Farmscape for February 7, 2022
Research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Centre suggests rye can be used as a replacement in swine rations for corn, wheat or barley.
Researchers with the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Center have been evaluating a high yielding hybrid variety of rye developed in Germany that is less susceptible to ergot, a mycotoxin that reduces the feed intake and growth of animals that consume it and can be fatal.
Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan, says, as long as the energy content of the ration remained high, diets containing up to 40 percent rye resulted in feed intake, growth and carcass composition similar to that of typical corn or wheat-barley based diets.
Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
There was some work done, probably 20 years ago showing that rye could certainly be a substitute for wheat and soybean meal and be a really good feedstuff but it wasn't widely used because of this issue with ergot and it wasn't widely grown.
It was grown specifically for the brewing industries and so it wasn't that widely available but now, with these new varieties, we think the acreages will increase and there could be more available for animal feeding and, because we don't have to worry as much about the ergot, we really want to understand how it can be included in our diets.
For example, there could be years where we have a lot of acreages of rye but maybe it's not able to go in as number one rye so it'll go in as feed.
So, it is one more ingredient that we have available to use in our rations.
We're trying to diversify our rations as much as passible so that we are less dependant on the traditional grains and we are a little bit more flexible with what we can use.
Dr. Beaulieu says pigs will do fine with 40 to 50 percent rye in the diet but those diets will have to be formulated maintaining a higher energy composition.
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