Labor estimates for production facilities

I was asked this morning for information on the labor needs of production facilities. While our facilities have become somewhat standardized (fully slatted, 1100-1250 hd/room), who provides the labor for daily pig care is not. Labor may be provided by the pig owner, the contract grower or a 3rd party in the case where the production facility is owned by an investment group or grain farmer. I know as I visit production sites in the upper Midwest there are a lot of people taking care of pigs in production facilities where they have no ownership stake in either the facility or the pigs.

A couple of weeks ago I gave the link to the Latta, Harris, Hanon & Penningroth benchmarking standards for the 2012 production year. Their best estimate of labor charges for 2012 for wean-finish production was $3.27 per 100 lb of weight gain for the 50th percentile in cost. For breed-wean enterprises they estimated the 50th percentile at $5.91 in labor expense per pig weaned.

I’m reasonably sure these labor charges did not include manure removal but in the case of wean-finish I don’t know if pressure washing was included in the labor charge. I also don’t know what the hourly charge was for the labor input.

For a wean-finish facility bringing in 12 lb pigs and selling pigs at 280 lb to slaughter, the net gain per pig is 268 lb (less death loss). At $3.27/cwt gain, this means the ‘average’ labor charge in 2012 for wean-finish facilities was $8.76/pig. Again, it is not possible from this data set to allocate labor for nursery and grow-finish facilities – all they reported was the combined labor cost.

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