April 2000 Blueprint Focus - Sow Productivity
Sow productivity ranks high on most pork producers’ priority lists. Sow herd management, nutrition and health have garnered the most effort to increase the number of high-quality pigs per litter. Genetic evaluation data on modern sow lines has been limited, however.
The results of the recently completed National Genetic Evaluation Maternal Line Program (MLP) are featured in this 30th edition of the Blueprint series from National Hog Farmer. This report provides the first complete evaluation of the genetic value of six commercially available maternal lines. The program was funded by the National Pork Board using producer checkoff dollars.
Traditional reproductive traits associated with sows and litters were measured and evaluated on nearly 3,600 gilts through four parities. Genetic differences were quantified among lines and parities for sow longevity and reproductive performance. And, recognizing that 50% of the genetic value in market hogs is provided by the sow, the MLP test was extended to measure growth, carcass, meat quality and eating quality traits on progeny from the genetic lines represented.