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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 Six

1. Is there a difference in SBM quality between vendors and/or countries?

There are little documented differences among U.S. vendors in SBM quality, but protein levels may vary by geographic areas. Every processor sets their own protein, fiber and moisture levels required for product sales, within the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) guidelines. Requirements will differ by location, transportation costs and the economic model of the particular soybean processor. Differences can also be seen between countries based on soybean seed genetics, seasonal growing conditions, soybean processor practices and the carbon footprint associated with areas of deforestation. There are strong indications that some countries, such as China and Brazil, have more variable quality. Nutritionists need to be mindful of FADs and importation from other countries; however, robust standards, and travel/transportation and other protocols are in place, and continue to protect soy’s feed customers and their swine herds. See Pork Industry Confirms Confidence in U.S. Soy.

2. Does using SBM include a greater Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) biosecurity risk?

As long as the industry continues to invest heavily in biosecurity measures to maintain a FAD-free status, the risk when using U.S. SBM is low. While SBM may harbor viruses longer than other feedstuffs, synthetic amino acids could also be contaminated during manufacturing, storage or prior to shipment. Either condition could be problematic for the swine industry.

3. How does more SBM in finishing diets affect greenhouse gases and carbon footprints?

It is important to remember that greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint values vary with ingredients used, as well as feed efficiency results. Generally, as feed efficiency improves, greenhouse gas emissions/lb of pork and carbon footprints are reduced. Diets that are higher in SBM also tend to have increased corn use, both of which are significantly lower in greenhouse gas than distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and synthetic amino acids. In addition, an increase in mortality will make feed efficiency results less attractive. See Life-cycle analysis of soybean meal, distiller-dried grains with solubles, and synthetic amino acid-based animal feeds for swine and poultry production for more information.

4. How does including more SBM and slightly less synthetic amino acids in finishing diets impact manure production and manure management relative to the environment?

Manure production would not be expected to change. However, it is likely that manure nitrogen and mineral content would be slightly higher, due to more intact protein with soybean meal being fed as compared to a greater amount of crystalline amino acids. Currently, the lack of information on manure production among different diets is a limitation, and a constant value is used for manure production among all diets. This is an area ripe for additional investigation and research.