"Feeding the Future" is the new feeding concept for pig farming
In summer 2015 AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG newly developed the OlymPig pig fattening feed. The new fattening feed now corresponds to all the criteria of the feed with much less N and P. The aim is to feed the pigs as far as possible "right to the point ", because overconsumption leads to unnecessary excretion and therefore more manure. The nutrient balance is sustainably improved through the developed feeding concept and is thus a great contribution to safeguarding the future of pig fattening. There is a new video series at zukunft-füttern.de, which briefly explains the four most important key words: "precise nutrition," "energy efficiency," "health benefits," and "high yields". Bernhard Walgern, managing director for AGRAVIS Mischfutter Oldenburg/Ostfriesland GmbH at AGRAVIS, explains the background and details of the new feeding concept.
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What was the reason for the new concept?
Bernhard Walgern: The new German Fertiliser Ordinance is coming which stipulates a further reduction in manure fertilisation. Instead of 20 kilograms of phosphorus (P2O5) surplus per hectare, only 10 kilograms will be allowed in the future. Even the allowable N-losses will likely be reduced from 30 to 20 per cent. In addition, it is planned that nitrogen levels from biogas fermentation residues will be taken into account. All of this leads to larger space requirements. We would like to pass on our know-how on the reduction of nutrient excretion through our feeding concept to pig farmers.
What changes are there in the feed itself?
Bernhard Walgern: For an exact feed supply without overconsumption, the feed is designed on the basis of digestible nutrients. For one, we combine "ideal protein" with an energy assessment according to net energy. On the other hand, we calculate the feed based on digestible phosphorus. Pressure is taken off the animals' metabolism and N and P excretions are reduced further. All new developments have no impact on the performance of the animals – on the contrary. It goes hand-in-hand with improved animal health. And healthy animals are high-output animals.
What do you understand by ideal protein?
Bernhard Walgern: In order to ensure fattening and slaughtering performance, 9 praecaecal digestible (pcv) amino acids are now taken into account. Thus, even with a lower content of raw protein in the feed, all amino acids are sufficiently contained as a building block for body growth. Moreover, the reduction of raw protein in the feed also leads to lower heat loss in the metabolism. The animal therefore has more energy available for growth. In order to prevent this increase in energy turning into fat, we are now assessing the feed on the basis of net energy.
What is the difference between metabolisable energy (ME) and net energy (NE)?
Bernhard Walgern: Contrary to the previous assessment according to metabolisable energy, in the net energy system, heat loss in the metabolism is taken into account in addition to energy loss from faeces, urine and methane. The lower the raw protein content in the feed, the lower the heat loss. The net energy system enables a more precise energy supply for the pigs, especially in the case of raw protein-reduced feed.
How is a further reduction of phosphorus content possible?
Bernhard Walgern: The pig's phosphorus need is based on digestible phosphorus. The digestibility of the phosphorus contained in the vegetable raw materials is improved by correspondingly adding the enzyme phytase. Thus it is possible to reduce the total proportion of phosphorus in the feed whilst still maintaining the content of digestible phosphorus.
At a glance: The benefits of the new concept:
For every 1 per cent less raw protein there is:
- approximately 10 per cent less N-excretion
- approximately 3 per cent less water absorption
- approximately 5 per cent less manure
- For every 0.05 per cent less phosphorus content there is:
- approximately 17 per cent less P-excretion