This past week I was at PigSki at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado. At the same time, a major winter storm brought snow to much of the upper Midwest. As I write this another storm is racing across the mid-plains, bringing more snow to the region.
While it may still be winter in the US, now is the time to begin implementing summer management strategies. The pigs you are placing into finishers this week will be going to market in June. You may recall that the last week in June last year was among the hottest of the year.
Weight gain in summer has a different value than winter gain. Historically the highest cash prices are in the summer months while sale weights are the lowest of the year. This suggests you can afford to spend management time and some dollars on strategies that maximize carcass weight sold.
With high DDGS prices relative to corn, it may pay you to lower the DDGS levels in your diets to increase carcass gain in the next few months. Don’t forget to have a second look at added fat for diets. I started to write summer diets but fat and lower DDGS diets may be worth considering in the next month if it results in increased sale weight in June.
As you look at the value of fat and DDGS in your diets, give consideration to the carcass yield impact of these ingredients. Review your projected feed cost per unit of gain on an estimated carcass weight basis so any impact of feed ingredients on yield gets into the equation. Fat and DDGS in the diet get valued differently on a carcass weight gain basis versus live weight gain basis due to their varying impact on carcass yield.