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 Light green plants save nitrogen without sacrificing photosynthetic efficiency
21.11.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Desert ants cannot be fooled

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

By saving cost and energy, the lighting revolution may increase light pollution

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>