Midd I ask you?

Posted on July 9, 2012 in Swine Performance

By Jessica Boehm and Julie Salyer 
When do you include wheat midds into the diet?  This is a common question with the prices of corn and soybean meal on the rise.  As prices increase, we start to look at other feedstuffs that can be incorporated into swine diets. 

Don’t lose your cool!

Posted on June 22, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Jessica Boehm Even though it may have felt like it for a while, we have now officially entered into the summer of 2012 this week – and the heat is on! With the extra heat and humidity hanging around, both our pigs and workers can become overheated more quickly.  With a good understanding of

Vitamin D in swine diets: What’s the scoop?

Posted on June 8, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Julie Salyer Over the past 20 years, vitamin D is not a topic that has gotten much attention in the swine industry – at least not until very recently. The industry has asked a lot of questions about vitamin D this past year and, depending on who you ask, you can get very different

We keep a constant eye on your ingredient costs. Why?

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Jim Garrison Formulating swine diets today varies a great deal by what price you may have ingredients booked at or by what you will be charged by your manufacturing mill.  Here at Vita Plus, we use our Nutrition Program Alternatives tool to evaluate your options and provide some answers that match your specific needs. 

Strange bedfellows: Are restaurant chains sleeping with the enemy?

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Swine Performance

By Nate Brown 
Over the past several months, a number of large restaurant chains have issued press releases stating that, in the future, they want to procure pork products from suppliers that do not use 
gestation stalls in their production systems. Operating as for-profit businesses, they have the right to make demands of their suppliers if they think it is in the best interest of their companies. 

Sow housing: Where do we stand?

Posted on April 27, 2012 in Swine Performance

By Jessica Boehm and Dr. Dean Koehler 
A few weeks ago at our Swine Summit, we focused some time on the controversial topic of sow housing and sow welfare, especially in regard to the use of gestation crates. The majority of producers who attended the sow breakout session at the event said they currently house sows in stalls for the duration of the gestation period.  

Small particle size makes a big difference

Posted on April 13, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Julie Salyer Feed represents at least 75 percent of the total costs of today’s swine operations.  That means it’s not only important to know the composition of the ingredients and diets we are feeding, but also how these grains are processed. Grinding cereal grains is an effective way to improve feed utilization and decrease

How does oil extraction from DDGS impact nutrient and economic values?

Posted on March 28, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Jessica Boehm Following the annual Midwest Animal Science meetings in Des Moines, Iowa last week, NUTRIQUEST hosted a timely meeting to answer the question:  How is oil extraction impacting DDGS value in swine?  The event drew in nutritionists, producers and representatives from the ethanol industry, with a goal of soliciting different perspectives in the

Deciding what ingredients to use in swine diets: Using science as our guide

Posted on March 16, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Dr. Dean Koehler Swine producers are bombarded with dozens of possible ingredients that can be included in swine diets, such as various grains, plant and animal proteins, feed fats, amino acids, byproducts, minerals, phytases, energy enzymes, antibiotics, flavors, mycotoxin binders, probiotics...  The list is very long! And while you are confronted with a considerable

The ever-changing global economy

Posted on March 2, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Al Gunderson Browse the Internet on your tablet or smartphone and you know we’re living in a global world where information flows across borders seamlessly.  That applies to economics too. The Greek debt crisis plunged the whole Euro zone into crisis and affected our U.S. markets.  A huge, global trading company placed a “bet”

Iodine value and packer concerns

Posted on February 17, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Spencer Jones Some pork packers have recently placed increased emphasis on pork carcass composition, specifically fat quality.  Iodine value (IV) is a measurement that estimates the amount of unsatuation present in the fatty acids found in carcass fat.  Unsaturated fats are softer at room temperature.  That means a carcass with higher unsaturated fat content

Ingredient price volatility and what it means for you

Posted on February 2, 2012 in Swine Performance
By Julie Salyer We all know it - feed ingredient markets are in a constant state of flux.  Recent trends have led to some interesting circumstances we haven’t seen in quite some time.  Diligently monitoring prices helps us recognize challenges and opportunities for your swine nutrition program.  The altered price relationships may even temporarily change