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): Florence Opapeju, Martin Nyachoti and James House
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Reference: A focus on Corn Production Issue 10 – June 3, 2004
Country: Canada


Wheat and barley are the main sources of energy in swine diets in Western Canada. However, the availability of other grains such as corn, which is an excellent energy source, should afford pork producers an opportunity to better manage dietary nutrient supply and therefore efficiency of production. Moreover, using locally grown feedstuffs in swine rations is not only likely to be cost effective but also offers a means to effectively utilize nutrients and minimize the environmental impact of pork production.
Although corn is originally from the tropics, plant breeders have been successful at developing varieties that can grow well in areas with a short planting season like Manitoba (Manitoba Agric., 2004). Based on corn heat units (CHU), which is a measure of useful heat required for growth and development of corn, Manitoba can be divided into 10 regions with CHU ranging from 1800 – 2800. With the annual minimum requirement of 2200 CHU needed to produce grain corn, six regions in Manitoba support the production of grain corn. These six regions make up 95.3% of the total arable land in Manitoba, thus, a larger part of Manitoba support the production of grain corn.
It is well known that nutritional composition of feed ingredients vary from region to region
(Singh et al., 2000; Kuo et al. 2001; Schmidt et al., 2002) due to factors such as temperature, soil
types, soil fertility, management practices, hybrids and many more. For this basic reason, it is
important that ingredients grown within a region are well characterized in terms of their nutritive
value so as to optimize their use in livestock feeding. An important question that is yet to be
addressed with respect to corn is how differences in CHU might influence its nutritive value. In fact,
the available data on the nutritional value of corn for swine is primarily based on values derived for
US-grown corn. Therefore, a current research project at the University of Manitoba, which is
supported in part by the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, is characterizing the nutritive value of
Manitoba-grown corn for swine.
This research is expected to provide useful information for formulating nutritionally adequate
swine diets containing Manitoba-grown corn varieties. Providing such data will promote the use of
locally grown corn in swine diets thus benefiting both the grain grower and pig producer. Data on
carcass characteristics will be useful in guiding the use of corn in feeding programs for growing finishing pigs.

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