Institute of Organic Farming
Phone: +49 4539 8880 0
Evaluation of tissue growth, performance, carcass quality, meat quality and breeding suitability of different pig genotypes for organic pork production
Which genotype fits to organic agriculture? You can hear very often that modern hybrids are less suitable for organic pig fattening than old breeds.
A main factor for profiling poor developed organic pork production is the choice of an appropriate genotype. A common statement is that old breeds fit better to organic pork production than modern hybrids which suffer from organic production conditions and which are unable to mobilize their genetic potential.
The aim of the study was an evidence based recommendation concerning the choice of suitable genotypes in organic pork production.
Seven different genotypes were tested for genotype-environment-interaction concerning various criteria of performance, carcass, meat and fat quality in a joint project together with University of Giessen, Max-Rubner-Institut Kulmbach (MRI), Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut Mariensee (FLI) and Agricultural Chamber Hannover.
A total of 744 pigs were simultaneously kept under conventional and organic production conditions (housing & feeding) at the two pig testing stations Rohrsen and Neu-Ulrichstein. The 7 genotypes were: Angler Saddleback (AS), Schwabian-Hallian pig (SH), Piétrain x AS (PixAS), PixSH, Pi x German Large White (PixDE), Duroc x German Landrace (DuxDL) and Federal Hybrid Breeding Program / Bundes-Hybridzucht-Programm (BHZP).
Furthermore, BHZP, SH, PixSH and DuxDL (each with 24 animals) have been tested for tissue growth by nuclear spin at FLI-Mariensee.
There is a strong genotype-environment-interaction between the analysed criteria and the agricultural production system (conventional vs. organic).
Performance level of all analysed criteria differs significantly between conventional and organic production system.
The ranking within genotypes is the same for the two productions systems.
Modern genotypes with high protein synthesis capacity and/or conventional production systems are better suited for carcass quality dominated marketing goals.
Old genotyps with low protein synthesis capacity and/or organic production systems are better suited for meat quality dominated marketing goals.
It is concluded that the choice of the genotype mainly depends on the marketing goal but not on the agricultural production system.
9.2004 - 5.2007
Project funding number: 03OE323
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft (BÖLN)
Project status: finished