Consider it a one-stop shop for the latest in swine feed efficiency information from around the globe: Kansas State University and Iowa State University have established a portal through which information about swine feed efficiency and myriad related topics can be accessed.
The information, free to the public, stems from the International Conference on Feed Efficiency in Swine 2015 hosted Oct. 21-22 in Omaha, Nebraska. The conference drew more than 500 participants from 19 countries and featured 38 speakers from universities and industry in seven countries.
Participants included pork industry owner-operators, managers for large production companies, students, extension professionals, and people working in swine nutrition, genetics, feed processing and the pharmaceutical industry.
“The information was valuable to the people who attended in person, who were able to exchange ideas on the topics presented by the international group of speakers. But, we are also committed to sharing the information gathered from these speakers with those who could not be at the conference,” said Mike Tokach, extension animal science leader with K-State Research and Extension.
Videos of the presentations and related information are available.
“Topics included the results of intensive, multi-generational selection for feed efficiency on pig’s response to environmental stress, disease and pork quality,” said John Patience, animal science professor at Iowa State. “Also, new data was presented in areas of feed processing, sow herd efficiency, nutrition, digestive physiology, health and genetics on swine feed efficiency.”
Tokach and Patience, along with K-State Research and Extension swine specialist Joel DeRouchey, organized the conference. They are part of the interdisciplinary Feed Efficiency in Swine Project conducted by K-State and Iowa State, with partners in Australia, France and Canada.
Feed is the largest cost for swine producers. It represents 55 to 60 percent of producers’ total cost of production, DeRouchey said. The nationwide whole herd feed conversion rate (pound of feed to pound of pork) is about 3.0 to 1, he said. Each point change (example 3.00 to 2.99) represents 140,000 tons of feed per year, which in 2015 was worth $35 million. Utilizing existing knowledge on improving feed efficiency is critical to the competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry and to help with the sustainability of food supplies.
The long-term goal of the project, which includes research projects and outreach such as the conference and informational website, is to help producers increase nutrient utilization and feed efficiency, strengthen pork industry competitiveness, and to reduce the industry’s demand on grains and proteins, DeRouchey said.