It wasn’t just cheer and beer at the VFF Pig Group’s annual Christmas party, there was also information about overseas pig farms, disease diagnosis and vaccines, and nutrition.LAURA GRIFFIN December 17, 2013 4:09am
It wasn’t just cheer and beer at the VFF Pig Group’s annual Christmas party, there was also information about overseas pig farms, disease diagnosis and vaccines, and nutrition.
Group president John Bourke said it was great to celebrate a positive year for the industry at Shepparton’s Aussie Hotel with about 30 people including fellow farmers and service providers.
‘‘Sales are getting better; supermarkets are now selling Australian products including smallgoods in Coles,’’ Mr Bourke said.
‘‘Consumers need a choice and that’s all we want, to be able to take a crack.’’
The Stanhope farmer said the biggest challenge to Victorian pig farmers were disease risks associated with small-scale ‘backyard’ producers feeding pigs swill and protesters compromising biosecurity protocols on farm.
ACE Laboratory’s Aileen Vanderfeen told the group about farm-specific vaccines that could be used if mass marketed vaccines had been unsuccessful in managing disease.
Developments in Australian commercial pig nutrition this year included increasing the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio, and increasing the amount of sugar and reducing protein in creep feeds to address different issues, ACE Livestock Consulting’s Megan Edwards said.
‘‘Lower protein creep feeds — that are popular in Europe — can reduce the amount of indigestible protein entering the large intestine to reduce the risk of bacterial diseases,’’ Ms Edwards said.
She said it was a ‘‘preventable and sustainable approach’’ that could help farmers deal with bacterial infection instead of using antibiotics.
‘‘It will never replace good management, hygiene or housing.’’
Commercial pig farmers might be familiar with Alltech’s nutrition products, but a representative treated the VFF Pig Group to a different product range — beer.
Goornong farmers Alister and Nanette Carr said they enjoyed the beer presentation and Deniliquin farmers David and Linda Donaldson said the session was informative.
Mr Davidson welcomed the increase of sow-stall-free farms in Australia.
‘‘As an industry, we need to be aware of levels of imports but also that we don’t over-produce,’’ Mr Donaldson said.
‘‘I encourage all consumers to look for the Australian Pork logo or buy hams on the bone or a fresh pork roast for Christmas.’’
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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