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Based on extensive research and decades of real-world commercial application, seven swine-industry leaders developed an extensive FAQ document to help the industry understand the impacts of soybean meal.

Download the FAQ (PDF, 1.5mb)

Section Five

1. How is a producer’s ability to produce more full value pigs impacted by having a minimum amount of soybean meal (SBM) added to finishing diets?

Added weight gain during the summer months shifts the entire population weight curve to the right, thus reducing the number of lower value pigs that fall outside the target weight range. Based on the typical packer-buying grids, it is quite common to receive sizeable light-pig discounts. In addition, as livability improves when using higher levels of soybean meal in pigs that are health-challenged, then the number of full value pigs should increase.

2. How is carcass weight variation and carcass value impacted by having a minimum amount of SBM added to growing and finishing diets?

The value of SBM for improving carcass weight is highest during the summer, when the carcass weight dip occurs. Higher SBM levels generally lead to heavier carcass weights when used in late-finishing diets and/ or under health-challenged conditions. The summer benefit of higher SBM is the result of reducing distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) so that feed intake is not reduced. The benefit of higher SBM levels in winter diets, when respiratory disease is often a challenge, is that SBM attenuates the effects of disease on gain and feed efficiency.

3. How are branded program quality specifications and export pass rates impacted by having a minimum amount of SBM added to the finishing diet?

Fat quality and marbling are generally the most significant factors in meeting branded program specifications and quality-based export pass rates. By having a minimum level of SBM in finishing diets and reducing the amount of DDGS and fats/oil, loin pass rates and bacon slicing efficiency tend to improve, resulting in enhanced value.