Swine herd managers that turn to Duroc traits for specific performance features have a new source with the introduction of PIC800 from Pig Improvement Company. The new terminal sires are designed to help producers seeking specific pork quality and performance traits.
The PIC800 comes after several years of investment and focus on the Duroc line, including a six-fold increase in the nucleus population size since 2013. That work was designed to improve selection intensity and availability, according to a company statement. At the same time, PIC implemented relationship-based genomics to work on improving performance across multiple traits at the same time.
PIC reported that it continues to invest in the Duroc and this summer is working to directly select for tenderness (eating satisfaction) and primal carcass cuts in addition to using indicator traits such as pH, loin depth and backfat. The company reported that this effort aims to drive genetic improvement and maximize total carcass value.
Matt Culbertson, PIC global director of product development, commented in the PIC800 announcement that the company has invested significantly in its Duroc. “We have seen an acceleration of growth rates while other value-creating traits such as feed conversion, mortality and pH continued to improve. We expect that the investments we are doing this summer will lead to further differentiation in the years to come.”
Earlier in July, PIC entered into a strategic relationship with Møllevang, a nucleus breeder of Duroc, Large White and Landrace lines in Denmark. The relationship combines the two company’s complementary supply chains, sales and marketing infrastructure, and genetics.
The PIC800 complements PIC’s portfolio of sires. This portfolio allows the company to offer producers boars suited to specific breeding goals and targeted production environments.