The winner of the 2012 Oxford Farming Conference (OFC)/ Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) Practice with Science Award sponsored by AB Agri, has been won by PiGIS, a pig grading information system established in Northern Ireland (NI) by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and CAFRE.
The researchers behind the project, Dr Mark Hawe from CAFRE, Erica Chisholm from AFBI and Mark Browne from AFBI, will share £10,000 in prize money which the team plans to invest in further developments to the system. The team will give a paper on the project at the next Oxford Farming Conference being held from 3-5 January 2012.
Professor Bill McKelvey, the OFC Director coordinating the award and one of the judges explained that PiGIS was one of 15 very high quality entries received in this, the first year of the award., which was established to recognise applied scientific work that has resulted in valuable benefits to the agricultural industry.
PiGIS is a unique online benchmarking tool that assists both pig producers and processors to improve carcase quality. The system captures data for over 99% of pigs slaughtered in NI, including carcase quality data. PiGIS facilitates benchmarking comparisons with "the best of the rest" in the industry allowing weaknesses in carcase quality to be identified and enabling informed management decisions to be implemented to improve quality and, in turn, income.
Source: The Oxford Farming Conference