A new and daunting nutritional challenge facing pork producers is whether or how to use feed byproducts, especially those from ethanol production — distillers dried grains with solubles.

It will take some detailed evaluations, planning and readjustments, says Brian Richert, a swine nutritionist at Purdue University.

Adding DDGS near  the maximum inclusion rates of 30 percent in grow/finish diets will increase nitrogen excretion by 150 percent to 200 percent, says Richert. How those and other byproducts are handled and fed to livestock will be a critical challenge as producers try to match usage with environmental stewardship efforts.

Future industrial corn use will drive pork production costs up. Projections on how high vary widely, but feed costs will definitely be higher next year and in future years. 

In the end, Richert says the industry needs to find a way to utilize DDGS and other other byproducts effectively. Long term, it will become economically important to hold feed costs down.