Farmscape for December 19, 2014
The head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science with the University of Saskatchewan says, by ensuring diets formulated for piglets get them off to a good start, they'll be healthier throughout the production cycle and more profitable for producers.
As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Prairie Swine Centre and the Universities of Laval, Guelph, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are assessing innovative piglet management strategies from birth to slaughter aimed at optimizing performance and ensuring profitable pork production.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science with the University of Saskatchewan, says scientists are focusing on pre-weaning and post-weaning nutritional strategies aimed at reducing diet costs, while ensuring efficient utilization and healthy growth all the way through the production cycle.
Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-University of Saskatchewan:
Ultimately it'll be the swine producer that we hope is the primary beneficiary in terms of improved feeding strategies, improved health of the pigs, improved profitability, reduced feeding costs but of course there are the feed industry companies that are producing diets, that are formulating diets.
These nutritionists will be using this information in terms of the diets they recommend to swine farmers and the feed additives industry. There's certainly a significant industry that provides feed additives that improve nutrition, improve the health of the pigs, and we can potentially see new products that might arise from this work that these companies would offer to producers.
Dr. Van Kessel says, with feed costs representing 60 to 70% of the costs of producing swine, reducing the cost of feed while improving performance is critical to improved profitability.
He notes we often see advantages in growth performance and health in the early post-weaning period but it remains a question whether that early advantage carries through to slaughter weight and actually results in improved profitability.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council