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Pig Improvement

Hog farmers in China are turning to genetics to improve their stock as part of a push to make the country less reliant on imports for breeding, Reuters reports.

It adds that the cost of raising a pig is two-and-a-half times higher in China than in the US, both due to the need to import feed and a high risk of disease. To develop self-sustaining herds, farms like Best Genetics Group (BGG) are turning to genetic approaches to predict, for instance, litter size to then inform their breeding selections and build up a herd that produces more pigs, Reuters says. Hao Wenjie, BGG's head breeder, tells it that the farm has a goal of three to five years for improve each trait it is focusing on, such as reduced backfat.

Reuters adds that the effort is part of a national goal to have a self-sustaining herd to feed China's large population. "We must insist on our own independent breeding," Hao tells it.