Dr. Joel DeRouchey

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Profitability is a big factor swine producers look at at their operation and is a big talking point at the Kansas State University Swine Industry Day. (Joel) One of the focuses today of our Kansas State Swine Day is to bring producers and all those interested the latest information on ingredient pricing so they can feed their pigs, not only the highest quality diets, but also do it at the lowest price to improve their profitability. (Conrad) The K-State Applied Swine Nutrition Team conducts massive amounts of research with their very in-depth data, to help Kansas farmers and other groups to understand what problems could be occurring at their operation. (Joel) Part of our K-State Applied Swine Nutrition Team, will be working with Dr. Mike Tokach, Bob Goodband, as well as in collaboration with Jason Dr. Jason Woodworth, and Dr. Steve Dritz. And we help coordinate on the faculty side the research that goes on not only here at K-State but we work with many commercial producers. And then we also have 10-12 graduate students working on their masters and doctoratedegrees in swine nutrition and they’re the ones that involved with all the daily details of the research, weighing the pigs. And as a team, between us faculty and graduate students help put together all this information for our producers. (Conrad) Amino acids are substances which are linked together in different combinations to form different proteins. Kansas State Research efforts constantly reinforce the importance of good, quality protein and amino acid availability, particularly during periods of stress, management change and when the immune system is challenged. (Joel) Some of the highlights that we’ll be focusing on today in terms on continuing to refine the amino acid requirements of pigs. And amino acids are the building blocks of the protein that we have in our bodies. And pigs require those amino acids in certain levels. And so that helps the nutritionist andthe feed companies formulate diets to more correctly meet the needs of those pigs. So we’re gonna focus on presenting the newest information on our amino acid requirements. We also have a lot of feed processing research that’s been done this last year that we’ll be discussing. And when we refer to feed processing we’re talking about the grinding of grains or the pelleting of feeds and then the way that we present that. And again as we continue to refine and improve those technologies, we’re gonna provide information on the grinding of feed finer, as well as how the pelleting feed also benefits pigs from both a growth and economic standpoint. (Conrad) Proper nutritional management of sows is important to maximize the number of pigs per sow per year, and to maximize longevity. (Joel) One of the things that we’ve recently learned and a common practice with those that have sows, is to feed additional feed for the last three weeks prior to that sow farrowing. And what that is believed to have done is increase the birth weight of pigs, which is very important for their survival. We just got done with one large, commercial study where we actually implemented that practice or not. And in fact, we were not able to find a benefit of feeding that extra feed in late gestation or prior to farrowing. And that’s a costly economic practice for producers. Because by feeding extra feed, obviously our costs increase. So, we’re reevaluating and having producers reevaluate that common practice cause we may be simply just wasting feed and dollars that we may be able to cut back and improve the profitability of our operation that farrow and sows.

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