The best ideas “grow” in the stable
The foundation for business success is laid as early as the feeding of the young animals. Nobody knows the feed requirements of the animals as well as the farmer himself. That is why one aspect is particularly important to us in our daily work: practicability!
There is no substitute for the regular exchange with farm managers and this is an important corner stone block in product development at BEWITAL agri. On our partner farms, we can test the products under practical conditions for their benefits for the animal and farmer before launching them on the market. Only if the product also shows the desired effect in practical use over a longer period of time will it be offered to the market.
Cooperation between BEWITAL and a pig farm in the Netherlands
Our partner farm, a medium-sized family farm with 500 sows and connected piglet rearing, is located in the province of Twente in the Netherlands and can therefore be reached quickly at any time for a direct exchange. On the farm, individual pig data on body weight, growth, health, vaccination programme and antibiotic use can be recorded and provided from insemination to the end of lactation. In this way, the entire production cycle is recorded.
The body weight and growth of the piglets during the lactation period is determined by using scales. In the farrowing and nursery houses, computer-controlled feeding systems provide accurate reports on feed intake and offer the possibility to dose different feed additives. These additives can support the specific nutritional needs of the sows and piglets depending on their stage or age.
Partner farm – these criteria are important for us
- The farm must be representative of the market.
- The farm must be run by a committed farmer who is willing to test new things and recognises the value of the studies.
- The farm must be available for a regular exchange, in order to add subjective observation into the product evaluation.
Transfer between science and practice
“Partner farms offer us the opportunity to evaluate product developments beyond the scientific research environment,” says Dr Ralph Schemmer, responsible for the pig R&D division at BEWITAL agri. “Our practical tests aim to evaluate the effectiveness and practical applicability of new special feed solutions under real conditions. In doing so, not only our own products can be tested, but also the effectiveness compared to competitor products. In this way, we ensure that the feeds are always geared to the needs of our customers.”
Not only BEWITAL agri benefits from the cooperation. The farmer receives the latest product developments, which are optimally tailored to the needs of modern animal nutrition. “The close cooperation with the feed manufacturer and developer is very valuable for us. All tests are designed for easy implementation. In addition, the detailed data collection gives us the opportunity to continuously develop our farm,” says the farm manager.
Partner farm – these are the advantages for the partner farm
- Tests conducted with BEWITAL agri products, but also with competitor products.
- In addition to the subjective evaluation (by the farmer), objective evaluation (recording of animal data) are complimentary.
- Not only the determination of animal performance is possible, but also preference tests are conducted.
- Besides piglet products, feed supplements for sows can also be tested.
Product development at BEWITAL agri – this is the procedure
Almost 60 years ago, the foundation stone of BEWITAL agri was laid with special feeds for calf rearing and dairy cattle feeding – decades of expertise that can now be ideally transferred to the development of new product ideas for piglet and pig feeding. Last year, we therefore revised and significantly expanded our product portfolio in the pig sector.
Each of our products incorporates the know-how and good ideas of our own research and development department. Their goal is to put economically useful scientific findings into practice as quickly as possible – in our own products and in those that we develop and realise together with customers.
Thanks to continuous tests and practical studies in cooperation with leading research institutes, universities and farms, we are able to continuously develop our products.