Paylean Payback Based on Carcass Premiums

Improved feed efficiency and average daily gain are not enough to recover the costs of feeding Paylean, according to researchers at the University of Nebraska.

Producers need to earn premiums up to $4.97/hog to cover the cost of adding ractopamine hydrochloride to late finishing diets. Paylean (Elanco Animal Health) is the name brand for ractopamine hydrochloride.

Researchers divided their analysis into two stages. In the first, they calculated the economic benefit of improved feed efficiency (feed:gain) and average daily gain (ADG). In the second, they analyzed the carcass premium needed to offset the cost of feeding the product.

The analysis considered feeding 4.5, 9 and 18 g./ton of Paylean in a 16% crude protein, 0.82% lysine corn-soybean meal diet from 150 to 240 lb. Researchers assumed costs of $26/lb. of Paylean, containing 9 g. of ractopamine/ lb.; $2/bu. corn and $200/ton soybean meal.

Based on information from Elanco's Paylean technical summary, researchers offer the feed efficiency results in Table 5.

ADG and feed:gain increased by 7% and 8%, respectively, for pigs fed diets with 4.5 g./ton ractopamine. At 18 g./ton, the improvements were 10% and 13%.

Approximately two-thirds of the total benefit from increased feed efficiency is realized at 4.5 g./ton. Researchers found the efficiency benefits/pig at $1.38 at 4.5 g./ton, $1.77/ pig at 9 g./ton and $2.20/pig at 18 g./ ton.

In order to pay the cost of feeding the product at 4.5, 9 and 18 g./ton levels, producers must earn carcass premiums of $0.41, $1.85 and $4.97/pig, respectively. Paylean's effects on carcass measurements are in Table 6.

In addition to the need to offset the cost, producers need to consider that all pigs fed Paylean may not be shifted to a higher carcass-pricing category on the packer grid.

The price paid for Paylean will also effect the realized premium. For each $2/lb. change in price, the cost changes $0.15, $0.30 and $0.60/pig for 4.5, 9 and 18 g./ton levels.

It is also critical for producers to consider how carcass merits are measured. For example, the premium required to recover the cost of feeding 4.5 g./ton is lower than the higher inclusion rates. But 4.5 g./ton does not reduce backfat; therefore, all benefits must come from feed efficiency and daily gain and not from packer premiums.

If pigs are evaluated on 10th rib backfat, the greater economic potential may be at the 9 g./ton level since it reduces fat depth 0.09 in. Feeding at 18 g./ton levels only reduce backfat another 0.04 in.

Producers should also consider the cost of feeding higher crude protein (CP) and lysine levels than is recommended toward the end of the finishing period. The increased cost of changing from a 15% CP, 0.72% lysine diet to a 16% CP, 0.82% lysine diet is $0.82/pig, assuming a constant feed efficiency. Thus, the total carcass premium for feeding 4.5, 9 and 18 g./ton of Paylean could be $1.23, $2.67 and $5.79/pig.

The researchers indicate that experience feeding Paylean under current conditions in the pork industry is limited. Newer feeding strategies may change the economics.

Researchers: Duane Reese and Larry Bitney, University of Nebraska. Phone Reese at (402) 472-6425 or e-mail

Low-Phytate Grains Cut Phosphorus Excretion

University of Kentucky (UK) researchers find that pigs fed a diet made with low-phytate corn and low-phytate, low oligosaccharide soybean meal require less supplemental phosphorus in their diet, and they excrete 55% less phosphorus.

Additionally, the research showed comparable performance and bone strength traits in pigs fed low-phytate corn and soybean meal compared to those fed normal corn and soybean meal.

The research, conducted in conjunction with DuPont Specialty Grains, showed that the bioavailability of phosphorus in low-phytate soybean meal is 50%, compared to 20% in normal soybean meal. Previous research showed the phosphorus in low-phytate corn was three to four times more bioavailable to pigs.

Individually penned pigs (eight/ treatment) were fed six diets from 48 to 108 lb. The diets contained normal corn and soybean meal or low-phytate corn and soybean meal and contained 0.20%, 0.10% or no supplemental phosphorus from dicalcium phosphate.

Researchers used chromic oxide, an indigestible indicator, to determine the amount of phosphorus digested and excreted.

The pigs were slaughtered at 108 lb. Femur, metatarsal and metacarpal bones were collected for bone strength and ash testing.

Researchers found the performance of pigs fed the normal diet supplemented with additional phosphorus was similar to those fed low-phytate diets without added phosphorus.

Pigs fed the low-phytate diets with no supplemental phosphorus excreted 3.3 g./day of fecal phosphorus, as compared to 7 g./day for pigs fed a normal diet with 0.20% supplemental phosphorus.

Researchers: Gary Cromwell and Merlin Lindemann, University of Kentucky. Phone Cromwell at (859) 257-7534 or e-mail gcromwel@ca.

L-Carnitine Improves Growth in Nursery Pigs

The addition of L-carnitine to nursery diets improves average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed-to-gain ratio (feed:gain). Researchers at Kansas State University (KSU) found 25 to 50 parts per million (ppm) of L-carnitine had the greatest impact on the traits measured.

Researchers conducted four experiments on carnitine, a B-vitamin-like compound that provides better energy utilization by the pig.

In the first experiment, 190 pigs averaging 12.4 lb. and 16 days old were assigned four or five pigs/pen at the KSU segregated early weaning (SEW) facility. There were eight pens/treatment.

The second and third experiments included 240 pigs, 10.8 lb. and average of 12 days old, housed eight/pen with six pens/treatment at a commercial farm in northeast Kansas.

The first two diet phases were in pellet form, and the third and fourth were meal form feeds.

All phases of diets consisted of five treatments: a control diet or the control diet with 25, 50, 75 or 100 ppm of L-carnitine. ADG, ADFI and feed:gain were measured by weighing the pigs and measuring feed disappearance on Day 4, 10, 24 and 38 after weaning.

Researchers found improved ADG and feed:gain during the second phase and overall improvement in ADG and feed:gain.

In the fourth experiment, 128 pigs, weighing 12.1 lb. and averaging 21 days old, were penned four to six pigs/pen with six pens/treatment. The trial was conducted at the Oklahoma State University Swine Research Center.

Four treatments were used, a control diet or the control diet with 25, 50 or 100 ppm of L-carnitine. All diets were fed in meal form.

The researchers found that ADG and feed:gain improved with L-carnitine in pigs from Day 0 to Day 3. From Day 0 to Day 10, pigs fed increasing L-carnitine were more efficient in feed:gain ratio. For overall feed:gain, the greatest response was in pigs fed 50 ppm of L-carnitine.

Researchers: Daryl Real, Jim Nelssen, Matt Steidinger, Mike Tokach, Robert Goodband and Steve Dritz, Kansas State University; Scott Carter, Oklahoma State University; and Kevin Owen, Lonza Inc. Phone Real at (785) 532-1270 or e-mail

Pigs Perform Better on Irradiated Diets

Irradiating the spray-dried animal plasma or blood meal included in early nursery diets appears to improve growth performance, according to research conducted at Kansas State University (KSU).

The research included three trials. In the first trial, 60 pigs averaging 13.8 lb. and 17 days of age were included in a 19-day test. There were five pigs/pen and six pens/treatment at the KSU segregated early weaning (SEW) facility.

The pigs were fed the same pelleted, SEW diet for five days. Then, they were switched to the experimental diets containing either 5% spray-dried blood meal or spray-dried blood meal that had been irradiated.

Both diets contained 1.40% lysine, 0.90% calcium and 0.54% available phosphorus. Pigs were weighed, and feed disappearance measured at Day 5, 12 and 19 after weaning.

In the second trial, 180 pigs averaging 13.1 lb. and 17 days of age were used in a 24-day test to determine the effects of source, processing technique and irradiation of spray-dried animal plasma on nursery performance.

There were five pigs/pen and six pens/treatment. Treatment diets were fed in meal form from Day 0 to Day 10. Diets included a control diet with no animal plasma and five diets with 5% spray-dried animal plasma from two sources and processing techniques.

All diets contained 1.5% lysine, 0.89% calcium and 0.54% available phosphorus. A common phase-two diet was fed from Day 10 to 24. Pigs were weighed and feed disappearance measured on Day 5, 10 and 24 after weaning.

In experiment 1, irradiation improved average daily gain (ADG) and feed-to-gain ratio (feed:gain). The second experiment showed ADG and average daily feed intake (ADFI) increases for pigs fed the irradiated spray-dried animal plasma. Researchers also found significant differences in growth performance between the different sources of animal plasma.

Pigs fed the diet with non-irradiated blood meal had a 0.50 lb. ADG, 0.72 lb. ADFI and a 1.44 feed:gain. Pigs fed the diet with irradiated blood meal had 0.62 lb. ADG, 0.80 lb. ADFI and feed:gain of 1.29.

Pig weights at 24 days show the heaviest pigs (19, 62 lb.) were fed spray-dried and irradiated plasma, while the lightest pigs, at 18.39 lb., were in the control group. Pigs feed spray-dried and irradiated plasma and feed:gain of 1.26 and 1.29, respectively.

In the third experiment, 300 pigs averaging 23.7 lb. and 17 days of age were assigned to one of 10 dietary treatments. There were five pigs/pen and 10 pens/treatment.

All pigs were fed the same pelleted SEW and transition diets to four days after weaning. They were fed 1 lb. of the SEW diet and then the transition diet for the remainder of the four-day period.

On Day 4, they were switched to the experimental diets, including a control diet with no added spray-dried blood meal and diets with 5% regular or irradiated spray dried blood meal. Irradiated diets included either gamma ray or electron beam irradiation at increasing dosage levels of 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 kilogray (kGy.)

Gamma ray irradiation is produced from a cobalt-60 source, which is an unstable isotope.

Electron beam irradiation is generated with electricity and accelerated by a linear accelerator machine. Both processes produce ionizing energy which creates ions and free radicals in an irradiated product.

Diets were fed in meal form with 1.40% lysine, 0.90% calcium and 0.54% available phosphorus. Pigs were weighed and feed disappearance measured on Day 4, 11 and 18 after weaning.

Irradiation of blood meal with gamma ray irradiation lowered concentrations of aerobic bacteria more than electron beam irradiation. In fact, at 5, 10 and 20 kGy, no bacteria were detected in the gamma ray treatments. Low levels of bacteria were cultured with electron beam treatments.

The growth performance results for the 10 diet treatments are shown in Table 10. The researchers found an improvement in feed:gain, but no response for ADG or ADFI.

The researchers found that irradiation above 2.5 kGy did not further enhance growth performance. Both electron beam and gamma ray irradiation resulted in similar performance.

They conclude that pigs can more efficiently utilize irradiated spray-dried animal plasma or blood meal, which indicates that irradiation either reduces anti-nutritional factors (bacteria or other factors) or alters the protein structure to make it more available to the pig.

Research will continue to investigate the mode of action for growth performance improvements from feeding spray-dried blood products that have been irradiated.

Researchers: Joel DeRouchey, Jim Nelssen, Mike Tokach, Robert Goodband, Steve Dritz, Jason Woodworth, Brad James, Daryl Real and Mike Webster, Kansas State University. Phone DeRouchey at (785) 532-1270 or e-mail jderouch