The world of swine production is evolving. For producers and their industry, the good news is that feed and nutrition knowledge is also advancing – offering a new generation of solutions.

One person with a unique perspective on the latest developments is Dr. Anhao “Tony” Wang, who has recently taken on a new Canada-based role in the animal nutrition industry.

“Innovative, science-based solutions are the focus as animal agriculture and the feed industry transitions to the future,” says Wang, who serves as a nutrition and technical services coordinator across Feed Science Platforms including Multi-Carbohydrase technology, enhanced yeast, functional fatty acids, grain management technology, and phytogenetics and probiotics.

He is originally from Fuzhou in southern China’s Fujian province and has recently completed his PhD at University of Saskatchewan with a strong focus on feed integrity research.

“Since I was young I have always been interested in working with animals and the agriculture and food industry,” says Wang. “With all of the exciting developments and trends now underway, it’s a great time to be involved.”

Here’s a look at some key examples of what’s trending:

Rising preference for bio-based solutions

The major development relevant to swine production is the continued shift in emphasis toward bio-based feed and nutrition solutions.

This is driven in part by the increasing restrictions on use of antimicrobials. In addition, there is increasing customer / consumer preference at all levels for ‘natural’ and sustainable approaches.

Following these trends, production systems in Canada have become increasingly focused on judicious use principles and veterinary oversight regarding antibiotics. December 2018 saw the deadline for moving all antibiotic use to prescription only. As a result, operations need alternatives to use of medicated feed for production benefits.

Bio-based feed and nutrition solutions are increasingly favored a part of the “new toolbox” for swine production, says Wang. With ongoing science advances, producers now have access to a high-performing next generation suite of options designed to optimize animal and production benefits without the inclusion of antibiotic growth promoters.

Increasing customization

Increasing customization is also a major trend. The focus among leading feed and nutrition strategies is to integrate several areas of feed technology into one package tailored for each operation.

“The objectives is to lock in the best results for every farm,” says Wang. “Every operation is unique and can benefit from a custom approach.”

Focus on platforms

The future of feed enhancement has broadened from a focus on products to a broader, more dynamic and synergistic emphasis on platforms — each representing areas of science that are continuously evolving and improving. Among key examples:

Multi-Carbohydrase technology – is a leading-edge area of enzyme technology pioneered by CBS Inc. that involves utilizing multiple enzymes with multiple activities to achieve a high level of targeted feed breakdown and nutrition capture.

Enhanced yeast technology – features natural growth promoter activity supporting healthy animals and optimized productivity.

Functional fatty acids – are gaining rising attention today, in particular for their potential to replace conventional options and support systems moving toward reduced use of antimicrobials.

Grain management technology – focuses on safeguarding feed quality to provide a valuable quality assurance tool and insurance policy for both feed and animals.

Phytogenics and probiotics – represent innovative plant-based extract technology that helps support a positive and nurturing environment critical to get the most efficiency and benefits from feed and nutrition approaches.

New world of innovation

The latest solutions in each of these areas offer advantages for all types of production systems, including those targeting reduction or replacement of antimicrobial use.

Feed integrity is also a top priority, says Wang. This is particularly important with greater awareness and understanding of the rising threat of mycotoxins and other grain contaminant issues. Feed quality challenges often fluctuate from year to year. Feed technology options have the ability to allow producers to safeguard feed quality and ensure they are getting the absolute most benefit from their feed.

“Today we have better knowledge and solutions to provide peace of mind for producers,” says Wang. “Feed technology options can go a long way to help each operation ensure it is getting the greatest efficiency, benefits and overall results.”