Lori Ellensohn- Furst-McNess Company Livestock Feeding and Formulations Coordinator
Finishing hogs in the summertime always comes with its own set of challenges. During the time of year when we can see some of the highest returns, we also see dips in pig performance. Lower feed intake leads to lower growth rate and potentially poorer feed efficiency are all brought on by the summer heat. Not reaching high market weight during summer, means leaving money on the table. With high feed costs, it is critical to have high levels of performance to prevent poor cost of production from eating into producer’s profits. Ingredients are at historic highs, with some becoming harder to find. With fat being too high to be used economically, producers need to have a feeding strategy for the summer months.
A great summer feeding strategy starts with the basics namely air, water and feed. Are your barns ventilation getting tuned up BEFORE summer arrives? Have you cleaned your water lines to ensure full water availability and consumption, and lastly have you reviewed and got your feeding program ready to go? During the summer months, we traditionally add an energy source such as fat to help tackle the slower growth issues brought on by reduced feed intake from the excessive heat. However, at this year’s Midwest American Society for Animal Science meetings research was presented that showed if producers need to push growth rate, adding fat is not the best option. Furthermore, fat is extremely expensive this year. Talk with your nutritionist about ways to get more energy into your pigs from products such as LeanFuel®. Incorporating LeanFuel® will maintain lower diet cost while increasing feed intake, therefore drive growth rate. Additionally, a trial conducted last summer found that using Skycis in combination with LeanFuel® may help produce even more pounds of pork and capitalizing on higher profits during summer.
Capitalize on summer pricing by marketing as many pounds of pork as possible. Work with your feed nutritionist to help increase growth rate, feed efficiency and feed intake by using LeanFuel® in combination with Skycis. See www.mcness.com/leanfuel/ for more research information on LeanFuel® and Skycis.