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): Zijlstra, Ruurd T. and Eduardo Beltranena
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
Country: Canada


Overall, the markets of swine feed can be divided into two categories, the large volume, low margin diet market such as for grower-finisher pigs and the low volume, higher margin diet market such as for weaned pigs. For each category, specific sets of co-products will be used. The first category focuses more on the traditional market of co-(or by-) products from food or bio-processing. The second category will become an attractive market for the specific fractions created for feed purposes. This paper summarizes this vision and recent findings. The inclusion of co-products in feed will rapidly become economically attractive as the severity of grain shortage become evident. Initially, co-products will become attractive on a cost per tonne basis; their low inclusion rates should not hamper growth performance. Later on, when economics focus shifts more to cost per unit of productivity and less to maximization of growth performance, inclusion rates of these co-products might further increase. Starch fermentation and oil extraction results in these co-products being high in fibre and protein. Results of recent research using wheat DDGS (Widyaratne and Zijlstra 2007) and wheat millrun (Nortey et al. 2006) indicate that these co-products still provide valuable nutrients for swine, but also that their nutrient digestibility is reduced by fibre content. A range of processing techniques can be employed to fractionate crops. Overall, two groups exist, an up-front fractionation process allowing further processing of individual crop fractions and a process that involves the entire crop stock that separates one fraction the crop (as described before). Examples of the first group include dry milling and air classification, etc. Examples of the other group include current ethanol production procedures and oil extraction from canola. Dry separation techniques (dry milling/air classification) are particularly useful for the production of protein-rich fractions from non-oilseed legumes, such as field pea (Dijkstra et al. 2003). The advantages of dry over wet separation techniques are lower equipment and operational costs and the absence of effluents. However wet processing techniques usually result in fraction containing a higher protein or starch concentration. The feed use of value-added fractions further implies that not just the digestible nutrient content of these fractions should be described. Their functional properties relative to animal health, welfare, nutrient management, and pork quality must be considered but such benefits are not so tangible. Consideration of such benefits will ensure that their entire value and potential within commercial swine production can be reached. The rapid advancement of crop fractionation and the proliferation of processing facilities across North America will continue to drastically change the landscape for feedstuffs. In western Canada, the removal of transport subsidies provided a window of opportunity for the use of relatively abundant and affordable feed grains in the livestock industries. The emergence of the bio-fuel industry will place increasing pressure on the price and availability of feed grains, but should reduce the price pressure of protein-rich co-products. As a result, the use of these co-products is becoming rapidly more attractive. These co-products seem to fit now more often in the large volume low margin markets of grower-finisher pig feeds. Pork producers will have to explore these opportunities rapidly to remain competitive in the North America. The high-value crop fractions seem to fit the requirements of weaned pigs and in instances where specific functional attributes may enhance animal health, welfare, nutrient management or pork quality.

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