Next generation pig farmer preparing for the future

Farrow-to-finish farm Jansberg in the south of the Netherlands is a good example of swine farming with a modern outlook. The farm appears permanently in transition, applying modern technology and looking ahead, and is open to novel ways of making money. Recently a new gestating sow area was constructed, and the aim is to use as few antibiotics as possible.


Name: Tom Janssen, age 33 Function: Owner Description: Jansberg farm is a closed farrow-to-finish facility with a 400 sow and 3,800 finisher capacity. Finishing (until rough- ly 120-130kg) occurs on-site as well as at a location in the vicinity. The farm has five buildings, most of them from different years. The gestating sow house has just been renewed in 2018, and in 2020 the farm is planning to replace the existing lactating sow houses. The farm uses Topigs Norsvin Tempo sows, which are re- bred on-farm, combined with a PIC terminal sire, currently achiev- ing on average 30 pigs/sow/year. In times without trials, Janssen feeds a complete feed, sometimes partially supplemented with wheat or barley. In finisher pigs he achieves an average daily gain (ADG) of 830g. His feed conversion rate in finishers is 2.42, and mortality in finishers is 1.9.


isiting Jansberg farm feels a little bit like doing athletics. It’s great to admire the new spacious gestating sow area, but – erm – watch your step as the occupants don’t really give way. So today’s

visit is more like an obstacle course with visitors carefully hopping over snoozing bodies, each weighing 200+ kg, while hoping one of them will not suddenly rise. Owner Tom Janssen, age 33, had this extension to the farm built in 2018. He felt it was time for a modern gestating area at his facility near Castenray, Limburg, the Netherlands. Al- though he has worked at the site since 2008, only in 2017 did he fully become an owner of the location, which is when he embarked on constructing a large gestation room. “I wanted it to be one big area,” he explains. “I like it when I can see far away.” The result is one massive room of 40m x 25m, with space for 220 gestating sows at different stages of pregnancy. Not only is it wide, it is also tall, as the roof is 7m above the ground. The new building offers climatic advantages, Jans- sen explains. “In the winter we never have to do any addi- tional heating. You can imagine that there is a lot of heat coming from the animals themselves.” In the Netherlands, temperatures may drop to -10˚C but in recent years this has only very rarely happened. He continues, “In summer, this system is great as we can ven- tilate as much as possible. Warm air going round is not a draught. We hardly have any problem with bad smells.”

Breeding area The large area also includes a semi-open compartment for insemination purposes. There are two rows of 35 crates, sup- plied with additional TL lighting, which provide light from 6am until 10pm. Initially, strangely enough, Janssen achieved a breeding rate of only 90%, with 10% being not- in-pig. He solved that by having the sows walk around in the area the first two days after weaning. Once they had had their bit of movement, the breeding rate went up to be virtually perfect.

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

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