Swine Producers Encouraged to Consider Alternative Feed Ingredients to Cut Feeding Costs

CANADA - A researcher with the University of Alberta is encouraging swine producers to consider alternative feed ingredients and strategies to contend with increased competition from ethanol for feedgrains, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 4 February 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

"The Latest Developments in Alternative Feedstuffs for Pigs" is one of the topics being explored during the 2007 Manitoba Swine Seminar underway in Winnipeg.

University of Alberta feed industry research chair Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra notes we've seen a drastic increase in grain prices and some reduction in protein ingredients, especially canola meal, in reaction to increasing demand for starch for ethanol production and an increase in availability of high protein coproducts from ethanol.

Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra-University of Alberta

What you see overall is that, in particularly, Corn has seen the most drastic price increases and, as a result of that, we've seen a spike in barley and wheat prices as well.

I would suggest that there would be two parts of a solution.

One of them would be to look at how you actually formulate diets, what is the energy system that you use and what is the amino acid system that you use to formulate your diet?

If you would switch to a net energy system for energy and a standardized or true ileal digestibility for amino acids there would be some cost savings if you would do so.

If you would like to maximize the use of coproducts such as dried distillers grain, a switch to net energy and standardized ileal digestible amino acids is an absolute must to maximize the use of these coproducts.

Because they're very high in fibre, they're very high in protein, you absolutely must deal with these two factors nutritionally.

Dr. Zijlstra says, while the availability of grain has not changed that much yet, the price of feedgrain has certainly shifted.

He believes part of this increase in grain prices is simply due to speculation while part of it is due to a change in market demand.

He suggests expanding your ingredient matrix and keeping an open mind on opportunities that might be out there.

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