The Ontario Swine Improvement Program (OSIP) provides genetic improvement tools to Ontario breeders to assist them in making decisions to advance the genetics in their herds. Both OSI and the OSIP program are recognized and respected world-wide for their accomplishment in swine genetic improvement. The OSIP program provides regular on-farm testing which consists of ultrasonic probing of designated pigs to determine loin and back fat depths. Sow litter information is also collected and processed. Privatized field representatives are nationally accredited to ensure that there is consistency in ultrasonic measurements. On-farm Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are computed at the time of probing to allow timely and accurate selection decisions. The breeder is responsible for submitting data to the national system and getting their most recent national EBVs.

Estimated Breeding Values are computed for each trait:

  • Backfat thickness
  • Age
  • Loin muscle depth
  • Estimated lean yield
  • Loin eye area
  • Feed conversion
  • Total number of pigs born
  • Litter weigh weight
  • Age at first farrowing
  • Farrowing interval
  • Piglets survival to 24 hours
  • Conformation
  • Litter Weights
  • Total Born

Once computed, EBVs are incorporated into selection index, a tool designed to maximize overall profitability. Selection indices consist of EBVs on a number of traits - the contribution of these EBVs to the index depend on their economic value in commercial swine production. Two different EBV indices are computed for OSI breeders - a Sire Line Index (SLI), and a Dam Line Index (DLI). Generally, the SLI is used for selection of terminal breeds such as Duroc, whereas the DLI are used for maternal breeds such as the Yorksire and Landrace. Customized indeces can also be generated.