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JOHN GADD ▶▶▶ The profit box T


he profit box is an excellent idea and one I have used in my farm work for many years. Three reasons:


1. Comparisons


It enables you to compare an existing contract for finished pigs with oth- ers on offer. It may, or may not, pay you to change or renegotiate a bet- ter deal. From experience of using the concept, I have found the graphs provide 80% of the critical information needed to compare contracts, which is a great help.


2. It is simple The profit box graph is filled in from your processor’s monthly returns and shows how well you are doing in meeting your contract obligations. You do not have to compile your own figures, as the processor is already doing that routinely in order to assess the size of your monthly payment. Transferring them into a monthly graph shows where improvements in your performance are needed, if any. Simplicity itself.


3. Other useful information possible You can assess the value of new breeding lines under your conditions, which may vary from those on which breeders base their claims. We all know that farm and management practices vary. The profit box graphs can evaluate new information, products or ideas. At a glance, pictures can mean more than figures. The more of these insertions towards the top right hand corner of the box (see Figure 1) reveals any advantages graphically, that is, quickly. If a change is thought encouraging, then with a few calculations on prices offered against your current situation, a decision whether or not to change can be made.


Figure 1 - The profit box. Most profit is in the top right corner. Try to record each batch of finished pigs on scattergrams like this.


Alternatively - lean % in carcass measured by hand-


held scanner


12 14


10


6 8


4


Penalty too light


Cold carcass weight


Penalty too heavy


Penalty too lean


Penalty too fat


What the textbooks don’t tell you about...


Simple and swift Figure 1 shows a simple manually entered contract comparison for the smaller producer which the farmer or any secretary in the office can do perfectly well every month. Figure 2 is for the larger unit which is already computerised, in the form of a spreadsheet. In this example, alternative contract details are on view. This shows backfat thickness and cold carcass weight, on which many monthly pay cheques are based, and these are superimposed on each other to show where the likely profit lies in each case. The computer, from the number and position of inserts within each box, can be further pro- grammed to calculate the total income from the two sets of entries, as in Figure 1, thus making an all-important financial decision possible. Research workers please note: profit boxes refine your findings.


Trouble-free method The profit box concept is a major and trouble-free method of recording finishing pig contracts (most of the work has been done for you) for now and for the future. Give it a try!


Well-known for his writing on pigs across 38 years, John Gadd has writ- ten over 2,600 articles and pa- pers. His speciality is the cost-effectiveness of pig technology. Prior to be- coming an inde- pendent writer and consultant, he had a long ca- reer in the British pig industry, from being stockman to chief pig advi- sor.


Figure 2 - A comparison of P2 backfat thickness and cold carcass weight.


New bacon contract Old bacon contract


X2


Number of pigs with a specific P2 measurement and carcass weight


16 14


10 12


8 6 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65


Cold dressed carcass wt (kg) 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76


X


The Profit Box can also be used to compare various buyers’ contracts for finished pigs. In this case the dotted line contract was far superior to the producers’ existing contract in his typical grading profile shown here on a computer printout.


XX XX X2


XXX X X


X


XXX X X2 X2 X2X2X2X2X2


X2 XXX X2X2X2X2X2X2


X2 X2 X2


X2X2


X XXX X X X2X2X2X2 X2 X2XXX X2 X2X2X2X2X2X2


XX X X2X2


X2X2X2X2X2 X2


X XX X2 X


X X X2 X X2X2X2X2X2 X2X2 X2 X2


X2 XXX X2 X2 X2 X2X2 X2 X2 X2


X2X2X2X2X2X2 X XX XX X2


X2X2X2X2X2 X2X2 X2 X2 X2X2 X2


X2X2X2X2X2X2 X X X X X2 X2 X2


▶PIG PROGRESS | Volume 36, No. 4, 2020


21


P2 fat (mm) Backfat depth (mm/P2)


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