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Consideration of Nutritional Variability Advised

by 5m Editor
28 February 2011, at 9:26am

CANADA - A researcher with the Prairie Swine Centre is advising pork producers to consider nutritional variability when including alternative feed ingredients in swine rations and to err on the side of caution, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Nutrition: Managing the Cost of Production will be among the topics discussed during the Prairie Swine Centre's 2011 spring producer meetings tomorrow in Niverville, Wednesday in Portage La Prairie and Friday in Saskatoon.

Dr Denise Beaulieu, a researcher scientist nutrition, notes we're seeing an upward trend in the cost of the traditional wheat, corn, barley, soy meal, canola meal type diets prompting producers to look at alternatives such as dried distillers grains with solubles, peas, lentils and options like that.

Dr Denise Beaulieu-Prairie Swine Centre

One of the biggest problems with the alternative ingredients is we just don't have enough of a database compared to other ingredients and they certainly are more variable.

For example distillers, depending on the plant or there is batch to batch variability.

With some of the alternative ingredients we are looking perhaps at low quality ingredients, products that are not making the human food chain so they are going into animal feed and there again that can be very variable so that is one of the biggest issues with incorporating them into a feed matrix is we just don't have the data and the information on variability that we would like to have.

Being aware of the variability and perhaps err on the side of caution is very important.

The other thing is when they're looking at feed costs, I think one of the most important things is to keep in mind the lowest cost of a diet is not necessarily the most profitable so they have to look at their overall bottom line and that is the overall return over feed costs.

Again that is not always the cheapest diet.


Dr Beaulieu says we don't see any reason in the long term for feed prices to drastically decrease.

She notes the corn crop in the US is under pressure from ethanol, we see wheat and some other grains going into ethanol in Canada and, with the world-wide increased demand for food supplies of all types, we don't foresee any moderation of feed costs.