New grain requires a new feed regimen


by Jacob Dall, Technical Manager, Pig Nutrition

Now that the parliamentary Agriculture Package has enabled farmers to use more nitrogen, we should expect a strikingly different protein content in newly-harvested grain.


When grain from the latest harvest is put to use, particularly grain from the 2016 harvest, it will be necessary to revise feed optimisation to avoid supplying too much or too little protein and to ensure that the feed does not cost more than necessary.

With the new fertilisation quotas which apply from the 2016 harvest, we can expect 15–25% more nitrogen compared to previous years and thus a striking increase in protein content, particularly in wheat.

As wheat can make up 60–70% of swine feed, one percentage point more of protein in wheat will mean 0.7% more crude protein in the feed. To adjust for this, as well as for differences in amino-acid content, this means that the content of soy meal can be reduced by around one percentage point, at the same time that the mineral compound should also be modified. Based on current prices for soy meal and amino acids, this means a price difference of around DKK 1.00 per 100 kg of feed.

Therefore, there are excellent reasons in 2016 to make sure to take samples of your grain during harvest and have them analysed. The most representative way to take the samples is to take a handful from each load, collect it in a bucket, mix well and from here take a sample weighing 0.5–1.0 kg, and have it analysed.

Barley and wheat can be analysed for water and protein on NIT analysers. If you also want to analyse the energy content, or if you have mixed grains or other varieties, you must send in the sample to a laboratory to get a correct analysis.

Piglets in particular react negatively to higher protein content, and therefore the benefactors of having your crops analysed are not only your financial situation, but also productivity, and it will also enable you to get the most ideally combined feed compounds.

When starting to use the most recently harvested grain, remember to admix extra vitamin E to counteract fresh-grain toxicity.


New nitrogen standards will change the feed value of newly harvested grain.