News and Media

Successful Research Grant to Further Reduce Antimicrobial Use in Pork Production

The University of Queensland, The University of Melbourne, the SunPork Group and DSM, together with support from the Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL), have secured an Australian Research Council-Linkage grant exploring the topic, ‘How to make antimicrobials in pig feed redundant, naturally’. 

Total cash funding for the 4-year project was $2,027,819, with the Australian Research Council contributing $852,000 and partners contributing an additional $1,175,519, of which $359,223 derives from APRIL. The total value of the project (cash plus in-kind contributions) is $3,835,847.

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APRIL’s vision expands to build innovative industry

SA pork producers can expect to see innovative feed and disease research projects continue with vigor, despite major changes to the pork research sector in recent times.

Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited chief executive officer John Pluske has committed to ensuring the sustainability of Australasian pork production, following the wind-up of the Port Cooperative Research Centre in June.

The future of APRIL’s investment into research, education and training, and commercialisation will be centred around four major streams – transformational, priority, innovation and commercialisation projects.

Read the full article at Stock Journal.

 Charles Rikard-Bell standing next to an APRIL pull-up banner in from of bushland
FOCUS MAINTAINED: Australasian Pork Research Institute commercialisation and research impact manager Charles Rikard-Bell said research into efficient feeding will continue to be a focus going forward.
[INNOVATION APPLICATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED] APRIL open for business on innovation and commercialisation fronts

[INNOVATION APPLICATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED] APRIL open for business on innovation and commercialisation fronts

Australasian Pork Research Institute Ltd (APRIL) is seeking applications for Innovation and Commercialisation projects.

An independent, member based research entity, APRIL continues the approach to research, education, training and commercialisation of the very successful CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork, which concludes June 30, 2019.

APRIL Innovation Projects are negotiable to around 12 to 15 months, have a maximum budget of $50,000 to $75,000 and require a minimum external cash co-investment of 25 per cent of the total cash cost of the project.

There will be two calls per calendar year for Innovation Projects, with the first deadline May 17, 2019.

Open all year round, Commercialisation Projects are where the path to market of a product or technology may be close and additional co-investment may bring it to fruition.

APRIL Industry Placement Program starts

APRIL’s IPP program is similar to that successfully initiated in Co-operative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork and complements future APRIL student support in education and training.

The APRIL IPP program places graduates with employers able to give them hands-on experience, with specialist mentors, on-farm and in production.

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Research grant to help improve stress resilience in pigs

Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, SunPork Solutions and Rivalea Australia have secured an Australian Research Council Linkage grant to support a $900,000 research project to improve pig welfare by modulating stress resilience.

ARC funding for the three-year project, ‘Early stress experiences and stress resilience in pigs’, was $450,000 with an additional $449,393 cash from other partners, of which $100,000 was from APRIL.

APRIL CEO and Chief Scientist John Pluske said the ARC grant was very significant, with improving pig welfare a hot button issue in the Australasian pork industry.

AusScan Energising Feed Grain Evaluation

AusScan calibrations for pig faecal digestible energy and ileal DE for cereal grains have been upgraded on completion of Pork CRC Project 4B-117, ‘Strengthening the AusScan pig DE, DE intake index NIR calibrations’.

The project determined pig ileal and faecal DE and faecal DE intake index of 67 new grains: 22 wheat, 13 barley, 8 triticale, 4 sorghum and 20 maize samples. Improved accuracy and robustness were also achieved by adding this data, according to Charles Rikard-Bell, Manager Commercialisation and Research Impact, with Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL).

“The NIR calibrations show significant improvement due to the larger number of new samples and range of cereals added,” Dr Rikard-Bell said.

Since the last update in 2013, significant new cereal data has been added to the calibration dataset. The revised calibrations have improved the faecal DE prediction by 22 per cent and can now also predict the faecal DE of maize.

Register now for Roseworthy ‘Science and Pig Production’ course

Pork CRC will support the registration costs and Australian Pork Limited the travel and accommodation costs for the first 15 producers, or their staff, who register for the 2019 ‘Science and Practice of Pig Production’ course, which runs from February 4 to February 14, 2019 at the Roseworthy campus of the University of Adelaide.

The popular course covers everything about pork production, plus the latest technologies and information on reproduction, nutrition, health and production in general. It includes visits to a piggery, abattoir and Al centre and practical demonstrations on Al, heat detection, sample collection and disease diagnosis.

According to Course Convenor Will van Wettere, University of Adelaide, positive feedback from previous participants suggests it’s not to be missed and can be career changing.

APRIL first appointment of CEO and Chief Scientist

John Pluske has been appointed inaugural Chief Scientist and CEO of Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL). Professor Pluske from Murdoch University, Western Australia, will commit more than half his time to APRIL, while maintaining academic roles and duties at Murdoch University.

APRIL is an independent research entity continuing the collaborative approach to research and development of the very successful Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), which is winding down to its June 30, 2019 conclusion.

APRIL actively partners with industry and educational institutionsto deliver research outcomes to the Australasian pork industry and commercial outcomes that generate financial returns for APRIL to support ongoing research, development and training. APRIL invested $900,000 in 13 projects across programs covering resilience, cost and return on assets, in 2018/19, its inaugural funding year.

Dennis Mutton, APRIL Board Chairman, was delighted Professor Pluske agreed to take up the APRIL positions, with Murdoch University’s backing.

“There are exciting research prospects ahead for the pork industry and John’s sound research background and international reputation augers well for meeting the high goals and KPI’s we’ve set for APRIL,” Mr Mutton said.

David Morrison, Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, said the University was committed to agriculture and research.

“This opportunity is a win for the pork industry and enables Murdoch University to retain one of our prominent researchers, which is fantastic for our research capability and for our students,” Professor Morrison said.