New Crop Corn vs. Finishing Spaces

Posted: November 11, 2019 | Written By: Tom Streit, Form-A-Feed Swine Business Manager


New crop corn promises to give pork producers challenges due to the stressed 2019 growing season.  We may have low test weight corn, or have corn that came out wet and saw prolonged drying, or corn that has mold and potentially mycotoxins to deal with.  Couple that with the fact that another packer, and now the majority, has banned Paylean use in a market that has zero extra finishing spaces available.  All of this adds up to poorer average daily gain, a poorer feed to gain ratio, and of course, lighter weights.

Most of you would say lighter market weights are not an option, but unless you are already long in barn space it may be a reality, or we need to take counter measures at the front end of a barn turn.

If you grow your own corn it is somewhat easier to control your fate.  Corn planted early this year seems to be better than corn planted late. I would recommend storing corn in separate bins so any testing involved will be relevant to the whole bin. The early/better corn should be reserved for lactation, nursery and GDU (gilt developer unit) diets which are more sensitive to stressed corn.  The stressed corn needs to be tested, and a strategic use of some additives should be applied to help meet your production targets.

If you use toll mills you are subject to whatever is sold and delivered to them by local grain farmers.  At best, it is a composite blend of corn from their trade area.  A blend, if consistent, is easier to understand any issues through testing and then you can strategically use some additives to help meet production targets. An inconsistent blend can be frustrating. By the time it is tested and an action plan is established, it has been fed and is gone.  Your only solution in this scenario is to use additives all of the time.

Both ‘low test weight corn’ and excessively dried corn will be missing some energy.  Adding fat in cold weather, will replace this energy right up until you hit a mixer restriction, see fat balls, or have feed hanging in the bins.  A solution worth considering is an enzyme blend to release energy from the substrates already in the formula.  Form-A-Feed offers Liberate XL and has had great success replacing energy when facing these exact challenges.

If you see mold there is a good chance mycotoxins can also be present, or could develop during storage.  Tests can be performed to determine what you are dealing with, but if it is fed by the time test results are returned it can be an exercise in futility.  If you suspect a mycotoxin issue, or see issues with the pigs themselves, perhaps a preventative measure should be taken. The antioxidants and flow agents in App-A-Tite Concentrate have been demonstrated to help mitigate the effects of low-quality feedstuffs.

Lastly, many counted on Paylean for that lean weight gain just prior to market.  Simply taking it out without increasing the number of growing days will equal a lighter pig.  With finishing spaces being tight, adding days may not be an option. Form-A-Feed offers Capture which would definitely help add pounds to our market hogs. It is an all-natural solution to improve intake, average daily gain, and feed to gain in the last phase.

From this fall’s crop until new crop 2020 we may have challenges. Please do not hesitate to consult your Form-A-Feed consultant for additional details on solutions to get you through this crop year.

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