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Increased Use of Alternative Feed Ingredients

by 5m Editor
31 March 2011, at 10:22am

CANADA - A research nutritionist with the Prairie Swine Centre reports rising feed costs have prompted an increased reliance on the use of alternative feed ingredients such as dried distillers grains with solubles, Bruce Cochrane writes.

A downward trend in feed costs over the past couple of years has reversed itself and feed costs are once again on the rise.

Dr Denise Beaulieu, a research scientist nutrition with the Saskatoon based Prairie Swine Centre observes that Canada has seen an increased demand for ethanol which is affecting the price of corn while the increasing demand for energy is affecting all feed ingredient costs.

Dr Denise Beaulieu-Prairie Swine Centre

We see increasing reliance on byproduct feeds.

Producers are putting more and more of these byproduct feeds into their rations.

It's made ration formulation more complex and one of the biggest problems is of course the variability in these byproduct feeds which makes it a little bit more complicated as well and so trying to have some means of predicting exactly what the feed value is from a byproduct feed that you are buying is very difficult, especially byproduct feed such as distillers the byproduct from the ethanol industry which can vary depending on the parent grain but also vary depending on the fermentation procedures that are used at every plant.

Producers have to rely upon chemical analysis however some of those take too long to predict the feeding value.

They'll want to have it bought before they can get those analysis back so they have to rely upon things like how the feed looks, whether it looks burned or anything like that.

The other issue is to be aware that if they are making dramatic switches in their feeding programme that they don't affect the palatability of the feed.

Any dramatic change can cause the animal to go off feed for a day or so.
Dr Beaulieu notes watching the small details remains important, things like checking that feeders flowing properly, minimizing waste and proper storage of feed are still very important in making the best use of feeds.