At a meeting of the Minnesota Pork Board research committee last week, Dr John Goihl, a consulting swine nutritionist in Minnesota, put the problem of high feed grain prices and limited supplies in perspective. He said there are really two different scenarios that producers face in managing their nutrition programs for their swine production units in the coming year.
Scenario number one is that producers assume supplies of ingredients (not necessarily corn or soybean meal) will be adequate and the challenge is identifying and purchasing alternative ingredients.
The underlying nutrient specifications and expectations of pig performance won’t change much as the diets are formulated. While feed per gain may change, diets will still be formulated for optimal daily gain and carcass merit. Pig flow thru facilities isn’t expected to change.
The challenge is the timing of alternative ingredient purchases, the risks associated with variations in the nutrient profiles of many alternative ingredients and the associated storage and handling issues that a variety of alternative ingredients pose to the feed milling and mixing process.