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Net Energy Based Ration Formulations Encouraged

by 5m Editor
25 August 2009, at 12:08pm

CANADA - Scientists with the Prairie Swine Centre are encouraging hog producers to consider moving to net energy based ration formulations but to make the change cautiously, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Researchers with the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon and the Universities of Illinois and Missouri have completed a study which looked at various net energy systems used to calculate the energy content of swine rations.

Dr. Denise Beaulieu, a research scientist nutrition with the Prairie Swine Centre, says, where producers are using a lot of alternative feeds or reducing the crude energy content of the diet, using some type of net energy system has been shown to be economically advantageous.

Dr. Denise Beaulieu-Prairie Swine Centre

This was a collaborative project with the Universities of Illinois and Missouri in the US and each of us carried out similar experiments because one of the objectives of the project was to see if you need different values depending on the location because of, for example, the genetics or the environment the pigs are being housed in.

The objective of the project was to look at the net energy systems that are available now.

We know that a lot of producers are interested in using some other system of evaluating the energy content of the diet besides the digestible energy system that's commonly used.

There's various types of adaptations of the net energy system and we were specifically looking at whether we could use the systems developed in Europe here in North America.

We wanted to evaluate those.

For example there's no reason for us to go and develop a new net energy system if we can adapt those systems.


Dr. Beaulieu encourages producers to move to a net energy system cautiously, perhaps retaining digestible energy in the matrix formulation while monitoring net energy until they become familiar with the numbers, however she recommends moving to some type of net energy system.

She invites anyone with questions about net energy to contact the Prairie Swine Centre directly.