Prairie Swine Centre looks at low cost feed

22-02-2008 | |

Prairie Swine Centre President and CEO Dr. John Patience says feed typically represents between 50 and 75% of the total cost of pork production in Canada and the energy component alone represents about 25% of the cost of production. The Centre is therefore looking at strategies producers can use to reduce operating costs without incurring additional expense.

John Patience: “Producers have tended to focus much of their attention on the
amino acid content of the diet, the protein because that’s what drives lean gain
and that’s what produces a lean carcass which is what the consumer wants. And
also producers have focused on things like vitamins and minerals because those
contribute to the health of the pig and those components certainly are very very
important but we would suggest that the highest priority, after you’ve dealt
with the issue of what is the objective of the feeding program, should be on
energy levels, selecting the correct energy level.

Our research and
analysis has shown that, depending on your success in selecting that right
energy level for your feeding program, you could increase your net by anywhere
from a dollar to 13 dollars per pig. In other words if you’ve got it really
wrong you’re wasting 13 dollars a pig and if you’ve got it really right on then
you’re where you need to be but we think in many many circumstances there is
somewhere probably one to three dollars a pig available just by fine tuning the
energy level given the current cost of energy, i.e. wheat and corn compared to
six months ago even.”

Dr. Patience further says the energy level being
aimed for will dictate to some extent the ingredients that can be considered
but, he notes, there is a diverse array of choices.Because the cost of those
ingredients are changing so rapidly, he recommends reformulating diets every
couple of weeks.

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