Rising feed grain cost means some swine producers are looking at other ways to feed their animals. Rod Bain reports:
Record high hog prices are forecasted this year but so are high feed costs that are cutting into a swine producers' bottom line. So, researchers like Rommel Sulabo of the University of Illinois are looking into ways to reduce feed costs:
"I think there are many options when it comes to diet formulations that provide opportunities for producers to reduce feed costs. So, I think in this year whit risk management is critical to achieve higher profits, it's really important for us to take a closer look at alternative feed ingredients."
He says, one way to reduce feed costs is through use of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS):
"The cost of distillers has increased for the past six month, we can still gain significant savings with the use of distillers. And we estimated that with the current prices of corn, soybean meal and distillers, diet costs can be reduced by $7 to $9 per ton for every 10% increase and inclusion of distillers in the diet."
And there are other options that can be based on regional availability:
"In certain regions, we do have products, corn hominy seed or bakery meal product, this is by-product basically rejected cookies or bread. And then we have wheat middlings that can be used as alternative ingredients for our swine producers. Now we estimated that if these ingredients can be included in diets, up to 30%, then we can significantly reduce feed costs."
And yet another possibility as an alternative to feed grain for swine is fish meal, commonly used as a protein source. But Sulabo notes the rising high prices of fish meal in recent years. He says, though, there are fish meal substitutes available:
"There has been a lot of research the past few years to look at alternatives to fish meal and some of the ingredients that were found to be proven alternatives are: enzyme-treated soybean meal, fermented soybean meal, enzyme treated pig intestines and byproduct meal, bone meal and also bloodmeal."
And finally, a tip to consider is the elimination of inorganic phospherous due to rising costs. Sulabo says this can be done by using distillers dried grains and:
"...adding an enzyme called phytase which helps with the breakdown of physates which binds with the phospherous. The combination of these two ingredients can improve the digestibility of phospherous in such a way that we can totally eliminate inorganic phospherous in our diet."