Options for reducing feed costs

Fall 2009

The current challenges in the feed market emphasize the need for continuing to search for ways to reduce feed costs. Some of the options that are available include the following:

  1. Reduce soybean meal inclusion in the diets by adding as many crystalline amino acids as possible to the diets. Up to 0.4% crystalline lysine can be used in all diets for weanling and growing-finishing pigs, but it is necessary to balance diets with other crystalline amino acids to make sure no amino acid deficiencies are introduced. Crystalline threonine, methionine, and tryptophan may need to also be used.
  2. Make sure not to over-formulate with amino acids because that will increase the usage of soybean meal in the formulations. Work with your nutritionist to make sure diets are formulated correctly.
  3. Use alternative feed ingredients if you have the possibility to do that. Diet costs can be reduced significantly by using distillers dried grains with soluble (DDGS). Other alternative ingredients that are attractive include hominy feed, corn gluten meal, and corn germ.
  4. Use phytase and reduce the use of inorganic phosphorus (dicalcium phosphate or monocalcium phosphate). If diets contain both DDGS and phytase, no inorganic phosphorus is needed in diets fed to growing pigs that are older than 8 weeks.

Hans H. Stein
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801

Publication Type: