Prairie Swine Centre

 Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): J.M. Bell and M.O. Keith
Publication Date: January 1, 1994
Reference: Prairie Swine Centre Annual Research Report 1994 pp. 31
Country: Canada


Barley is the grain base for pig production in Western Canada. Its successful use depends upon appropriate supplementation. Good barley contains only 90% of recommended digestible energy (DE) for growing-finishing pigs. Barley is highly variable in DE, protein and amino acid content, being affected by varietal, agronomic and climatic factors. High fibre content is associated with reduced DE contend (Perez et al., 1980; Just, 1982). Bell et al. (1983) reported that energy digestibility declined from 84 to 64% as the crude fibre content increased from 2.5 to 11.0%, equivalent to a hull increase from zero to 30%.
The partial or total substitution of high-energy grains such as wheat, corn or hulless barley results in increased levels of DE in pig diets but has not always resulted in improved pig performance (Hollis and Palmer, 1971; Kromann et al., 1976). Barley was equal to wheat when fed at the same lysine: DE ratio (Walker, 1989).
The choice of protein supplement may also affect DE level in the diet. Canola meal and soybean meal, the most commonly used supplements,, differ in that soy contains more protein (44% vs 37%) and more DE/kg (3490 vs 3100).
Carcasses of pigs fed wheat have long been penalized in Canada because of excess fat but recent developments in pig breeding, housing and nutrition justify re-examination of the potential effects of various combinations of barley with high-energy grains and the interactions of these grain blends with the type of protein supplement used in terms of pig performance and carcass quality.

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