Swine and broiler breeder production best practice: Novus taps into global network of experts

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/dusanpetkovic
© GettyImages/dusanpetkovic

Related tags Novus swine sow piglet

Novus has been actively working to capture global industry expertise and share it in different formats with farmers involved in monogastric production.

The US-based feed additives producer is set to launch a new breeder book on August 8 during the World's Poultry Congress (WPC) 2022 in Paris; it is designed to aid in management and performance.

‘Breeder Management and Nutrition: Moving the industry forward’​ comprises 14 chapters; it is meant to serve as a reference for current broiler breeder production best practices as well as to be a catalyst for new ideas in production, nutrition, and industry sustainability.

It includes input from academics, researchers, industry leaders, breeding companies, veterinarians, and nutritionists – they were charged with considering how each part of the broiler breeder’s lifecycle can be optimized to improve performance and positively impact the producer and the industry, said Sandrine Durox, Novus poultry solutions manager who serves as book co-curator together.

She worked with Novus executive regional technical services manager, Silvia Peris, and Professor Johan Buyse of KU Leuven on the publication. Buyse, who was the scientific coordinator on the book, said it was critical to have input from recognized academic specialists, as well as experts from industry and breeding companies to be able to fully cover the vast array of topics ranging from practical management, nutrition, welfare, (epi)genetics and physiology.

Contributors included Eddy Decuypere of KU Leuven, Aitor Arrazola of Perdue University, Rick van Emous and Annemarie Mens of Wageningen Livestock Research, Henk Enting and Dinabandhu Joardar of Cargill, Edgar O. Oviedo-Rondón of North Carolina State University, Rebecca Forder of the University of Adelaide, Juan Carlos Abad and Robin Jarquin of Cobb-Vantress, David Cavero Pintado and Xabier Arbe Ugalde of H&N International, among others.

Sharing knowledge

May this year also saw Novus launch its Scale Up program for swine – it did so at the World Pork Expo in Iowa. That initiative is aimed at helping each animal meets its genetic potential and, again, it is leveraging a network of leading industry experts, dubbed XpertLink, covering topics from nutrition, management, health, feed manufacturing, and meat quality.

Whether the focus is on extending sow longevity, improving piglet mortality and uniformity, or raising grow-finish profitability, the Scale Up program is about taking a comprehensive view of production systems and each life stage to identify opportunities, said Marisol Castillo, senior manager of global swine solutions for Novus.

The program, she told us, is a combination of feed additives like eubiotics and trace minerals, knowledge, and services. “We want to be seen as a company that brings added value, one that is customer-centric. We are not just about selling products. We are listening very closely to customers, to discover what are their pain points but also their goals.

“We have a list of key opinion leaders that we have been working with for quite some time, either as consultants, or as invited speakers, or via our trials.

"We work with identify the customer to identify their challenge or goal and determine the specialist on the list that might be able to address that. A customer can then have either a virtual or in-person meeting with that expert to get a perspective on their production issue.”

Often those specialists will offer a management perspective or advice that has nothing to do with buying a product or modifying the feed formulation. “It is about sharing the knowledge of these experts even further and in a more direct way with our customers.”

Core swine markets

Novus works worldwide but it has established core markets for its swine applications, and it is in those countries where Scale Up will be concentrated. The program was launched in May in the US; Europe – with a particular focus on producers in Spain, Italy, and Germany - will follow. Novus’s core Southeast Asian markets are then set to benefit: the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

In terms of future growth opportunities in swine, the company sees huge growth opportunities in the Americas, across the US and Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.

Novus has a strong market share in sow orientated products in both the US and in Europe, as well as in trace minerals in young pigs and in grower-finishers in multiple regions; its chelated trace mineral alternative to zinc oxide (ZnO) is seeing a significant boost in sales arising from the ban on therapeutic doses of ZnO in feed in the EU, in force since June, and the increasing restrictions on the use of that product in other markets around the globe.  

The swine sector globally is exposed to headwinds such as disease threats, volatility in agri-commodities, soaring feed prices and geopolitical tensions, said Castillo. None of these challenges will impact the roll-out of the program, however, she stressed. 

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