New Information Available on Feeding Wheat to Pigs
Research shows that wheat is a viable energy source for pigs, but little information is available about using this feedstuff in swine operations today.
Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois associate professor in the department of animal sciences, has just released a new brochure on “Feeding Wheat to Pigs.”
“Our goal is to increase awareness of wheat as an alternative feed for pigs,” Stein said. “We want to inform producers of the advantages of feeding wheat as well as considerations they will need to keep in mind if they choose to feed it.”
Wheat is higher in protein than corn and comparable in energy. It can be an economical choice in wheat-producing areas, in areas where corn is scarce, or when the price of soybean meal or other protein sources is high.
“Pigs fed wheat-based diets can grow as efficiently, and with similar meat quality as pigs fed corn-based diets when digestible energy and amino acids are equalized,” Stein said. “The nutritional value of wheat allows producers to pay slightly more per bushel for wheat than for corn.”
Stein encourages producers to compare prices throughout the year.
Research Progress, Partnership Announced Here and Abroad
United Kingdom researchers and the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) announced a major partnership, demonstrating the increasing speed with which innovations and partnerships are occurring that should quicken the release of new and improved varieties.
The UK researchers, funded by the UK government’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), announced that they have publicly released sequence coverage of the wheat genome.
The genome data released are in a “raw” format, meaning a complete copy of the genome requires significant work on annotation and the assembly of the data into chromosomes. This draft release is a step toward a version of the genome that will help breeders around the world gain deeper understanding of the crop and the genetic differences between varieties.