The objective of the On-Farm Performance Testing Program is to provide purebred and commercial swine producers with estimates of the genetic value of their animals for growth rate, carcass leanness, and carcass quality. This program is divided into two parts:

  1. Individual Performance
    Growth rate, backfat thickness and loin eye area
  2. Carcass Quality
    Color, Marbling, pH and other data as requested/available


Individual Performance

Growth Rate, Backfat Thickness and Loin Eye Area

  1. Participating swine producers will be provided litter data cards.
  2. Producers will complete the data cards as the litter information becomes available.
  3. The producer must inform the technician of the farrowing dates of each test group of litters.
  4. The technician will schedule a weigh date to weigh and ultrasound the test group when all litters in that group are approximately 154 days old.
  5. Weights will be obtained on scales provided by the breeder.
  6. Backfat and loin eye will be measured by real-time ultrasound.
  7. The weights and backfat and loin eye measures of each pig plus other required information will be recorded on the data cards.
  8. The technician will transfer the completed litter data cards to North Carolina State University for computer processing.
  9. A report will be prepared that will contain:
a. Individual pig identification
b. Backfat depth adjusted to 250 lbs.
c. Loin eye area adjusted to 250 lbs.
d. Estimated percent carcass lean.
Three copies of the processed data will be printed and will be distributed with one copy to the producer, one to the extension livestock agent in the producer's county, and on retained by Extension Swine Husbandry.

Producers must supply at the measurement site:
    a. an electrical power supply
    b. sturdy table or platform to support the Real-time Ultrasound equipment. Minimum dimensions on the purport surface must be 24 inches by 36 inches.
    c. pens, panels, scale,and labor for proper restraint of animals.

Carcass Quality

  1. The carcass quality and carcass data collection is done with a cooperating packer identifed by the producer. All costs associated with slaughter and access to the packing plant are handled by the producer


    All program participants will be billed quarterly. The costs will be based on an annual enrollment fee of $20.00. Additional charges will be based on:

    Growth Rate, Backfat Thickness, and Loin Eye Area - Real-Time Ultrasound and Carcass Quality

    1. $200.00 minimum charge per technician's stop. This will include Real-time Scanning OR Carcass Quality data on a maximum of 20 pigs.
    2. $3.00 per pig for each pig scanned/measured between 21 and 150 head.
    3. $2.50 per pig for each pig scanned/measured beyond 150 head.


    Return to MARK Home Page: Return to Home Page!