September 23, 2008


DDGS may help absorb financial impact on US pork producers

US pork producers should consider using DDGS to reduce cost amid relatively high prices of corn, soymeal and dicalcium phosphate, according to South Dakota Cooperative Extension Swine Specialist Bob Thaler.


Thaler recommends adding 20 percent DDGS to grow-finish hog diets, which could reduce costs by more than US$16 per tonne of feed and lead to savings of US$5.40 per pig.


"DDGS is a co-product of the ethanol industry, so it is readily available, and pork producers who add 10 percent DDGS to their swine herd's total diet can lower the cost per tonne by US$8.11. You can feed up to 30 percent DDGS in grow-finish diets without affecting growth performance," Thaler said.


However, Thaler warns that ration that exceeds 20 percent DDGS in late-finishing diets risk the development of soft fat in swine bellies, which is a problem for the packing industry. 


Thaler added that producers can use up to 30 percent DDGS in the grower and early finishing phase if they back their feed off to 20 percent in the last month to avoid the problem.


Producers should benefit using a 30-percent DDGS ration on gestation diets and a 10-percent DDGS diet for lactation and late nursery swine diets, Thaler said.


When bringing DDGS into a feeding programme, the producers have to balance the diet on amino acids as their values are different in DDGS and soymeal, Thaler said.


"It's also important to balance on available phosphorus, to get the full economic and environmental benefits, and to buy DDGS only from ethanol plants that produce high-quality DDGS, to avoid mycotoxins and variable nutrient content."

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