Recognition Of Low Performance

Identifying when reproductive performance is low requires analyses of records. This is accomplished by comparing the actual level of performance within a herd with previously established production targets and decision boundaries.[1] Production targets are goals established by swine operations that represent levels of performance that are above average. It is not uncommon for production targets to vary among farms, depending on genetics, geographic location, housing, and other factors. When reproductive performance reaches current targets, a new set is established. Therefore, the actual level of reproductive performance on a farm normally is lower than its production targets.

In contrast, decision boundaries are undesirable levels of performance that tend to be universally accepted within the swine industry. They signify that management is negatively affecting reproduction. Values above the decision boundary are interpreted as acceptable, even though they may be below the production targets. Levels below the decision boundary are interpreted as being unacceptable and indicate that immediate intervention is advisable. Suggested performance targets and decision boundaries for important measures of reproductive performance are shown in Table 1.

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