As soybean meal costs continue to rise along with other inputs, it has become more important for livestock producers to convert every ounce of nutrition available from their soybean meal. To achieve that goal, the National Pork Checkoff continues its partnership with the soybean checkoff on mutually beneficial research projects.

“The U.S. pork industry uses about 25 percent of the domestically used soybean meal, so there is a strong partnership between soybean farmers and pork producers.” says Phil Bradshaw, United Soybean Board Animal Agriculture Team Lead and a soybean farmer from Griggsville, Ill.

That partnership has led to collaboration among the United Soybean Board, the National Pork Board and Qualisoy to fund the North American Swine Energy System, a two-year research program evaluating the use of net-energy systems for U.S. feedstuffs. “Net energy for swine becomes more important as corn becomes more expensive,” says Tom Brown, USB director and a soybean farmer and pork producer from Morral, Ohio. “Increasing energy from soybeans may provide added nutritional value, so the soybean checkoff is funding research to look at this issue.”

The soybean checkoff’s focus on animal nutrition and feed improvement led to the development of the Animal Nutrition Working Group in 2006. This group of 14 animal nutritionists advises the Soybean Checkoff on prioritization of potential improvements in soybean traits that could improve available energy, reduce allergens, and improve the overall benefits of soy as a feed ingredient for the livestock industries. The three-year Development of an Allergenicity Model in Swine project will conclude next May.

“The National Pork Board appreciates the working relationship we have developed with the United Soybean Board,” said Everett Forkner, a Missouri pork producer and member of both the National Pork Board and its Animal Science Committee. “Especially during this time of rising feed costs, net energy is a new look at how feeds can be formulated to meet the needs of pigs as well as a way to possibly save producers money. This research is going to help us be much smarter with our feed.”

Source: United Soybean Board, National Pork Board