As swine producers aim to increase the pace of innovation to meet the demands and challenges of a new era of production, a broad swath of advances in science is opening new doors of opportunity.One of the most promising areas of advancement is the realm of young animal nutrition, where novel science-driven approaches to optimizing performance, health, welfare, efficiency and other critical attributes are becoming more widely available.
“One of the things we are learning more about is the critical importance of optimizing animal nutrition approaches at an early stage,” says Dr. Elijah Kiarie, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph. “We are discovering it truly has a lifelong impact.”
All stages of animal development are critical, he notes. However, the early stages are especially important because they determine the level of future potential that is possible.
“By maximizing the approaches and advantages with young animals, we set a course for the ultimate success with the end results,” says Kiarie.
One of the top recent examples of innovation is the advent of “Yeast Bioactives” technology, which is based on multiple years of discovery research by the novel feed technology research program at the University of Manitoba.
This new option represents a brand new category of feed technology, designed for use as a supplement in diets for swine, poultry and ruminants –including strong applicability to optimize results with young animals during critical early development stages.
It fits as an enhanced yeast and grain management option with advantages for all types of production systems, including those targeting reduction or replacement of antimicrobial use.
Yeast Bioactives technology has shown properties and activities that help to mitigate a number of potential threats that can undermine feed quality, animal performance, animal health and food safety.
It has also shown a high level of prebiotic activity that further supports an optimal environment for animal wellness, performance and related productivity.
For 2020 Yeast Bioactives have been the focus of ongoing rapid market expansion, available in several precision-designed solutions available to producers including most recently via a brand new liquid formulation for use in water.
Another top example gaining broader adoption is medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) technology.
MCFAs offer a fresh approach to enhancing swine diets and supporting integrated swine management strategies designed to optimize animal health and performance across all key phases of production including key aspects of young animal development.
This technology is well established in Europe, where it has helped production systems sustain or optimize animal wellness and performance while they successfully transition toward a reduction or removal of the use of antibiotics.
These examples are key additions to a number of the major areas of feed technology innovation. Top categories for the leading tools today include: Multi-Carbohydrase enzyme technology, enhanced yeast technology, grain management technology and functional fatty acids, along with phytogenics and probiotics.
“The advances we are seeing in each of these areas mean more options for the producer,” says Kairie. “With an expanded toolbox, producers can find the best approaches for their operations to meet the demands of the future.”
Overall, the new year taking shape represents a pivotal time of evolution and advancement for swine producers and their industry, ripe with important challenges as well as emerging opportunities.
Innovative feed technologies, particularly new bio-based options that fit today’s rising consumer expectations and industry needs, have a more critical role to play than ever in supporting highly profitable and successful operations.