Dale Forsyth

 

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Research Program

Swine Nutrition: Figuring the Value of Fat

Animal Sciences on the World Wide Web

Embracing New Beef Cattle Nutrient Requirements


Swine Nutrition: Figuring the Value of Fat

D. M. Forsyth

Issue: (Who cares and Why)

Feed represents the largest single cost in production of swine. Therefore, efforts to reduce feed costs are very important. Using computers to formulate least-cost diets has been a common practice for many years; however, that method does not properly calculate the value of fat in the ration. Increasing fat in the ration is one way to increase feed efficiency of pigs. However, diets with added fat are more expensive. Since there are other considerations that also impact the value of fat addition, it has been difficult for producers to know the real value of fat in swine rations.

What has been done:

A computer program that has been developed to aid in considering all the variables involved in evaluating the value of fat in swine diets has been further modified. Because the most effective feeding programs utilize phaze feeding, the employment of multiple diets throughout the feeding phaze, the program was enhanced to allow consideration of phase feeding programs, rather than a single ration. This effort is not yet complete, as the effects of feeding fat at one stage of growth on the results of feeding fat at other stages of the life-cycle is not well known.

Impact: (So What?)

In 1996, Indiana producers sold 6.6 million head of hogs with a value of 830 million dollars. That number of hogs could be expected to consume 2.5 million tons of feed. The price per ton of feed could vary by $20/ton or more with fat addition, representing approximately 50 million dollars difference in feed cost just in Indiana. That increase in feed cost could achieve an increase in profit, or it could result in potential loss, depending on the increase in feed efficiency, rate of gain, economic return of that change in rate of gain, and effects on carcass merit. Without assistance in evaluating the value of fat, producers are left to their own means to decide the outcome.

As an example, assume fat costs $0.20 per pound, is fed at 6% of the diet and is fed because it is expected to give a 10% improvement in feed efficiency (2.7 lbs. of feed/lb of gain instead of 3.0). However, given other feed prices and nutrient levels, the calculated breakeven feed/gain ratio in this example is 2.52, and because the pigs only achieved a 2.7 feed/gain the loss from including fat is $1.16/100 lbs of pork, or about $2.90 per pig. If such a miscalculation were multiplied by the 2.5 million pigs sold in Indiana it would be a very significant number indeed.

Contact:

Dale Forsyth
Department of Animal Sciences
Purdue University
telephone: (765) 494-4841
email: dforsyth@purdue.edu


Animal Sciences on the World Wide Web

D. M. Forsyth

Issue: (Who cares and Why)

One of the most significant developments of the last half of the current century is likely to be recorded as development of communications via the World Wide Web, likened to the invention of the printing press, radio and television as communication mediums. We are often cited as being "in the information age", and Purdue University is in the information business, through teaching, Extension, and discovery of new information by research. A significant portion of my efforts in 1997 were devoted to the presence of Animal Sciences at Purdue on the World Wide Web.

What has been done:

Web development efforts in Animal Sciences grew during the past year, and we participated (and led) several interdepartmental, multidisciplinary efforts. The Pork Page@Purdue came into being in time for the International Pork Congress in June. Due in part to the shortness of time and magnitude of the effort, I put a great deal of personal effort into the Animal Sciences sections of that (Genetic, Growth, Nutrient, and Repro). Following that, however, we have proceeded to train our staff and encourage participation in web activities, so that much of the document preparation in the future will become routine. Following the example set by the Pork Page, the dairy and poultry groups initiated Dairy@Purdue and Poultry@Purdue. (Aquaculture already had developed an outstanding and world recognized site, without my involvement). Development of both 'routine' web information and 'unique' efforts continue from our department. Most recently, the Boilermaker Butcher Shop has appeared on the web, and an electronic order-form version (thanks to the assistance of H. Jiang) is nearly ready for release. An intradepartment "intranet" is operating, and is becoming more and more useful. A "discussion group" mechanism is being investigated, both for class work and for specialized groups in the department.

Impact: (So What?)

The impact of the World Wide Web on access to information is phenominal. Information from anywhere in the world can be available on demand to the user. The only way that Animal Sciences at Purdue will benefit its clientele in this regard is to become more active and aggressive at placing its information at the hands of those who wish to receive it. We receive notes from others that indicate they find our site useful and friendly. We hope to enhance further every part of our web offerings.

Contact:

Dale Forsyth
Department of Animal Sciences
Purdue University
telephone: (765) 494-4841
email: dforsyth@purdue.edu


Embracing New Beef Cattle Nutrient Requirements

D. M. Forsyth and Kern Hendrix

Issue: (Who cares and Why)

Principles of beef cattle nutrition were significantly changed with the introduction by the National Research Council of the new 1996 Nutrient Requirements for Beef Cattle, the first revision in twelve years Especially different were the ways of thinking about protein requirements, with requirements expressed as metabolizable protein (MP), undegradable intake protein (UIP) and degradable intake protein (DIP). These concepts, and others introduced in the new NRC, are new to both producers and educators.

What has been done:

The new NRC publication was released to the public via a satellite teleconference, for which Purdue hosted one of the down-link sites (organized by Dr. Kern Hendrix). We aided in the presentation/training session and helped solve problems which arose. We conducted training sessions to aquaint key educators to the new concepts. We have been actively working to incorporate the new procedures and recommendations into the ration balancing software which the Department of Animal Sciences maintains. We have been active with the group of specialists nation-wide that are attempting to assimilate the new recommendations and incorporate them into practice.

Impact: (So What?)

To stay abreast of the current recommendations regarding cattle feeding, it is necessary to learn the new concepts and employ the new procedures. One example of the change in thinking is that most cattle rations are found to not have enough DIP for optimum rumen function. For those situations where it is acceptable, this requirement can be met with urea, which costs much less than natural protein. Adding extra protein in another form does the animal little if any good, while adding inexpensive degradable protein enhances production.

Contact:

Dale Forsyth or Kern Hendrix
Department of Animal Sciences
Purdue University
telephone: (765) 494-4841 (Forsyth)
email: dforsyth@purdue.edu and khendrix@purdue.edu