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Anticipated Variable Feed Grain Quality Means Producers Will Need to Step up Quality Control

by 5m Editor
23 September 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1607. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1607

With the wide range of feed grain quality anticipated this fall, pork producers will need to step up their quality control to maintain optimum performance.

An extended planting season and difficult growing conditions will mean crop quality across the prairies will be highly variable.

Prairie Swine Centre President Dr. John Patience recommends a combination of visual inspection and laboratory assays to evaluate grain quality.

"We'll be looking for sprouting, of course. One of the misunderstandings, I think that exists, is the assumption that sprouted grain is of lower quality.

Certainly the research that's been done in the area is quite limited but it's all quite consistent that a small degree of sprouting actually appears to improve the digestibility of the grain kernel.

It's only when sprouting becomes more extensive that the feeding value goes down. That's the visual side of things.

I think we need to be analyzing for moisture and some producers may want to formulate their diets on a dry matter basis and correct for dry matter when they're mixing diets.

We should also be looking at the predicted amount of energy in the grains. We don't put much confidence in bushel weights.

Bushel weight can range from in the 46 pound range up to the low 50 pound range and really not have a good correlation between bushel weight and energy level in the grain.

We really should be doing an analysis on that grain of a component we call acid detergent fibre, or ADF, because that has proven to be a very effective predictor of the digestible energy content of the grain. "

Dr. Patience says it's also important to be looking at molds and mycotoxins because, irrespective of quality of grain, they can have a serious detrimental effect on pig performance.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor