New information available on feeding wheat to pigs

URBANA – Research shows that wheat is a viable energy source for pigs, but little information is available about using this feedstuff in swine operations today.

Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois associate professor in the department of animal sciences, has just released a new brochure on “Feeding Wheat to Pigs.”

“Our goal is to increase awareness of wheat as an alternative feed for pigs,” Stein said. “We want to inform producers of the advantages of feeding wheat as well as considerations they will need to keep in mind if they choose to feed it.”

Wheat is higher in protein than corn and comparable in energy. It can be an economical choice in wheat-producing areas, in areas where corn is scarce, or when the price of soybean meal or other protein sources is high.

“Pigs fed wheat-based diets can grow as efficiently, and with similar meat quality as pigs fed corn-based diets when digestible energy and amino acids are equalized,” Stein said. “The nutritional value of wheat allows producers to pay slightly more per bushel for wheat than for corn.”

Stein encourages producers to compare prices throughout the year.

“In Illinois, this can be the best time of the year to purchase wheat for use in a swine diet,” Stein said. “Oftentimes local wheat prices are attractive when compared with corn this time of the year when wheat has been harvested, but new corn is still not available.”

Stein’s brochure can be downloaded at, or producers can contact their local Illinois Extension office for copies.

Published: August 30, 2010
News Source: Hans H. Stein, 217-333-0013,
News Writer: Jennifer Shike, 217-244-0888,