The majority of pig producers will be using precision feeding 10 years from now according to a leading Canadian research scientist.
The economic benefits of precision feeding are so high that we simply “have to do it”, Dr Candido Pomar told delegates at last month’s BPEX Innovation Conference.
While acknowledging that the industry was probably two to three years away from the full commercialisation of the technology, he said that precision feeding pigs could reduce the amount of lysine needed by 25% and feed costs by more than 8%, all without affecting growth.
“Currently, most producers feed pigs in groups with diets that are designed to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding pigs, therefore most of the pigs receive more nutrients than they really need to express their growth potential,” said Dr Pomar, whose work at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has included trialling precision feeding systems in both growing and finishing pigs.
“We fed pigs individually with diets tailored daily to individual needs, which enabled us to achieve similar feed intake and growth results as in conventional feeding systems and, at the same time, reduce lysine intake by 25%. The feeder is quite simple and robust and the software automatically calculates the composition of feed needed each morning for each pig during the coming day.
“Importantly, all the information is readily available to producers on the computer. They can see all the pig data from the house or the office and quickly identify any reductions in growth or feed intake. Access to real-time farm data such as feed consumption and animal growth is an invaluable tool for pig management.”