health risks of an application as well as the economic benefits of its use."

The study also found that antibiotic use might be curtailed at facilities that adjust their feed rations at five or more times to adjust for nutritional needs in various growth and finishing stages. Such an approach reduced the financial gain of antibiotics, but it did not work at facilities adjusting food ratios four or fewer times. Additional work is needed to understand how antibiotics provide specific benefits in the various production phases.

In addition to Miller and McNamara, Kenneth A. Algozin, a former postdoctoral researcher at Illinois, and Eric J. Bush, a veterinary epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contributed to the study.


The study was funded in part by the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research

Jim Barlow | UIUC
Further information:
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/scitips/03/1216pigs.html
http://www.uiuc.edu/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

nachricht Ecological intensification of agriculture
09.09.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Multiferroic Materials from Building Blocks

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Silicon Fluorescent Material Developed Enabling Observations under a Bright “Biological Optical Window”

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

X-shape Bio-inspired Structures

29.09.2016 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>