Constant feed costs with simultaneous reduction of environmentally relevant nutrient excretions: The influence that optimised feeding methods have on the ecological footprint of pig fattening has now been proven by a current practical study by AGRAVIS
Raiffeisen AG on pig fattening farms. The ecological and economic effects of two pig feed concepts - one ration with a constant crude protein content and a modern, adapted ration based on the concept of future feeding - were compared with the help of the AGRAVIS Eco-Efficiency Manager. The analysis of the 25 farms from North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and the Rhine-Main area shows The ecological footprint of pig farms has been reduced by up to 26 percent in recent years. At the same time, significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and CO2
emissions were measurable.
"The more needs-based a pig is fed during fattening, the smaller the surplus of nutrients is, which must be metabolized by the animal in an energy-intensive way and then excreted in the form of faeces and urine," points out Dr. Peter Rösmann, Product Manager of AGRAVIS Futtermittel GmbH. "And this is exactly what we have been working on intensively in recent years: In this context, the AGRAVIS concept Future Feeding stands for feeding methods that are designed on the basis of the nutrients actually digested by the fattening pig," explains Rösmann. This strategy enables processing companies to efficiently use the raw materials or straight feeds used. In addition, the environmentally relevant nutrient excretions caused by pig farming, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, are demonstrably minimised.
In agricultural practice, this positive development can be seen concretely in a decreasing amount of liquid manure per fattening place. Further indicators are generally decreasing nutrient contents in the liquid manure as well as the improvement of the stable air. "However, these positive observations only provide evidence of a reduction in the environmental impact of pig fattening if the genetic performance potential of the animals continues to be tapped," explains Rösmann. An uncontrolled protein or phosphorus reduction in the feed, on the other hand, inevitably leads to performance depression in the barn. As a result, this would lead to an increase in the number of fattening days, higher feed expenditure per kilogram gain and an increase in the amount of liquid manure per animal. "The renunciation of performance must therefore be avoided at all costs from both an economic and an environmental point of view," emphasises the AGRAVIS expert.