Farmscape for December 3, 2021
Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre shows pork producers can reduce their carbon footprint by adding wheat by-products to their ration formulations.
Researchers with the Prairie Swine Centre have been evaluating the inclusion in swine diets of high fibre wheat by-products left over from the processing of wheat for human consumption.
"Diets for Growing Pigs: Can we reduce feed costs and the carbon footprint?" was discussed last month as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2021.
Dr. Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan and an Adjunct Research Scientist Nutrition with the Prairie Swine Center, says we know that, overall, pork production is accomplished with a relatively small carbon footprint.
Clip-Dr. Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
As monogastrics, pigs don't have a large enteric output of greenhouse gasses.
They don't make a lot of greenhouse gasses themselves so we are not a large contributor to greenhouse gas or the carbon footprint.
However, we know that, especially with the estimates of increasing pork consumption around the world, we want to do what ever we can to ensure that we are doing that with a low carbon footprint.
It is known that about 60 percent of greenhouse gases from pork production actually do come from the diet.
That is especially growing the grains for the diet and transporting the diet to those pigs.
Hopefully in the future, perhaps producers can get carbon credits for producing pigs with a lower carbon footprint.
Currently these by-products also allow producers in most cases to formulate diets that are lower cost so it's kind of a win win.
The lower cost diet using these by-products can also result in pork that's being produced with a lower carbon footprint.
Dr. Beaulieu says, when including these high fibre wheat by-products, scientists were not able to measure an increase in enteric greenhouse gases from these pigs.
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