By Michael Edmonds, Vice President, Swine and Poultry Nutrition
Due to a large price discrepancy between our NexGen 12-17 Mixer program and a major competitor’s grind-and-mix program, we elected to do a product comparison at the Kent Nutrition Group’s Product Development Center. The NexGen 12-17 Program consisted of 965 lb of corn, 550 lb of soybean meal, 450 lb of NexGen 12-17 Mixer and 35 lb of animal fat. The Competitive program utilized 1090 lb of corn, 360 lb of soybean meal and 550 lb of a Base product. The Kent grind-and-mix program cost $750 per ton compared to $610 per ton for the Competition.
We used 488 pigs for this trial. There were 244 pigs per treatment with 28 pens on each feed program. The average initial weight of the pigs was 12.2 lb.
In Table 1 are the growth data. The pigs on the Kent program gained 0.33 lb per day or 31% faster than those on the Competitor’s program. In addition, the pigs on Kent gained faster in 24 of the 28 pens, which resulted in a highly significant gain response.
The feed intake data are shown in Table 2. The pigs on the Kent program had a 9% increase in feed intake compared to the Competitor’s program.
Shown in Table 3 are the feed efficiency data. Pigs on the Kent program had a feed efficiency of 1.2, whereas those on the Competitor’s had a 1.4 feed conversion. This is a 14% improvement in feed efficiency for the Kent program.
Cost of gain is shown in Table 4. The Competitor’s program had a cost of gain of 43 cents per lb of gain compared to 45 cents per lb of gain for the Kent program. Although the initial price spreads in complete feed costs favored the competitor by $140 per ton, the marked improvement in feed efficiency of the Kent program resulted in similar costs of gain.
The net return values are shown in Table 5. Net return is defined as the value of gain minus the feed cost of gain with the value of the live weight at $0.80 per lb. The pigs fed the Kent program had an improvement in net return of $0.25 per pig.
Despite the Competitor’s much lower feed cost per ton, the pigs on the Kent program gained significantly faster, consumed more feed, had improved feed conversions and had a marked improvement in net return of $0.25 per pig. In addition, a sample of the Competitor’s Base product was sent to a laboratory which estimated the percentages of various ingredients in the product. The lab found ingredients that do not represent what is listed on the feed label. That should be a concern for producers looking for guaranteed quality swine nutrition.