Replacing Traditional Feedstuffs with Low-Cost Alternatives

15 October 2012, at 7:39am

CANADA - Research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc is helping Canadian pork producers reduce feeding costs by replacing traditional feed stuffs with lower costs alternative ingredients, writes Bruce Cochrane.

To help reduce feed cost the University of Alberta and Alberta Agriculture in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc has been evaluating a range of alternative feed ingredients.

University of Alberta Animal Science Professor Dr Ruurd Zijlstra says 10 to 15 years ago western Canadian pork producers formulated diets based on wheat or barley and some traditional protein source, primarily soy bean meal and perhaps some field pea or canola meal.

Dr Ruurd Zijlstra-University of Alberta:

What has changed of course since then, and particularly this year, is the prices of our feed stuffs so the cereal grains have increased drastically in price and so has the price for soybean meal.

Starting already five years ago, when feed stuff prices started to increase, people have become much more open for adding alternatives to those standard cereal grains and soybean meal into the diets.

Additional ingredients have been added and also the ingredients that we used to place some maximum inclusion levels for in the diet, we've become much more risk tolerant to increasing those inclusion levels.

As a result of that the content of cereal grain in the diet is now much lower than it was 10 to 15 years ago and in a lot of diets, certainly for grower-finisher pigs, you would not find soybean meal as a protein source any more.

It has all been replaced with all kinds of different co-products that we can add to the diets, distillers grains as an example, increasing levels of pulses and of course increasing levels of canola meal and wheat mill run come to mind as well.

Dr Zijlstra says by replacing expensive cereal grains and soybean meal with alternative ingredients researchers were able to reduce feed costs by 10 to 15 per cent while still maintaining the same energy and amino acid profiles.

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