FAI Investigates Forage Feeding With Alternative Sources of Protein
The pig industry is currently facing a number of significant challenges.
The wide-scale intensification of pig production and the legislative exclusion of feeding waste food and bi-products are driving increasing demand for cereal-based protein feeds. Soybean production has increased by more than 400% in the past 40 years, more than any other commodity crop but increasing demand for all feed commodities are adding significant cost pressures to pig production.
There is a growing need to develop cost effective, sustainable feed production systems that meet the nutritional requirements of pigs. Behavioural research shows that pigs need to root, forage and manipulate materials and will spend up to 70% of their time engaged in these behaviours. A forage-based ration can meet the pigs’ behavioural needs, cost effectively.
Preliminary results: Statistical analysis of initial data from a 2013 summer trial suggests that there is no significant loss of performance when pigs are fed with a forage-based ration including home grown protein (peas or beans) compared with conventional soya-based rations.
Full results of this trial will be presented later in 2014 and discussions with potential commercial partners such as Dunbia and Keenan are underway.