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Tendering Feed Ingredients

by 5m Editor
10 November 2009, at 12:00am

Producers can reduce feed costs by taking various other factors into consideration, according to Greg Simpson, swine nutritionist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

With higher feed prices and poor hog economics, there has been an increased interest by producers in tendering their feed requirements. While this is one way that producers can reduce feed costs there are a number of things to know before travelling down this path.

Moving to a tendering process is not for everyone. To be successful, producers need to develop a solid understanding of:

Nutrition

You don't need to be an expert but you do need to know the basic nutrition vocabulary and understand the importance of the various nutrients that comprise a diet.

Ingredients

Understand that ingredients provide nutrients and that not all ingredients provide the same nutrition. Knowing why each ingredient is used in a diet helps you make an informed decision.

Pig type

Being able to communicate clearly the kind of genetics you have and the pigs' carcass characteristics, feed intake and growth parameters are critical to creating diets that meet their nutrient requirements.

Barn set up, management style and production objectives

These factors all influence the number, type and nutrient density of diets that you may want or need.

The Pros and Cons

As with any change in business process, there are pros and cons to consider. Some potential outcomes are listed below but they are by no means a complete list and will be different for each producer.

Pros

  1. Greater understanding of nutrition and how it interacts with pig and economic performance
  2. Control over the diets and ingredients you are feeding, and
  3. The ability to quickly optimize your feed cost.

Cons

  1. Loss of technical in-barn service
  2. Reduced supplier support, and
  3. Performance dip

Having that solid knowledge base allows you to make a more informed decision on whether tendering is right for you.

November 2009

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