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Canadian Centre for
Swine Improvement Inc.

National Improvement Program
National Improvement Program

Program Benefits Program Benefits
  • One of the world's largest super-nucleus populations to bring you faster genetic gains for the traits the market wants;
  • Predictable results from stable genetic sources through the use of well defined breeds with traceable pedigrees;
  • Independent and verifiable public information on genetic quality and health status, so you can trust the results;
  • Internationally recognized as a first class program and evaluation system;
  • Reliable, high performance breeding stock which have been the popular choice in over 50 countries world wide.
To remain competitive, you need to continually improve the economic performance of your operation. The National Swine Improvement Program gives you the edge you need to make the breeding program decisions that pay off.
Picking the Right Genetics Picking the Right Genetics
Choosing breeding stock with top genetics from the Canadian National Improvement Program can put extra profit in your pocket. Genetic evaluations are computed for back fat, age at 100 kg and pigs born per litter. These evaluations general Estimated Breeding Values, or EBVs.
Taking the Guesswork out of Genetics Taking the Guesswork out of Genetics
EBVs are your evidence of genetic performance. Ask your breeding stock supplier to give you the numbers. EBVs allow you to compare all pigs in the National Program. It is one of the biggest super-nucleus populations in the world. Its sheer size gives you the choices for profitable breeding decisions and the flexibility to adapt to changing market demands.

Not all EBVs are created equal. Some programs compute EBVs or EPDs that do not allow for genetic comparisons between herds. The National Swine Improvement Program does these comparisons across the entire population automatically.

Improved Financial Performance from Improved Genetics Improved Financial Performance from Improved Genetics
Selecting boars from the Program that reach 100 kg 10 days earlier than average is worth almost $6,000 a year from reduced feed costs for a herd productin 2,500 market hogs. Similarly, each 1 mm reduction in back fat results in extra carcass value and feed savings worth $6,100. Therefore, putting better growth and back fat together gives you an additional annual return of more than $12,000 if you market 2,500 hogs.

The Sire Line Index, or SLI, which combines back fat and age into a single index is available for each animal evaluated. Each index point is worth about 7.4 cents in each progeny. Buying 130 index boars (the average is 100) to produce 2,500 market hogs per year will net you an extra $5,500.

For improved commercial sow lines, choose pigs with a higher Dam Line Index, or DLI. This index combines litter size, back fat and age EBVs. Each DLI point above 100 is worth about 6 cents per market hog. Gilts indexing 120 produce F1's that return an extra $6,000 per year for a herd of 2,500 market hogs.

Pork production systems based on accurate EBVs, good management and effective cross breeding have consistently produced 24 or more fast growing, high indexing pigs per sow per year.

Selecting for Meat and Carcass Quality Selecting for Meat and Carcass Quality
EBVs for lean in the carcass, lean in the loin and loin eye area will soon be part of the National Program. Meat quality EBVs for loin colour, loin marbling and drip loss are also on the way. With EBVs for age, back fat, meat and carcass quality, you will be able to gear your breeding program to match changing market needs and to position yourself to respond quickly to what packers and consumers want.

According to current research, selecting for meat and carcass quality could increase your profits from genetic improvement by at least a further 20 per cent. It will also give you an edge on the competition.

Consistency and Hybrid Vigour Consistency and Hybrid Vigour
The best way to get consistent results and maximum hybrid vigour in commercial herds is to cross well defined breeds. Breeders in the program use registration as the system of choice for accurate animal identification, pedigree verification and reliable genetic evaluation.
National Database - Your Selection Book for Improved Performance National Database - Your Selection Book for Improved Performance
At the heart of the National Improvement Program is its database of swine performance records and genetic evaluations. Data comes from tests done on farms and at regional test stations. More than 100,000 pigs are tested every year and added to the database. The database is updated and the genetic evaluations calculated every month. These evaluatons are available to the public. This means you can choose pigs with the best genetic qualities, based on up-to-date information, for inclusion in your commericial operation.

Well trained, nationally accredited technicians at regional swine centres ensure that the national database contains accurate and consistent performance data so that you can totally rely on the genetic evaluations you see.

National Swine Health Information Plan (NSHIP) - Peace of Mind from Good Health National Swine Health Information Plan (NSHIP) - Peace of Mind from Good Health
Picking top genetics from the National Program means improved profits for you, especially if you choose from herds with good health and biosecurity ratings. The National Program now includes a Swine Health Information Plan (NSHIP). In some cases, you can know not only the genetics of your breeding stock but also their health and biosecurity status. Make sure you ask for both.

NSHIP shows you monitoring activities in each province for seven diseases (Actinobacillus Pleuropneumonia, Mycoplasma Pneumonia, Swine Dysentery, TGE, Atrophic Rhinitis, Mange and Lice, and PRRS). The plan also gives you a listing of provincial monitoring activities for nine biosecurity criteria.

All the information is updated regularly. If you are unsure about health claims, ask your breeder if the herd is in the NSHIP database. There is no better health assurance program than seeing the results for yourself.

Genetics Research Targeted to Your Market Needs Genetics Research Targeted to Your Market Needs
An important part of the National Program is research. National and regional centres are committed to drawing on the best Canadian and international expertise through cooperation with industry partners, research institutions and Canadian universities. Research projects address meat and carcass quality, enhancement of genetic evaluation methods for performance and sow productivity traits, and selection for immune response to increase disease resistance.
Commerical Application of the National Swine Improvement Program Commerical Application of the National Swine Improvement Program
Gordon Parmenter from Parmenter Frams of Tappen, British Columbia has a 450 sow farrow to finish operation. He breeds his own replacement gilts and buys National Swine Improvement Program tested boars and has been part of the National Program since 1991.

"During this time, we were able to reduce days to market from more than 240 to 175 days and improve market index from 107 to 109.5. Continuous monitoring of days and back fat using the National Program has enable us to track management as well as genetic gains. In times of very tight cash flow, we have felt that the National Improvement Program was one thing we could not afford to give up."