With higher feed prices and poor hog economics, there has been an increased interest by producers in tendering their feed requirements. While this is one way that producers can reduce feed costs there are a number of things to know before travelling down this path.
Moving to a tendering process is not for everyone. To be successful, producers need to develop a solid understanding of:
You don’t need to be an expert but you do need to know the basic nutrition vocabulary and understand the importance of the various nutrients that comprise a diet.
Understand that ingredients provide nutrients and that not all ingredients provide the same nutrition. Knowing why each ingredient is used in a diet helps you make an informed decision.
Being able to clearly communicate the kind of genetics you have and their carcass characteristics, feed intake and growth parameters are critical to creating diets that meet their nutrient requirements.
Barn set up, management style and production objectives
These factors all influence the number, type and nutrient density of diets that you may want or need.
The pros and cons
As with any change in business process there are pros and cons to consider. Some potential outcomes are listed below but they are by no means a complete list and will be different for each producer.
- Greater understanding of nutrition and how it interacts with pig and economic performance
- Control over the diets and ingredients you are feeding
- The ability to quickly optimize your feed cost
- Loss of technical in-barn service
- Reduced supplier support
- Performance dip
Having that solid knowledge base allows you to make a more informed decision on whether tendering is right for you.
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