NI pig grading system wins science award

The Pig Grading Information System (PiGIS) has won the Oxford Farming Conference/Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) Practice with Science award.

Already used for 99% of pigs in Northern Ireland, the system could save an estimated £43.2m for Great Britain’s pig industry by improving carcase quality.

Developed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), PiGIS has helped Northern Ireland pig producers and processors improve returns with real-time statistical analysis. The online tool allows farmers to visualise a history of the pigs they send to slaughter and position themselves in comparison with other producers, helping them make informed decisions.

Accepting the award at the Oxford Farming Conference, pig technologist Mark Hawe said the system would be easily transferable to other species, potentially improving meat quality and productivity on a larger scale.