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Carbon pricing could change cost of high-fibre feed ingredient use

Swine nutritionist says the introduction of carbon pricing could change the equation when considering the inclusion of low-cost high-fibre feed ingredients into swine rations.

23 March 2019, at 9:31am

Researchers with the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture and Bioresources are examining the carbon footprint left by using high-fibre alternative feed ingredients in swine rations.

In an interview with Farmscape.Ca, Dr Denise Beaulieu, an assistant professor in monogastric nutrition, explains ingredients such as peas or byproducts such as wheat mids are used to lower feed costs but these high-fibre ingredients would increase methane and carbon dioxide output as the fibres are fermented in the gut of the pig.

Dr Bealieu explains: "This work is primarily for the pork producers and it will allow them to use these ingredients with more confidence into the future.

"I know it's political, but let's say there was a scenario where carbon pricing came into play for our pork production industry and then we would have to put a cost on high-fibre ingredients.

"New data could more accurately allow us to look at the cost of these high-fibre ingredients and the role that they might play in terms of the overall carbon footprint of pork production. Right now producers use wheat mids and peas which are primarily brought into the diet to meet all the nutritional requirements of the pig at a lower cost.

"Going into the future, if we add increasing amounts of these into the diet we may want to look at the the carbon footprint because that could be an additional cost that we'd want to consider."

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