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Effects of increasing soybean meal in corn- or corn-DDGS-based diets on growth performance of early finishing pigs

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

With the recent renewable fuels initiative, demand for soybean oil is expected to reach a record high. Consequently, there will be unprecedented amounts of soybean meal (SBM) produced and available. As a result, the opportunity will arise for increased usage of SBM in swine diets at the expense of feed-grade amino acids. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the maximum amount of SBM that can be added to early finishing pigs fed corn- (Exp. 1) or corn-DDGS- (Exp. 2) based diets. Experiment 1 used 625 pigs (initially 43.2 ± 0.68 kg), 70 pens with 9 or 10 pigs per pen, and 5 added SBM levels, 19.1, 22.6, 26.3, 29.9, and 33.4%, corresponding to crude protein levels of 13.1, 14.1, 15.2, 16.2, and 17.3%, respectively, with 14 replicate pens per treatment. Experiment 2 used 1,053 pigs (initially 39.1 ± 0.78 kg), 40 pens with 26 or 27 pigs, and 4 added SBM levels, 18.2, 23.5, 28.9, and 34.3%, corresponding to crude protein levels of 18.2, 23.5, 28.9, and 34.3%, respectively, with 10 replicate pens per treatment. The diet with the highest level of SBM in each experiment contained no feed-grade amino acids. Minimum levels of Ile, Met & Cys, Thr, Trp, and Val were 58, 60, 65, 19.8, and 72% of lysine, respectively. The experimental diets were corn-SBM-based, and in Exp. 2, 20% DDGS was added to all diets. In both experiments, diets were isocaloric and formulated considering SBM NE at 100% of Corn NE. In Exp. 1, no differences were observed for BW (P = 0.42) and ADFI (P = 0.46); however, increasing SBM linearly increased ADG (P = 0.04), though the greatest change was from increasing SBM from 19.1 to 22.6%, and tended to quadratically improve feed efficiency (P = 0.09). In Exp. 2, with the inclusion of DDGS, no differences (P > 0.32) were observed for any growth performance criteria.

In conclusion, increasing levels of SBM (up to 33.4%) in early finishing pig diets linearly improved growth performance and feed efficiency in corn-soybean meal-based diets. However, when DDGS were included in the diet, pig performance was not affected regardless of the amount of SBM within the range from 18.2 to 34.3%. Replacing feed-grade amino acids by increasing the level of SBM in early finishing diets can improve growth performance, but this effect was not observed when DDGS were added to the diets.