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Wheat as swine feed - K-state update

Wheat as swine feed - K-state update

By Scout Nelson

Kansas State University, in collaboration with Kansas Wheat, has published significant updates on using wheat as feed for pigs. Their findings bring positive news for both swine producers and wheat farmers.

“Our data collected from 2014 to 2020 suggests that wheat’s mean energy content is 99% and 98% of corn for digestible energy and metabolizable energy, respectively,” Joel DeRouchey, a K-State swine specialist, highlighted the efficiency of wheat compared to traditional corn feed.

Wheat can substitute corn in regions where it's readily available, ensuring that the energy density of swine diets remains high. Joel DeRouchey also explained the versatility of wheat co-products like middlings and shorts, which are often used in animal feeds.

K-State’s partnership with Kansas Wheat aimed to revisit and refine our understanding of wheat's nutritional contributions.

“Wheat milling co-products – including bran, middlings and shorts – provide good nutritional value,” said Aaron Harries, Vice President of Research and Operations at Kansas Wheat.

He pointed out the economical advantages, such as high phosphorus content reducing the need for dietary supplements.

The joint research resulted in three detailed fact sheets available online: wheat nutritional properties, co-product nutritional properties, and off-quality utilization, which address various aspects of wheat usage in animal feed.

Further insights from the research include the high protein and amino acid levels in wheat, making it a favorable alternative to other grains. “Wheat’s standardized ileal digestibility of amino acids is similar to corn, but greater than barley and sorghum,” DeRouchey noted.

The physical benefits of wheat in feed formulations were discussed. “Pelleted wheat diets have been found to have significantly greater pellet durability index, as much as 33.1% compared to corn-based diets,” DeRouchey added, underscoring wheat's role beyond mere nutrition.

Aaron Harries highlighted the strategic value of these findings for wheat growers expanding their market into swine feeding, as it supports sustainable agricultural practices and opens new avenues for wheat utilization in livestock diets.

Photo Credit -istock-srdjan-stepic

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Categories: Kansas, Crops, Wheat, Livestock, Hogs

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