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Increasing Popularity Of DDGS In Swine Diets

  • Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:36

As National Pork Month comes to an end, we’d like to highlight the increasing popularity of DDGS as a feed ingredient in the domestic pork industry.

This popularity is a result of the higher economic value offered by DDGS in comparison to corn and soybean meal, according to Jerry Shurson, a professor with the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota.

This is because metabolizable energy (ME) is the most expensive nutritional component in swine diets (representing 70 to 80 percent of total costs). Shurson told us during a recent discussion that ME content should be the primary determinant of the economic value in DDGS-based swine diets instead of basing it on protein and fat content.

In fact, Shurson said, based on ME content, the actual value of a metric tonne of DDGS often exceeds the market prices by as much as $100.

Moreover, he said the natural antioxidant compounds present in DDGS contribute to improved swine gut and overall health, adding that a diet comprising 10 percent DDGS for growing pigs had reduced the prevalence, length and severity of intestinal lesions in comparison to traditional diets.

The U.S. Grains Council recommends DDGS comprise no more than 30 percent of the feed for nursery diets, developing gilts and lactacting sows. For boars and gestating sows, it recommends a diet containing 50 percent DDGS.

Moreover, the USDA National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment found that emissions of ammonia and nitrious oxide were 24 percent lower with DDGS diets while emissions of hydrogen sulfide from manure were 2 percent (compared to 7 percent from traditional diets).

The benefits even extend to end products. Researchers from the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station found that the addition of DDGS result in softer texture and increased juiciness during sausage taste tests. Increasing levels of DDGS were even shown to reduce fractured bacon fat within bacon slices!

DDGS are an important co-product of ethanol production. In 2016, Minnesota produced 3.5 million tons of DDGS. On a national level, 42 million tons of DDGS are annually produced, with 16 percent of that amount consumed by the pork industry.