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Swine Grist

VOL. 15 ISSUE 4 | WINTER 2013

A P E R I O D I C N E W S L E T T E R P R O D U C E D B Y G R A N D V A L L E Y F O R T I F I E R S LT D .

Jim Ross, Chairman Dear friends, After a long rainy fall the harvest is pretty well in the bins and producers are generally happy with the yield and quality of their crops. Corn and soybean yields have been outstanding in some areas with producers reporting corn yields of over 250 bushels per acre and lots of soybeans yielding 60 bu/acre and more. After last year’s disappointing harvest it’s great to have this bin bursting year across Ontario and our 3 prairie provinces as well. We are now utilizing the services of Activation Laboratories of Ancaster, Ontario for all our feeds and feed grains toxin texting. Activation Laboratories is a new high tech facility that has become an extension laboratory of Dairy One Labs in New York state. Give us a call and we’ll arrange for you to take advantage of this good management practice of testing your feedstuffs for mycotoxins. Remember our Assure product. This winter edition of “The Grist” has a number of great articles that I hope you enjoy. Wishing you good farming, Jim Ross

Exciting NEW Grow-Finish Premixes By: Bruce Schumann, B.Sc. (Agric.), M.Sc. Monogastric Nutritionist, Grand Valley Fortifiers


f you didn’t get a chance to visit our booth at the Ontario Pork Congress this year, you missed the opportunity to hear about what GVF has been doing on the grow-finish side of things. We had some preliminary benchmarking results on approximately1300 of our grow-finish hogs using new generation grow-finish premixes that we were really excited to share. We’ve taken an assertive approach to our formulations. Our results are from producers running multi-phase feeds in grow-finish (six feeds from 25 kg to Market) allowing us to alter the feeds to best meet the pig’s nutritional requirements at different physiological and metabolic stages of growth and development. With genetic progress, today’s lean genotypes are demonstrating a disconnect between amino acids and energy ratios, responding very well to higher amino acid levels irrespective of energy concentration of the diet. We’ve challenged the limits of our synthetic amino acid recommendations to capitalize on the muscle growth potential of the lean genotypes and drive gain in the grow-finish pig. Higher synthetic amino acid use reduces the excess amount of nitrogen circulating in the pig. Energy costs to eliminate excess nitrogen can now be utilized to improve feed efficiency. These new premixes have a proprietary, full complement of B-vitamins to maximize the metabolic efficiency of the pig. B-vitamins are involved in almost every enzyme system in the body. They play a critically important role in energy transfer and repartitioning of fat, carbohydrates and proteins within the body. We have also equipped these premixes with enzymes. Enzymes play a valuable role in feeds, physically breaking down GRAND VALLEY FORTIFIERS LTD. 486 Main Street East, PO Box 726 Cambridge, ON N1R 5W6 1-800-567-4400

previously unavailable compounds in the diet so they can be digested by the pig. This release of nutrients improves the digestibility of the diet overall and specifically energy, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. The release of additional energy can either be used with no changes to the diet and an improvement in feed conversion would be expected. Alternatively the diet can be diluted with less energy dense commodities (e.g. shorts) yielding the same feed conversion but providing a lower cost of feed ($/MT). Releasing the minerals in the commodity feeds improves their availability, allowing us to reduce the macro-mineral contribution in our premixes and reduce their inclusion rates. Since the Ontario Pork Congress this year, our benchmarking database on these products has expanded to over 11,000 market hogs, using multiple sources of genetic stock. Hogs on this program are gaining almost a kilogram per day and are exiting the grow-finish barn in 94 days at 119 kgs (Table 1). One of the most impressive things is that they are doing so with an average feed conversion of 2.56 Table 1: Grow-Finish Feeding Program Results Number of Trials Total Number of Pigs Starting Weight (kg) Weight at Market (kg) Average Daily Gain (g/d) Average Daily Feed Intake (kg/d) Feed/Gain Ratio

14 11,279 27.09 119.35 974 2.38 2.56

Since the end of May our industry has enjoyed good returns, significantly higher than a year ago today, with pork prices fluctuating only marginally. Hog prices continue to be consistently strong, while commodity and feed costs are now on a downward turn as we are

Ian Ross, President & CEO | Jim Ross, Chairman Clarke Walker, VP & COO Dr. Martin Clunies, Monogastric Nutritionist David Ross/Patti Bobier, Publishers

amidst the new harvest. With strong returns and lower input costs, there is no better time to capitalize on maximizing average daily gain and feed efficiency to push our pigs through as fast as we can. In addition to achieving the results above, we’ve enjoyed hearing some impressive comments from our producers including; “We are observing extremely consistent pigs. Noticeably less feed is being consumed. Our pigs look fantastic!” And some producers have hit their target weights 15 days sooner than they had been when previously feeding a competitor’s premix and program. Most of this work has been done in cooperation with our US producers, and we look forward to introducing these products into our grow-finish line of premixes in the Canadian marketplace in the very near future. For more information on these exciting new products, please contact your Grand Valley Fortifiers Swine Specialist. n

Maximising returns on the bottom 20% of nursery pigs By: Dr. Kayleigh Almond, Primary Diets What is the bottom 20%? Variation in piglet size begins at birth and continues throughout the pig’s life. Variation is remarkably consistent between farms and is about +/- 20 %; irrespective of average weaning weight and age. The spread of weaning weights within a population of piglets tends to follow a ‘normal’ distribution. One benefit of a normally distributed population is that it is possible to predict how many pigs we expect to have in each weight range once we know both the average (mean) and have an idea of the level of variation (standard deviation). An example of this is shown in figure 1. with this knowledge we can predict that in a population of 800 pigs, with an average weaning weight of 6kg, the bottom 20% will weigh an average of 4.4 kg. Figure 1: Predicted distribution of pig weights in a population at weaning. Bottom 20% highlighted in red.

With an ever increasing drive to improve the number of pigs weaned per sow per year and therefore improved profitability; the larger litter sizes strived for will undoubtedly lead to higher numbers of smaller piglets born and increased litter variation. It is well documented that the smallest piglets in a litter do not grow as well as the others do. This was shown in a large scale US commercial system where pigs were measured at birth, weaning and at the end of the nursery. The top 80% of the pigs all grew similarly while the bottom 20% (blue line, figure 2) of the pigs performed poorly and were the ones that lowered the overall nursery performance. It is these pigs that will cost the producer dollars in the long term as they continue to perform poorly throughout their lifetime. (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Growth rate of different birth weights of piglets throughout their life (Schinkel et al. 2003) The importance of the sow Birth to weaning weight performance is strongly correlated with the lifetime performance of the pig and therefore directly impacts the dollars made by the producer on each hog. As you would expect, piglet weaning weights are highly related to their birth weight, but through optimal management of both the sow and her piglets, weaning weights can be improved and litter variation reduced, giving piglets a better chance to thrive after weaning. The most important and often overlooked aspect when considering the pre-weaned piglet is correct management of the sow. If you can get this right and she will have the best chance of raising a good number of healthy piglets with greater weaning weights. To start we must ensure sows are fed a highquality, lactation diet, at least twice a day to maximise intake, milk production and minimise weight loss. Sows should only be losing around 10-13% of their body weight during lactation, any more than this is not acceptable. Another very important aspect to consider is water. Lactating sows require up to 20 litres of water per day in order to ensure adequate milk production. This is around double the amount of water a dry sow would consume daily. Make sure that each sow has enough functional teats to raise all of the piglets she has farrowed and when necessary even up litter sizes by distributing a few piglets from large litters amongst sows with smaller litters. It is often beneficial to use a nurse sow to raise small piglets. Ideally this will be a 2nd parity sow (most ideal because of nipple size and condition). Piglets should be left with their maternal sow for the first 12 hours before any fostering takes place to ensure adequate colostrum intake. Getting pigs to eat During the transition to solid food, after weaning, many newly weaned pigs eat very little and some do not eat their first meal for one or even two days. This period of anorexia resulting in little or no growth can be detrimental to their health and productivity. Reducing the post-weaning growth check becomes even more challenging given the individual piglet variation that exists in behaviour and response to weaning, which is ultimately linked to lifetime feed intake and growth on most farms. Smallest piglets often suffer the most during this time of adaptation, particularly if they are not managed appropriately. Even a successful transition at weaning is not without some biological and economic cost. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges and potentially lucrative opportunities in pig production is the ability to prevent or decrease the amount of time that young pigs spend in this weaning induced period of anorexia by being able to stimulate feed intake (and growth). Through the use of a highly digestible feed programme (BioPrime™, Bionic® or BioForce® Nursery Feeds) there are a number of factors that have been shown to have a dramatic effect on post-weaning feed intake and subsequent growth, many of which, if not all, can be easily implemented on your farm. Some examples are shown I table 1. Table 1: Several ways to improve post-weaning feed intake Factor How to improve? Creep feeding • Creep feed early (ideally start between 4 and 10 days of age) • Feed little and often • Avoid changing diet at weaning Nutrition • Feed highly palatable, nutrient dense diets • Blend diets between change over to avoid sudden changes

Feeder space Feed Form Water supply Temperature Lighting Weaning stress

• Ensure extra feeder space at weaning • Ideal feeder space allowance is 100 mm/pig • Gruel feeding for a few days after weaning often encourages intake • Ensure adequate supply of fresh clean water • 1 nipple drinker per 10 pigs or 1 bowl per 20 pigs • Minimum flow rate of 0.7 litre/min • Pigs will reduce feed intake when too hot or too cold • Air temperature should be 28 °C at weaning; Reduced to 22 °C by 20 kg • Pigs won’t consume their first meal in the dark • Increase the period of lighting for first 48 hours post-weaning • Avoid additional stress at weaning where possible (e.g. vaccination etc.)

Summary Primary Diets and Grand Valley Fortifiers have a very good understanding of weaning weight variation. The bottom 20% of pigs in a population grow slower and convert feed less efficiently throughout their lifetime and therefore can be a considerable cost to the producer. Improved birth to weaning growth rates and getting pigs eating a good quality diet as quickly as possible post-weaning are key to improving lifetime performance and maximising profit. It is often the smallest pigs in a population that require the most attention after weaning, but get it right and these pigs can perform well and improve your profitability! For more information on how to get the smallest piglets in your operation off to the best start possible contact your Grand Valley Fortifiers Swine Specialist or Kevin Dolan of Primary Diets at 519-788-1306, n

Fall Harvest Mycotoxin Update By: Bruce Schumann, B.Sc. (Agric.), M.Sc. Monogastric Nutritionist, Grand Valley Fortifiers


n June of 2013 Grand Valley Fortifiers began working with the Agriculture division of Activation Laboratories located in Ancaster, Ontario for all of our mycotoxin testing and analysis. The previous lab we used for these tests was only able to report levels of DON (Vomitoxin), T-2 and Zearalenone toxins. Currently Activation Laboratories (Actlabs for short) is able to analyze 15 toxins with the intention of expanding their repertoire. Their laboratory methodology provides these results with higher accuracy than before. Many of the known toxins (T-2, DON, etc.) actually have a number of harmful compounds that are similar in both molecular structure and their impact on the animal. The report you will now receive for any feedstuffs you submit for testing has these 15 toxins summarized into 5 major class groupings of Deoxynivalenol (Don/Vomitoxin), Zearalenone, T-2, Fumonisins, Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin. These additional analyses allow us more specifically to identify toxins that may be responsible for issues we see on the farm and to look for connections between multiple toxins and animal performance. The following 4 tables are histograms of the toxin results thus far for this year’s corn & high moisture corn, barley, wheat and DDGS crops. If a toxin was not present in any of the samples tested it was omitted from the results. The histograms show the toxin level ranges and how many of the samples submitted fall within those ranges. Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin are essentially absent in all the samples we have tested, and in the case of the wheat samples submitted so far this year, there has been no T-2 toxin detected. So far, we have also observed very low levels of Zearalenone in this year’s crop. Zearalenone is responsible for many reproductive challenges, such as irregular heats, enlargement of teats in pre-pubertal gilts, pseudo pregnancies and even abortions, and is likely most recognized by swollen vulvas in gilts and sows. There have been some noteworthy levels of Fumonisins detected in this year’s corn crop. Fumonisins can be linked to gut torsions, ulcers, poor feed conversion, pulmonary edema and impaired immune function. The most concerning observation this year is that DON levels are

Swine Grist consistently inconsistent, regardless of the grain fed. The Table 1: Mycotoxin Analysis Corn & majority of the samples range High Moisture Corn between 0.5 and 3-4 ppm and one sample of wheat submitted, was actually as high as 35 ppm. Not surprisingly, DDGS show 2 -3 times higher levels of DON (and all other toxins), which is inherent as toxins found in the corn inputs become concentrated during the manufacturing process of DDGS. The worse the corn looks coming into the ethanol plant, Table 2: Mycotoxin Analysis Barley the worse the DDGS will be coming out. This will therefore limit the DDGS inclusion rate in the feed, so producers need to be aware of this fact and adjust their rations accordingly. DON and its metabolites are usually linked to a lot of grow-finish performance measures. They will affect the feed intake of an animal (and in the extreme case Table 3: Mycotoxin Analysis Wheat cause complete feed refusal and vomiting), and reduce weight gain and muscle deposition. It will also impair immune function and so animals, even if vaccinated, may not have complete protection against a challenge. This is not restricted to just grow-finish pigs, so all stages of production, including Table 4: Mycotoxin Analysis DDGS sows and the passage of their maternal antibodies to their piglets can be affected. Decisions as to treatment and/or prevention measures are all based upon cumulative risks. One of the first things you should do is ascertain whether you are dealing with a single or multiple toxin challenge in your commodity grains. Multiple toxins can act synergistically meaning that the effect on the animal when faced with multiple toxins will be worse than what the animal would show from a single toxin or the combination of adding those effects together. Testing your grains is the first step, but often only provides an indication that there may be a problem. This is because assay results can be erroneous if small samples were submitted to the lab or if a true representation of your crop was not submitted. Mycotoxins are not distributed uniformly within the grains, so it is important to get a large enough representative sample to the reduce potential for errors. Second, you will want to assess whether your animals are expressing symptoms indicating that there could be a mycotoxin problem. While the results of your grain may appear fine, visually and performance-wise your animals may be telling you there is a problem. Your Grand Valley Fortifiers Swine Specialist has the tools to evaluate and assess your farm and make specific recommendations to get your animals back on track if they are suffering from mycotoxicosis. For more information contact your Grand Valley Fortifiers Swine Specialist or call us directly at 1-877-625-4400. n w w

A Tribute to a wonderful lady, Rose Robinson


ose Robinson was the loving wife of Bob Robinson and the mother to three fine sons Scott, Brent and Jeff and two daughters Jane and Anne. She was also grandmother to 15 surviving grandchildren. All who knew Rose were saddened when we heard of her passing on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 after a lengthy illness. Coming alongside Bob, Rose provided wise leadership with her quiet, cheerful spirit and her practical ways. Whether at home, church or at a community gathering everyone looked up to her in admiration and was happy to be in her presence. Besides being a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother Rose took her faith seriously and it was easy to see that much strength was derived from her daily walk with the Lord. The Bob Robinson Family is recognized as one of Canada’s outstanding farming families and has won the respect and admiration of those involved in the pork business across the countryside. Rose was the matriarch of this leading family. Although she is gone from us our hearts do go out to her husband Bob and each member of the family at this difficult time. “Rose, you will always be an inspiration to us all, we bless God for your life”. n

New Total Swine Genetics facility

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Junior Barrow Show

It was a privilege to once again be present for the award ceremony and sale of this year’s OJBS. We commend the 43 young people that prepared their animals for the 2013 Ontario Junior Barrow Show at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who organized this year’s show and the parents of the students who gave of their time to ensure their sons and daughters could be part of this wonderful event. We’d like to offer a special congratulations to the top 10 winning entries as follows: Renee Robinson, Stacy Robinson, Randy VanderDeen, Matthew Ypma, Ben Robinson, Catherine Ypma, Alyshia Williamson, Lenanne Dieleman, Megan Ypma, and Emily VanderDeen. We thank all those who supported this exciting event through sponsorship and the buying of these excellent market barrows. n

Retired GVF Truck FOR SALE

This year we have retired 2 previously enjoyed Sterling Auger trucks from our fleet. If you are interested in a great used feed body truck of even just the chassis I encourage you to check out the details below. Please contact Ken Bax on our customer service desk for more information or to arrange a test drive. GVF Truck #011 2002 model year Sterling LT 9500 chassis

In September of this year Grand Valley Fortifiers was invited to attend a special golf day and open house for the new Total Swine Genetics isolation, production and lab facilities that were under construction in South Western Ontario. It was exciting to see such a significant investment being made into the Ontario swine industry. We want to wish Arnold Ypma and Stuart DeVries good success as they launch this new facility to better serve both the Canadian and international genetic markets. n

You’re invited to the

2013 Holiday Delivery Schedule


Dear Friends, In order for us to help you prepare for the holidays, please be advised that our Christmas and New Year’s hours are as follows:

January 28 & 29, 2014 with Guest Speakers: Dr. R. Dean Boyd & Dr. Peter Wilcock

Order Desk & Farmers Farmacy Hours:

Choose from two different locations to attend this exciting event:

Christmas Eve - Tues., Dec 24 Christmas Day - Wed., Dec 25 Boxing Day - Thurs., Dec 26 New Year’s Day - Wed., Jan 1

Tuesday January 28th Arden Park Hotel -orStratford, ON

• CAT C10 335/370 HP • Eaton Fuller 13 speed transmission • 4:11 rear axle ratio with differential lock • 20,000# front end • 46,000# rear end • Walinga 24’ Bag/Bulk combo unit • Auger and pneumatic unloading options • 1 fixed (36”) bulk compartment • 8 fixed (24”) bulk compartments • 1 rear (60”) compartment for bags or bulk • 21,500 kg payload • Approx. 930,000 km • $39,000

Wednesday January 29th Komoka Community Center Komoka, ON

Planto toenjoy enjoyan anexciting excitingday dayofoflectures lectureswith withfellow fellowpork porkproducers. producers. Plan Watchfor formore your invitation to this event coming in edition the mailand in early January Watch details in the Swine Grist Winter an invitation 2014. Please know you’re2014. coming by calling 1-877-625-4400. coming to youlet in us early January 1-877-625-4400

Interested in prepaying for your premix needs in 2014? Call Peter Faus, VP & CFO Grand Valley Fortifiers to arrange for prepayment options. 1-877-625-4400 x 2243.”


We would like to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season! Advanced Animal Nutrition for Improved Human Health

Thought for the Day

Love Came Down The world was blessed at Christmas with a miracle of love… a guiding star and angel choir rejoicing from above. They pointed to a tiny babe within a cattle stall – a Savior bringing peace on earth – the greatest gift of all. Wishing you a season of overflowing Joy and Peace. Sincerely, Jim Ross and staff of Grand Valley Fortifiers

Swine Grist 2013 - Winter  

New Grow-Finish Premixes • Maximizing Returns on the Bottom 20% • Rose Robinson

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