Farmscape for February 9, 2012 (Episode 4083)
A Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada suggests, by utilizing new technologies to better match feed to the nutritional requirements of the pig, pork producers can lower their feeding costs while reducing their environmental footprints.
Precision feeding involves the use of feeding techniques that allow the right amount of feed with the right composition to be provided at the right time to each pig in the herd.
"Sustainable Precision Livestock Farming: A Vision for the Canadian Swine Industry" was discussed last month in Banff as part of the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar.
Dr. Candido Pomar, a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lenoxville and an Adjunct Professor with the Universities of Laval and Sherbrooke, explains we want to improve the utilization of resources but, the challenge in the field is that there's a lot of variation in the amount of nutrients required by individual pigs.
Clip-Dr. Candido Pomar-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
The problem when we're feeding groups is we have to make one feed for all the animals so normally if we don't want to limit growth we are going to feed these pigs taking into account the needs of the most demanding pigs so most of the pigs are eating more than they need.
Precision feeding tries to provide to every pig the amount of nutrient that it needs.
That's what it's doing and that's what we are obtaining.
If we take the example of nitrogen, the same principles can be used for other nutrients.
If we are reducing nitrogen intake by 25 percent that means that with 25 percent less protein we obtain the same body mass, the same animal growth.
In this sense that may represent maybe eight dollars per pig less in feeding cost.
That's what precision feeding can provide to the farmers.
Dr. Pomar suggests we have to use our resources more efficiently so we can produce the same with less or we can produce more with the same.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
* Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council