High Fibre By-Products Reduce Feed Costs and Environmental Impacts

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Farmscape for November 5, 2021

Full Interview 8:15 Listen

Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre shows pork producers can reduce their feed costs and their carbon footprint by increasing their inclusion of high fibre by-products in the diet. “Diets for Growing Pigs: Can we reduce feed costs and the carbon footprint?” will be discussed as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2021 set for November 16-17 via Zoom. Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan and an Adjunct Research Scientist Nutrition with the Prairie Swine Center, says as monogastrics pigs don’t have a large enteric output of greenhouse gases so the carbon footprint is already realtivly small but about 60 percent of that footprint comes from the diet.

Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
What we were really interested in was how we can reduce the carbon footprint of pork production by modifying the diet.
A lot of the work is done with modelling. We know for example the inputs that go into growing that crop. What we were really interested in is, with the increased use of by-products which are high in fibre, would that have an effect on the enteric output of greenhouse gasses from the pig? That’s those gasses that are produced during digestion, is really small to begin with but we wanted to make sure even though it’s small that it’s not increasing. We measure these just by having the pigs in a small room. The room is completely enclosed. The room is airtight. All the air that’s coming in is hepa filtered so it’s absolutely clean and then we can measure the gasses produced by the pigs within this room. It’s just as simple as taking air samples. We measure the airflow in and out of these rooms and we can estimate the greenhouse gases produced by the pigs and by the manure that is produced by these pigs.

Dr. Beaulieu says, by utilizing these high fibre by-products producers can lower their feed costs and produce pork with a lower carbon footprint.

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