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Abstract

Variability in pig growth is an intrinsic characteristic of swine production. The optimal marketing strategies are identified to minimize the negative economic impact of variability for a typical all-in-all-out swine finishing facility using a recent pricing matrix and data featuring swine production in the Midwestern region. Our results show that compared with marketing all pigs from a 1,020 head barn on the same day, marketing pigs in six truckloads on different dates as groups of pigs grow to more optimal size significantly improves the profitability of production as variability increases. This finding is in line with recent producer response to new pricing matrices that prove stronger price incentives for marketing more uniform pigs. We also find that studies on optimal marketing strategies without taking into account variability in pig weights can result in exaggerated optimal marketing weights and profits of production. Growth variability management and marketing strategies continue to be essential to the economic viability of the swine industry.

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