With Australia's pork industry typically operating on very tight margins, any edge producers can gain from higher-energy grains can mean the difference between profit and loss.
Quantifying and explaining differences in the nutrition values of feed grains is the work of the GRDC's Premium Grains for Livestock project.
A recent finding is that sorghum delivers higher energy value than the more commonly fed barley. In fact, barley fed to pigs was subject to the greatest range in available energy, with a maximum value of 12.99 MJ/kg and a minimum of 10.7. This suggests pork producers could be taking more of a punt feeding barley rather than sorghum.
The project has undertaken a detailed analysis of more than 1,700 grain samples, allowing for different crop and variety types and a range of production and processing systems.
The goal is to develop rapid tests for measuring grain characteristics to help pork producers take the guesswork out of feeding.
Contact: Professor John Black 02 4753 6231