With relatively high feed costs compared to major pig-producing regions like North America and Brazil, the Australian pork industry has recently been placing strong emphasis on making better use of feed ingredients and increasing the efficiency of nutrient utilization. Addressing delegates at the Banff Pork Seminar, Dr. Roger Campbell, CEO of the Australian Pork Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), discussed the results of projects carried out over the last four years which are aimed at reducing the cost of pork production from $2/kg to $1.50/kg.
The Pork CRC has been working with plant breeders to screen varieties of triticale and barley for yield and also for their digestible energy (DE) content. This has resulted in the identification of varieties with consistent improvements in both traits and in particular increased ileal DE.
“Two new triticale varieties have been developed and released commercially,” says Campbell. “These have yield advantages over the benchmark varieties of 12 to 16 per cent over a wide range of dry-land conditions and 30 to 35 per cent under irrigation.” They also have ileal DE levels ranging from nine per cent to 12 per cent higher, he adds.