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Low CP to tackle N emission dilemma

Published on: 10/11/2018
Author/s : John Htoo, Global Swine Expert at Evonik

The global pork production is expected to rise by 10% over the next decade. Given, however, that pig farmers worldwide are currently struggling to keep up with increasingly stringent regulations on nitrogen (N) pollution emission, now is clearly not the time to rest on our laurels, rather for a sober reality check. Put simply - more pigs will mean more N excretion, meaning pig farmers will soon be under even greater pressure to keep up with the government’s drive to bring N emission rates down.

In a move to explore solutions to this dilemma, the FEED PROTEIN VISION conference was held earlier this month. Organized by Feed Navigator.com and held the Marriott Hotel Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the event brought together industry experts from far and wide. As a Global Technical Support – Swine at Evonik, it was an honor to be one of the invited speakers. Here I would like to share the summary of my talk.

The main focus of my talk was related to integrated low protein diet concept to reduce N levels in pigs. These include using low crude protein (CP) diets with a net energy system, probiotics and fiber sources to improve gut health, nutrient utilization efficiency without compromising pig performance.

Feeding pigs diets with excess CP levels is the main cause of N pollution, making it the issue pig farmers today most need to focus on. One of the most effective ways to lower N levels is to simply lower the dietary CP level and balance amino acids (AA) by using feed-grade AA in the diets. Several studies have proven how pigs fed low CP diets consume less water and excrete less urine and manure.

But this is only the start of benefits when it comes to lowering CP in pig diets, for if pig farmers simply reduce dietary CP by a mere 1 %-point, N excretion levels can be reduced by an average of 9%. Moreover, taking this single step will also result in a drop of 12% in ammonia emission in pig slurry.

Lowering the dietary protein level reduces the production of intestinal microbial metabolites, and consequently reduces the incidence of diarrhea in weaned piglets. Recent research showed that combining low CP diets with probiotics and fermentable fibers can further improve gut health and reduce urinary N excretion which is the main cause of ammonia emission into the air.

A final point – formulating low CP diets using feed-grade amino acids is a simple and cost effective solution to comply with government regulations to reduce N pollution and global warming potential.

The PDF copy of the presentation is available here.

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