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For hogs, low test weight doesn't reduce feeding value of corn

by 5m Editor
1 October 2003, at 12:00am

MINNESOTA - With lower test weight corn expected this fall, do we need to worry that its feeding value for hogs will be reduced? Apparently not, according to research at several universities.

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Corn that's low in test weight appears to have the same feeding value for hogs as normal test weight corn, says Lee Johnston, animal scientist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service. At the University's West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris, Johnston compared "normal" test weight corn of 57 pounds per bushel to lower test weights ranging from 47.5 to 49.5 pounds per bushel.

"There was no statistically significant difference in daily gain, feed intake or feed efficiency between normal and low test weight corn," Johnston says. Pigs started the trial averaging 77 pounds and ended at 229 pounds.

Researchers at Michigan State University evaluated corn with test weights ranging from 42 to 59 pounds per bushel. Pigs started the four-week trial weighing 29 pounds, and corn test weight had no effect on growth performance.

Research in South Dakota using growing-finishing pigs and in Canada using nursery pig showed similar results. In both cases, Johnston says the researchers could not demonstrate any consistently negative or positive effect of low test weight corn on pig performance.

If corn is not contaminated with mycotoxins, and other factors don't compromise corn quality, low test weight doesn't seem to hurt feed value. "Corn with test weights as low as 40 pounds per bushel apparently supports pig performance as well as test weights of 56 to 59 pounds per bushel," Johnston says.

Source: University of Minnesota - 30th September 2003

5m Editor