Hands-on Nutrition Workshops

David Stender, Field Specialist-Swine, Northwest

Problem Statement:

Many small independent swine producers have exited the business; records have shown in the past that smaller operations pay considerably more for feed than their larger counterparts.  To survive in the business several smaller producers have started to raise niche pork, however, once again the cost of feed delivered to smaller operations is a consideration in the competitive position of that operation.

Programmatic Response: 

General nutrition information has been presented at several workshops and a specific nutrition workshop was arranged for niche swine producers and their field support staff.  Workshops were attended by 5 producers and 6 regional field swine specialists.  The regional specialists advise and influence over 250 niche swine operations.


Learning outcomes were:


The following lists several examples of changes in swine herd management that producers plan to implement as a result of the seminar:

        Reduce expensive feed;  Change extra cost in sow rations;  Maximize feed programs cost effectiveness;  Reduce feed cost and cost of additives and value;  Change feed rations;  Run grinder 15 minutes after grinding;  Change feed particle size;  Reduce the overall cost difference  Evaluate use of additives to feed;  Get feed particle size more often;  Fine-tuning ingredients and possibly adding zinc or bio-moss as needed;  Cut out fat from lactation diet;  Change different ingredients and levels.


A sampling of three operations estimated the value of the program at $2, $6 and $8 per pig sold to their operations.  Actual data from the following operations show a substantial reduction in cost of feed rations:

Sample farm one reduced feed cost from $33,788 to $28,488 from workshop instruction.  Sample farm two from $5,546 to $5,158 reduction.  Farm three $38,000 to $35,000 and the last sample farm showed reduced feed cost from $49,392 to $41,160.   Total feed cost reduction in our sample farms was $16,921 averaging $4,230 per farm.  This is good return through an educational program for small niche swine operations.

June 25, 2007
150  Iowa Pork Industry Center


Page last updated: August 2, 2007
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu