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Low Feed Costs Expected to Improve Returns for Finishing Hogs

by 5m Editor
21 December 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1673. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1673

An Alberta based feed supplier says an abundant availability of grains heading into 2005 will have a dramatic impact on the cost of finishing hogs.

Champion Feed Services Manager Gary Belanger says grain that had been destined for human consumption or destined for malt but hasn't cut the grade for those industries is making feed grade.

He says there's ample supplies of both wheat and barley available and, although quality is down slightly from last year, it's still pretty good and is meeting minimum standards for feed ingredients.

"Typically nutritionists will base their decision as to what ingredients to use based on energy content or net energy content, crude protein or digestible amino acid contents. What we're seeing this year is there's ample supply of feed wheat.

We're seeing historically low prices, probably lower than we've seen in the last 10 to 20 years. Based on some of Agrifood Canada's market analysis division data, we haven't seen grain prices this low since probably the early '90's, 93-94.

Barley is slightly below historical averages but slightly more expensive than wheat. Barley is at a disadvantage right now. Producers should be considering switching over their diets to wheat.

Wheat is definitely more advantageous right now, more energy, more protein, more digestible amino acids, yet cheaper than barley.

Nutritionists will base those decisions on the cost of the ingredient, its availability and what it provides for specific nutrients to the diet."

Belanger says theoretically, with decent feed conversions, producers feeding from 25 kilograms to market weight could see their feed costs fall by almost 15 dollars per market hog.

He says feed costs are going to be extremely low this year at a time when we're seeing historically high hog prices so it should be quite a profitable period at least until the third or fourth quarter of 2005.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor