DNA Genetics recently completed its first performance test on 200 boars at the newly built InSight™ Performance Center. The $4 million state-of-the-art facility collects feed intake data, which is used to help select traits that improve a pig's growth rate throughout its life.
"We are committed to keeping North American swine operations profitable," says Tom Rathje, Ph.D., MBA, chief technical officer at DNA Genetics. "The InSight Performance Center allows us to measure and select key traits that provide pork producers with the best genetics for greater gains and improved performance."
The InSight Performance Center collects feed intake data on boars from three nucleus breeds: Duroc, Yorkshire and Landrace. This means that DNA Genetics is able to gather real-world information from more than 7,500 boars each year. There are three other testing sites located in Nebraska and South Dakota. Once boars are tested, they are selected for either customer shipments or reproduction at DNA Genetics nucleus farms to drive future genetic improvement.
Throughout the 12-week testing period, advanced technologies record performance indicators that are valued by packers and producers. Live ultrasound measures backfat and loin depth. The FIRE™ feeding systems record feed intake and provide data on feed efficiency.
"These important data points are tracked and used to increase the accuracy needed to make industry-leading genetic progress," says Rathje. "North American producers are able to use these tested traits to their advantage on their own operations."
Thanks to a bio-secure observatory conference room, the public can observe boars going on and off test. The viewing area is open to groups and individuals who want to further understand the swine genetics industry and how the animals are cared for and housed. DNA Genetics is transparent in how they conduct their business and believes they have a responsibility to educate the public on how pork is raised.
Learn more about DNA Genetics and the new InSight Performance Center at DNASwineGenetics.com/swine-genetics-insight-performance-center.html.