National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Science recently released the 11th edition of the “Nutrient Requirements of Swine.” This eagerly anticipated revised edition, commonly referred to as the Swine NRC, was prepared by a 10-member committee that spent nearly two years reviewing scientific literature focused on the energy and nutrient requirements necessary for swine in all stages of production.

The new text features 17 chapters, five appendices and 400 pages in the hardbound edition. Detailed, research-based information can be found on 122 feed ingredients. The previous edition of the Swine NRC was released in 1998.

“Some things have changed during that time,” explains Brian Kerr, lead animal scientist with the USDA-Agriculture Research Service National Swine Research and Information Center in Ames, IA. For example, an entire chapter is devoted to co-products from corn and soybeans.

The committee revised the energy chapter to support concepts developed based on a modeling approach and established feed ingredient energy values. New knowledge about how pigs utilize energy contributed to the Swine NRC’s section on net energy systems and values.

The Swine NRC contains a new evaluation standard for phosphorus called standardized total tract digestibility (STTD). Requirements are included for STTD phosphorus by all categories of pigs, in addition to STTD phosphorus content of feed ingredients.

A chapter is devoted to the influence of nutrition on nutrient retention, with strategies to reduce fecal and urinary excretions that can contribute to environmental pollution, Kerr notes.

New chapters are also devoted to lipids, carbohydrates, potential feed contaminants and the digestibility of nutrients and energy. Another chapter focuses on the effects of feed processing, such as pelleting, extrusion and reduced particle size.

An updated computer model with the Swine NRC helps calculate nutrient requirements.

The recommendations contained in the Swine NRC are based on published scientific studies. The committee became very aware of areas where there is a shortage of research, such as the feeding of gestating sows. Therefore, a chapter is devoted to research needs. “The committee thought identifying the gaps in research would encourage researchers to work in these areas,” Kerr explains.

The new Swine NRC is available from the National Academies of Science Press for $149.95. Ordering information can be found online at

The NRC committee included: L. Lee Southern, Louisiana State University; Olayiwola Adeola, Purdue University; C. F. M. (Kees) deLange, University of Guelph; Gretchen M. Hill, Michigan State University; Brian Kerr, USDA-Agriculture Research Service National Swine Research and Information Center; Merlin D. Lindemann, University of Kentucky; Phillip S. Miller, University of Nebraska; Jack Odle, North Carolina State University; Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois and Nathalie L. Trottier, Michigan State University.


New DDGS Guide Now Available

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently released the third edition of the publication, “A Guide to Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS).”

“When you look at the increased breadth of knowledge surrounding DDGS, plus the new types of DDGS now entering the market, we believe this edition will help buyers and end-users stay up-to-date on this high-quality feed ingredient,” says Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade.

The guide features new chapters and greater detail in feeding methods. “Early chapters of the handbook explain different production methods for distiller’s grains depending on an ethanol plant’s operations,” Cordero explains. “One of those methods includes pulling corn oil out of the ethanol production process. This means there is less oil or less fat in the DDGS, which can impact how it is fed.”

Because removing more oil is common in U.S. ethanol plants, the handbook includes information on low-oil DDGS in swine, beef cattle, poultry and dairy cattle diets.

The handbook also provides detail on the nutrient composition and digestibility of DDGS and recommended laboratory analytical procedures.

Details on the physical and chemical characteristics of DDGS and answers to commonly asked questions are included. Additional chapters focus on quality indicators and feed safety issues that may be of importance to buyers and end users.

“In this period of higher global grain prices, the use of DDGS is one way to lower the cost of feed,” Cordero says. “It is an excellent, lower-cost alternative feed ingredient that continues to be produced in large quantities by the U.S. ethanol industry. When included in properly formulated feeds, it results in excellent animal health, performance and food product quality.”

To download a PDF of the handbook,