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Farm-specific decision support on optimizing the slaughter weights of pigs in a complex and changing decision context (PHDFREDERIK)

Main research question/goal
The aim of the project is to provide decision makers with effective decsion support tools for a very specific decision in the production of  slaughter pigs; optimizing the delivery weight of finishing pigs. The question is very specific but it takes place in a complex farm-environment. This raises the question about how to end-up at effective decision support with the help of the intended decision maker.

Research approach
In this research project both quantitative and qualitative methodes will be applied.
The basis of the decision support model, will be a quantitative optimalisation model, based on animal performance data from self-conducted animal trials. This technical information will be used to establish farm-specific production functions. Qualitative research will be performed in a participatory process that serves to get the stakeholders and intended decision makers involved in the design, development and validation of the support tools.

The contemporary economic context of the pig sector urges for further optimization of the production process. The delivery weight is only one aspect of the production process that might have a considerate effect on the profitability of the farm. The decision support tools will  provide the piggery manager insight into the relationships between the technical key performance indicators(KPI) and in the relationships between these KPI and economic parameters.
Date:1 Jan 2014 →  31 Dec 2017