Better science. Better solutions. Better results.

This is what hog farmers can expect to get from the latest innovations in feed technology.

But the true difference maker is farmers themselves.

They are what make the industry work across the Canadian prairies.

Hard working farmers using their vast knowledge and experience, working to keep up to date and get the most out of new opportunities are the lifeblood that is the key to industry evolution and success.

Getting ahead of the game

Many operations are in a great position today because they’ve already been early adopters of innovative feed technology options, which has allowed them to get ahead of the game.

A top example are swine operations that have taken charge of the rising pressure and changing rules around antibiotics by expanding their toolbox of options to shift toward new ways of doing things.

But it’s not just the tools that are important – just as critical is having the right management thinking.

A leading example of an operation that has used this combination to get ahead of the game is Spring Creek Colony, located near Walsh, Alberta. The colony has dramatically reduced its reliance on antibiotics by adopting enzymes and other bio-based feed supplements.

Long before ‘antibiotic-free’ and ‘natural’ became buzz words du jour, the colony – one of largest Canadian Prairie land holders and a major swine and poultry producer, as well as dairy and beef producer – quietly shifted to steadily increased use of feed enzymes and other feed supplements based on natural processes. This was done to reduce reliance on antibiotics and get more health and productivity benefits from feed during an era of tight margins.

New toolbox of options

The latest enzyme innovations are part of a new category of feed technology that has been pioneered on the Canadian prairies called “Bio-Catalyst technology.” Advances in this area have been a standout expanding the toolbox of options for farmers, along with additional key areas including enhanced yeast technology, grain management technology, functional fatty acids, and phytogenics & probiotics.

New science driving new solutions in each of these areas is hitting a new peak as the swine industry strides toward a post-pandemic environment of fresh thinking and new opportunities.

Swine farmers have shown tremendous resilience amid the challenges and opportunities of the past two years. The industry has powered through and as a result the future is very bright.

A number of the latest feed technology advances are closely aligned with recent priorities the industry has faced – such as the need to get more value out of protein sources. New technologies such bio-catalyst solutions featuring multi-component protease are designed to unlock higher nutritional value from protein sources, allowing swine farmers to achieve optimized feed utilization and related performance at reduced cost.

Overall the advances in feed technology include capability for addressing major challenges such as keeping feed costs low, utilizing alternative and ‘opportunity’ ingredients, protecting health, reducing environmental impact, minimizing antibiotic use and dramatically enhancing overall efficiency and profitability.

Making a difference at the farm level

At the end of the day, the most encouraging sign many see is the increased emphasis on the farm level as a focus for innovation. Simply put: when farmers are successful, the industry is successful.

The new feed technology innovations are about putting more power into the hands of farmers to help them get the best results possible, not only to meet the demands of feeding a growing world but to boost the profits essential to farm livelihoods and a great future for the industry.