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Light test weight corn and milo for swine

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

SOUTH DAKOTA – Weather conditions this year make it likely that there may be light test-weight corn and milo (grain sorghum) available for swine feed.

SDSU Extension Service

South Dakota State University Extension Swine Specialist Bob Thaler said depending on the price and test-weight, light grains can work well in a swine feeding program.

“Before considering using weather-stressed corn or milo, first make sure they are free of molds and mycotoxins. Stressed grains often will contain mycotoxins,“ Thaler said. “If that is the case, they should only be fed to grow-finish pigs at low levels.“

If the light test-weight grains are mycotoxin-free, they can be fed to all classes of swine.

Nutritionally, light test-weight grains will be lower in energy (less starch and more fiber) and higher in protein than normal grains. As long as test-weight is not reduced by more than 25 percent, daily gain will not suffer. However, the pig compensates for the lower energy by eating more feed, which results in a poorer feed efficiency. Fat can be added to the diet to provide more energy, but Thaler said that’s not economical at today’s fat prices.

“As with any low energy feed, the best places to utilize it are in finishing and gestation diets, and gestational feeding level will have to be slightly increased to make sure the sows are consuming enough energy,“ Thaler said. “Also, it is critical that light test-weight grains be added to the diets based on weight, not volume. If producers do not have scales on their grinder, they may have problems getting the correct amount of light grains in their rations.“

Producers in the past have actually made money feeding light test-weight corn and milo to pigs, Thaler said. If feed efficiency is decreased by 5 percent and the price of the corn is decreased by 15 percent, the producer will spend less in total feed dollars per pig since the lower feed costs will more than compensate the poorer feed efficiency.

“If producers can buy light grains at harvest when the dockage is the greatest, they have the best opportunity of making money feeding light test weight grains,“ Thaler said.

Learn more on this topic from the South Dakota-Nebraska Swine Nutrition Guide, available online at http://ars.sdstate.edu/swineext/SwineNutritionGuide.pdf.

Source: South Dakota State University Extension Service - 10th September 2004

5m Editor