PIG PRODUCERS could shave as much as 9p/kg deadweight off their costs by using food industry by- and co-products in liquid feeding.

This is the result of a liquid feeding trial carried out by DEFRA and the British Pig Executive.

Although the use of food industry products which have been in contact with meat was banned in May 2001, a wide range of other by- and co-products are available for incorporation into wet feed systems.

These include potato waste with high dry matter and crude protein levels, milled bread and dough products, high protein biscuit meal, wheat feed, protein blends and large volumes of yeast, starch and dairy industry by-products.

Liquid feeds formulated in the trials using these products were balanced with cereals and proteins, and the 1000-strong herd at the Stofold pig development unit were monitored between 35kg and slaughter weight.

Growth rates of up to 886g/day compared favourably with average dry feed returns of circa 800g/day.

Despite cereal prices remaining at very low levels with wheat currently trading at just above £60/t, cost advantages of up to £6/pig are available through the use of co-products in liquid feed systems.

Long-term cost benefits that will more than repay the initial installation cost are also available for producers prepared to switch breeding and finishing systems to wet feed. 

And with the food industry facing rising disposal costs for their surplus products, the cost of by- and co-products should remain at economic levels for pig producers.