April 08, 2015

08/04/2015: Expert panel to help producers increase profitability in sows

New research, trials and nutritional and management tools increase profitability during challenging times



Like many livestock industries, the swine industry has a mix of encouraging, as well as challenging, and even conflicting news about how to balance profitability and quality within an integrated and ever-changing health management system, reports Kemin after recently assemblinga panel of experts to address the key variables specifically affecting the profitability of sows and providing in-depth insights on the management of hyper-prolific sows, metabolic utilisation of energy, improved digestibility and overall sow health.

The company says that while it’s widely accepted that sow nutrition and health are major factors in production performances, and in turn profitability, other variables are changing the strategic management and approach to nutrition may also need to change.

Specifically, the industry is quickly moving towards a reduction in the use of antibiotics which is changing industry best practices in preventive health management. To stress the sector further is the continued suffering from poor profitability.

“It is imperative that we continue to call on the best swine industry experts and their cutting edge research to improve the nutrition and health of the animal to maximise production and profits,” said John Springate, president of animal nutrition and health division of Kemin. 

“It is from these discussions we can share the practical application of the research and tools that support continual growth and refinement in the industry and for the producer.”  
Dr Gunner Sorensen, programme manager at the Pig Research Center, Danish Agriculture and Food Center, discussed the management of hyper prolific sows. His presentation revealed the secret on how to reach 35 pigs/sows/year.

Sorensen covered aspects related to nutrient recommendations, gestation feed curves and body conditions, gastric health and lactation management. The feed composition and accurate nutrient balance is crucial to performance as it is related the whole nutritional spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. He also discussed the reduction of gastric ulcers in sows and stressed the use of some coarse grain feed.

During gestation and upon lactation the sow needs to be monitored continuously for her body condition. Sorensen concluded that the race is not to reach the maximum possible level of live born piglets per year; the overall goal is to reach the most profitable piglet production.

Geert Janssens, Ghent University professor, covered the metabolic utilisation of energy and sow requirements.

During his lecture, Janssens discussed the importance of the ketone and citric acid cycle for delivering energy to the sow. General principles teach that burning fat delivers more energy than burning carbohydrate or protein.

However, in order to burn fat in the citric acid cycle, oxaloacetate is needed which is only formed through burning glucose, amino acids or propionic acid because otherwise fatty acids are transformed into ketone bodies.

Therefore, one can state that fat is burned in the fire of oxaloacetate. Burning palmitate through the citric acid cycle delivers 12 percent more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or energy as combustion through the ketone cycle. The fibre choice in sow diets as source of propionic acid might therefore be an interesting route of further research, where the effect of the carbohydrate fraction on fermentation, transit time and water binding needs to be considered.

Reiterating the importance on the economics related to swine production, Dr Mauro Di Benedetto, senior technical service manager at Kemin, reminded the audience that approximately 70 percent of swine production costs are derived from feed prices so reducing feed conversion through improved digestibility or increased nutrient absorption has never been more important.

The most common ideology among swine producers is that production can be increased through the amount of live born weaned piglets.

However, Dr Di Benedetto explained that a 0.1 reduction in feed conversion results in the same profit as an additional two weaned piglets born per litter. This reduction in feed conversion can easily be obtained through the use of nutritional tools which help determine the proper ingredient values which improve nutrient absorption.

During a live demonstration, Dr Di Benedetto demonstrated the mode of action of the natural biosurfactant Lysoforte, supporting lipid digestion in the three phases of (1) improving emulsification, (2) facilitating the effect of lipase and (3) improving the absorption of both lipids and other nutrients. Novel data on how Lysoforte supports the sow’s absorption of nutrients was presented.

In addition, a recent trial conducted at Schothorst Feed Research indicated that the unique biosurfactant Lysoforte
™ Booster Dry reduced swine feed cost 7€/tonne of feed during the grower phase while increasing an additional income of 0.8€ per pig versus the control group. The field trial data confirmed that Lysoforte Booster was effective in reducing feed costs with 4€ per tonne of feed while maintaining similar performance results.

The health status of the sow and piglet were covered by Jürgen Zentek, Free University of Berlin professor. He focused on the value of trace minerals in the diets especially zinc.

He felt it was important for the audience to understand that zinc oxide is 40 – 90 percent less bioavailable than zinc sulphate and the level of zinc required in the diet remains a delicate balance. Zinc is an essential mineral and if there is not enough zinc it causes an impairment of growth function in most microorganisms, whereas too much zinc is known to be toxic.

Zentek also discussed the contradictions in the use of zinc oxide and demonstrated in his recent research. His research has indicated that feeding high levels of zinc oxide to piglets almost completely eliminates the level of lactobacilli while stimulating the level of clostridia bacteria. In addition, higher levels of antibiotic resistant microorganisms were found in the piglet given a high level of zinc oxide in the diet.

The experts concluded that attendees have several exciting opportunities to utilise new cutting edge tools created by Kemin to help improve profitability in the swine production cycle. The group also exchanged trial data that supported new ideas on how to manage swine production into tomorrow’s challenging environment.

About the company
Kemin provides “inspired molecular solutions” specifically developed to provide nutrition and health benefits for humans and animals. Committed to feed and food safety, Kemin maintains top-of-the-line manufacturing facilities where approximately 500 specialty ingredients are made for the global feed and food industries as well as the health, nutrition and beauty markets. A privately held, family-owned and operated company, Kemin has nearly 2000 employees and operates in more than 90 countries with manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. 

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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