A key component of improving swine feeding is to improve the accuracy of determining and meeting nutrient requirements. Pigs’ nutrient requirements depend on many factors. That’s why one set of diets to meet all pigs’ needs is absurd.

Of course, improved performance is often tied to greater feed efficiency and ultimate profitability. You set performance goals for various production phases that involve lean gain per day, feed conversions or 21-day litter weight. In the end, nutrition greatly influences performance goals.

The University of Minnesota Extension swine nutritionists recommend asking yourself these questions when you’re establishing performance goals for your operation:

  • What is the current level of performance in my herd? Of course, this is phase specific, so look deeply and independently as you review one phase to the next.
  • Can and should a higher level of performance be attained?
  • Will improved nutrition help attain increased performance?
  • If so, what specific components of the nutrition program can be changed to improve performance?
  • Will feeding program adjustments improve your overall profitability? Will adjustments harm profitability?