Trusted information & resources for animal nutrition.

Technical Resources

Effects of increasing soybean meal in corn-based diets on the growth performance of late finishing pigs

Holen, J., R. Goodband, M. Tokach, J. Woodworth, J. DeRouchey and J. Gebhardt

Three experiments were conducted to determine the effects of increasing soybean meal (SBM) levels by replacing feed-grade amino acids (AA) in corn, corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), and corn-wheat midds-based diets on growth performance of late finishing pigs (n = 4,406) raised in commercial facilities. Across all experiments, pens of pigs were blocked by initial bodyweight (BW) and randomly assigned to 1 of 5 dietary treatments. All diets were formulated to contain 0.70% standardized ileal digestible (SID) Lys and varying amounts of feed-grade AA. All diets were formulated to meet or exceed minimum essential AA requirement estimates as a ratio to Lys. In Exp. 1, 1,793 pigs (initially 104.9 ± 4.9 kg) were fed corn-based diets and pens of pigs were assigned treatments with increasing SBM from 5% to 20%. Overall, average daily gain (ADG) and feed efficiency (G:F) improved (linear and cubic, P ≤ 0.02) as dietary SBM increased, with the greatest improvement observed as SBM increased from 5% to 8.75% and little improvement thereafter. In Exp. 2, 1,827 pigs (initially 97.9 ± 4.3 kg) were fed diets containing 25% DDGS with SBM levels increasing from 0% to 16%. Overall, feed efficiency marginally improved (linear, P ≤ 0.10) as SBM increased, with the greatest performance observed when diets contained 8% SBM and similar performance thereafter with 12 or 16% dietary SBM. In Exp. 3, 786 pigs (initially 96.7 ± 3.2 kg) were fed diets that contained 30% wheat midds and dietary SBM from 0% to 16%. Final BW of pigs increased (linear, P < 0.05) and overall ADG and G:F improved (linear and cubic, P < 0.05) as SBM increased.

The combined results of the three experiments suggest that inclusion of at least 4% to 8% dietary SBM at the expense of feed-grade amino acids in corn-based diets with or without grain coproducts can improve growth performance of late-finishing (greater than 100 kg) pigs.