November 8, 2010
Research shows wheat is a viable energy source for pigs, but little information is available about using this feedstuff in swine operations today.
Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois associate professor in the department of animal sciences, released a new brochure on "Feeding Wheat to Pigs."
"Our goal is to increase awareness of wheat as an alternative feed for pigs," Stein adds. "We want to inform producers of the advantages of feeding wheat as well as considerations they will need to keep in mind if they choose to feed it."
Wheat is higher in protein than corn and comparable in energy. It can be an economical choice in wheat-producing areas, in areas where corn is scarce, or when the price of soybean meal or other protein sources is high.
"Pigs fed wheat-based diets can grow as efficiently, and with similar meat quality as pigs fed corn-based diets when digestible energy and amino acids are equalized," Stein notes. "The nutritional value of wheat allows producers to pay slightly more per bushel for wheat than for corn."
Stein encourages producers to compare prices throughout the year.
Stein's brochure can be downloaded at nutrition.ansci.illinois.edu, or producers can contact their local Illinois Extension office for copies.
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