Pork producers know the impact of particle size on feed efficiency. As particle size is reduced, digestibility of the diet and feed efficiency are improved.

Kansas State University (KSU) recommends that particle size be maintained at approximately 700 microns with an optimal range of 650 to 750 microns.

Larger particle size results in poor feed efficiency, while smaller particle sizes increase the energy cost of grinding, susceptibility to ulcers and problems with feeders and bridging.

Particle size can greatly affectcost ofproduction, says KSU. For every 100 microns that particle size is greater than the recommended range, the cost for poorer feed efficiency will be about 65 cents/pig.

For example, if you haven’t checked particle size recently, and it has crept up to 1,000 microns, reducing particle size to 700 microns will save about $2 for every finishing pig marketed.

Proper particle size can be easily done by routine maintenance, such as changing hammer mill screens or turning hammers. Adjusting the gaps between rollers and regrooving rolls in roller mills should also be performed regularly.

For particle size analysis, send $10 for each 1.0-1.5-lb. sample to: Kansas State University, 206 Weber Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506. Or, for more information, call (785) 532-1277.