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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Economics Research Institute Study Paper




Utah State University Department of Economics

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Circle Four Farms (C4F) is the largest sow-breeding farm in the state of Utah and is currently increasing its breeding barn capacity to boost production. This growth has also been accompanied by adoption of the latest technologies for collecting and keeping sow records. C4F recognizes that timely, updated, and accurate records are of great importance to successful management. This study was performed to weigh the costs and benefits associated with the following three separate identification and tracking systems for swine that are employed at C4F: (1) the Manual System (MS)-under this system, sow identification and data are collected and entered manually into the main computer system located in the office of the breeding unit; (2) the Hand-Held Computer (HHC) System, or semiautomated system. A portable computer (HHC) is used to enter sow identification and data on site. The information is then downloaded into the personal computer in the office. This system reduces the need for paperwork; (3) the Electronic Identification (EID) System, or fully automated system. Each sow is tagged with an electronic transponder tag (ETT) used to identify the sows. The breeding unit employing this system uses a wand (scanner) attached to the HHC to identify sows electronically by scanning the ETTs. The information is then downloaded to the main computer in the office. Two strategies were