October 2, 2017


Indonesian pig farmers discover use of sorghum in feed



The ban on corn imports has led Indonesian pig farmers to use sorghum in their animals' home-mixed feed. The country's pig raisers rely on corn for feed, but now they have to compete with feed millers for locally raised corn.


Indonesia stopped issuing corn import permits to feed mills in July 2015, as part of the government's push for food self-sufficiency. 


Sauland Sinaga, Chairman of the Indonesian Monogastric Association, said sorghum is, in fact, a good alternative to corn, he told Asian Agribiz.


"I have tried sorghum at my pig farm in Kuningan, West Java. The result was positive. Sorghum-based feed delivered similar pig production performance with corn-based feed," he was quoted as saying.


He added that for starter pigs, the grain can be used at 20%, and for grower and finisher pigs, it can totally replace corn.


Sorghum is grown in Indonesia, but is not considered a major crop. It is used for pig feed in other countries such as the US.


According to "Sorghum in Swine Production Feeding Guide" written by Dr. Mike Tokach, Dr. Bob Goodband and Dr. Joel DeRouchney, all of Kansas State University, research has demonstrated that sorghum grain contains 96% of the energy content of corn.


However, when processed correctly and balanced for digestible amino acid and available phosphorus concentrations, sorghum has a feeding value greater than the 96% value of corn. 


"Grain sorghum can totally replace corn, wheat or barley as the cereal grain source for all classes of swine diets", the guide said. -Rick Alberto