About one year after the Feeding For 30 initiative was unveiled at the 2012 World Pork Expo, animal nutrition experts say the industry is well on its way to reaching the goal of 30 pigs per sow per year, or psy. The initiative is a partnership between Purina Animal Nutrition, Zinpro Corporation and DSM Nutritional Products, providing hog farmers a wealth of expertise to help reach this goal. "The goal is very obtainable," notes Elena Lindemann, lactating livestock marketing manager for Purina. "There are some producers that have already been able to reach and maintain 30 pigs per sow per year."
The Feeding for 30 program provides a one-stop-shop resource library of objective, research-proven advice for producers. Although there are recommendations for products, it isn't commercially driven, and there are many management-based recommendations in addition to nutrition. "Vitamins, minerals, overall nutrition quality and feeding practices are equally important," Lindemann says. "But it's easier to engage folks starting with management advice."
Some European countries have reached an average of 32 pigs per sow per year, while the U.S. is has a high standard of about 27 psy. Although the productivity of an average U.S. sow has increased by 2.5 psy in the last few years, according to a 2010 PIC Boot Camp presentation, there hasn't been much of a change in how people feed sows, Lindemann says. "You are now operating a more advanced vehicle, but you're putting the same fuel in it," she says. "The genetic progress has been tremendous, but has the nutritional progress caught up?"
Panel of experts
At the 25th annual World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, pig farmers and industry representatives discussed the possibility of reaching the goal at the second annual Feeding for 30 Forum. This included discussions on management strategies, ongoing research and sow nutrition. "The Feeding for 30 Forum provided an opportunity for producers from across the globe to learn from leaders in the swine industry," Lindemann says. "Swine producers continue to move forward in productivity because they are sharing their experiences and learning innovative management strategies."