Description, evaluation, and validation of the Teagasc Pig Production Model

Julia Adriana Calderón Díaz*, Laurence Shalloo, Jarkko K. Niemi, Ilias Kyriazakis, Michael McKeon, Gerard McCutcheon, Alan Bohan, Edgar G. Manzanilla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Teagasc Pig Production Model (TPPM), a stochastic simulation model of a farrow-to-finish pig farm, was developed to investigate effects of changes in production systems on farm profitability. The model simulates, on a weekly basis, the annual production of a farm. Biological [e.g., herd size, number of litters/sow/year, and mortality rates (%)], physical (e.g., infrastructure), and technical (e.g., feeding practices) variables and their associated costs are included as components of the model. These inputs are used to calculate physical (e.g., feed usage and number of pigs slaughtered) and financial (e.g., annual cash flow, profit and loss account, and balance sheet) outputs. The model was validated using the Delphi method and by comparing the TPPM outputs to data recorded on 20 Irish pig farms through the Teagasc e-Profit monitor system and with complete receipts for the year 2016. Results showed that the TPPM closely simulates physical and financial performance of pig farms indicating that the TPPM can be used with confidence to study pig production systems under Irish conditions. Model applicability was demonstrated by investigating the impact of 2 changes in technical performance: 1) building of extra accommodation to increase body weight (BW) at sale by 15 kg (EXTRA ROOM) and 2) a change in feeding practices by providing finisher feed from 28 kg of BW (EARLY FINISHER) compared with over 38 kg of BW. In both scenarios, the same biological parameters were used. Mortality rates, feed ingredients costs, and price per kg of meat produced were included as stochastic variables with the input distributions derived based on historical data simulated using Monte Carlo sampling using the Microsoft Excel add-in @Risk. Annual mean net profit was €198,101 (90% confidence interval [CI]: €119,606-€275,539) for the TPPM base farm, €337,078 (90% CI: €246,320-€426,809) for the EXTRA ROOM, and €225,598 (90% CI: €146,685-€303,590) for the EARLY FINISHER. EXTRA ROOM was associated with higher costs and required higher income to cover the additional costs. The 90% CI of the EARLY FINISHER was similar to the TPPM base farm while the EXTRA ROOM scenario resulted in a wider confidence interval, suggesting that a change in feeding practices could be a better option for farmers looking to improve profit with minimum investment. Thus, the TPPM could be used to facilitate decision making in farrow-to-finish pig farms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2803-2821
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number7
Early online date11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1Julia Adriana Calderón Díaz was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Research Stimulus Fund (grant no. 14/S/832). Additionally, this work was also supported by the Teagasc grant-in-aid project TPPM ref 0057 2Corresponding author: Julia.CalderonDiaz@teagasc. ie/ Received March 4, 2019. Accepted May 10, 2019.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • bio-economic model
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • pig production systems
  • whole-farm stochastic budgeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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