Researchers at Kansas State University (Faccin et al, 2022) recently surveyed swine vitamin and trace mineral supplementation practices among US swine producers. A total of 37 nutritionists and production company personnel were surveyed, representing 4.4 million sows, or 72% of US hog production. Overall, vitamin use rates ranged 3.8 times the most recent 2012 Swine NRC guidelines, and also were higher and more variable when compared to a similar 2016 survey of US vitamin practices in the swine industry (Flohr, 2016). The top 25% of industry guidelines exceeded OVN Optimum Vitamin Nutrition® minimums for all the fat-soluble and most of the water-soluble vitamins for most production segments. Major findings indicated a wide range of supplementation practices, with perhaps more industry consensus on supplemental choline, niacin and B6 levels, and highest multiples of NRC levels for vitamin K and folic acid.
Why are industrial levels routinely higher than NRC?
What’s changed since the 2016 survey?
How do US recommendations compare to recent surveys in Brazil and China?
Similar swine vitamin usage surveys were conducted in Brazil (Dalto and Silva, 2020) and China (Yang, 2021). Comparing the 3 regions, vitamins A and D were generally higher in Brazil than in China and the US. Supplemental levels of Vitamin K were higher in China than Brazil and the US, whereas water soluble vitamin levels were variable, but usually higher in the US than in the other 2 countries.
How do the results compare to the 2022 North American survey of poultry (Ward, 2022, Ark Nutr Conf)?
There were notable similarities between survey results in swine (Faccin et al, 2022) and broilers (Ward, 2022), including industry adjustments to account for improved efficiency (feed conversion, rate of gain, and days to market), and higher use rates for high-value segments such as nursery/gilt development/breeding herd (swine) and breeders/starters (broiler producers). In addition, both swine and poultry segments noted the influence of breeding/genetic companies on micronutrient guidelines, and most usage guidelines exceed NRC recommendations by a factor of at least 3-4X. However, swine producers were more likely to meet or exceed OVN guidelines for vitamins, especially in the top 25% of nutrition guidelines.
Both surveys noted high variability among producer within a segment, although the broiler survey found lowest variation in recommendations for vitamins A and B2 (riboflavin), with highest variability for vitamin E, B12, and folic acid. In contrast, the KSU swine survey noted lowest variability in usage rates for choline, niacin, and B6, with the highest variability for vitamin K and folic acid. Vitamin E usage in the 2022 broiler survey was 2.84 X the average use rate noted in 1993 for broiler starter.
23 January 2023
Faccin et al, KSU Swine Day report, 2022
Flohr, et al, KSU, 2016
Dalto and Silva, 2020
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