New NRC Nutrient Requirements Put Emphasis on Energy

CANADA - A swine nutritionist with the University of Guelph reports the latest edition of the NRC 'Nutrient Requirements of Swine' places an increased emphasis on energy requirements, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 21 January 2013
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New NRC Nutrient Requirements of Swine have been discussed at the 2013 Banff Pork Seminar.

The 11th revised edition of the National Academies of Sciences publication and a computer program to estimate nutrient requirements for pigs were officially introduced in July in Phoenix.

Dr Kees de Lange, a professor of swine nutrition with the University of Guelph, says it provides a reference in terms of how pigs should be properly fed and what are the nutrient requirements to optimize performance, welfare, well being as well as meat quality coming from these animals.

Dr Kees de Lange - University of Guelph

Probably the single biggest change is the increased emphasis on energy.

Energy is these days a buzz word with grains being used for biofuels and because of that the cost of energy has increased substantially.

I would say up to about 10 years ago, for pig feeding in North America, we relied very much on cereal grains, barley, wheat, corn but increasingly that is being used for other purposes.

So we really have to look at alternative feed ingredients that can be used as a source of energy and do not really compete with users of feed ingredients for human consumption.

Now I'm thinking about byproducts from the food industry, think about byproducts from the bioethanol industry.

We really have put an effort into characterizing the amount of energy that animals can get from the various feed ingredients and to also then characterize what body functions that energy is required for.

Again, the ultimate aim is to actually meet the animal's requirement without wasting energy.

Dr de Lange notes over the last 15 years, because of selection and animal breeding programs, performance potentials have changed quite substantially, we have done a better job in taking care of the health of those animals and have a much improved animal so it has to be fed differently.

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