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Source: Purina Animal Nutrition news release

Close to 100 U.S. swine producers and industry leaders recently traveled to Purina Animal Nutrition LLC's Swine VIP event in St. Louis, Mo., to discuss the latest research in sow nutrition and management. Along with conversations on management strategies that are working well on their operations, producers in attendance learned about industry-leading research being conducted at Purina Animal Nutrition's premier research and development facility.

"The goal of the Swine VIP event was to highlight strategies that producers can implement to become more profitable and efficient on their operations," says Elena Lindemann, lactating livestock marketing director with Purina Animal Nutrition LLC. "A central theme of the two-day event was the importance of sow nutrition and management in producing 30 Full Potential Pigs per sow per year."

Industry-leading experts from several companies, including Zinpro Performance Minerals, DSM Nutritional Products and Elanco, presented research and advice at the collaborative event. Topics of discussion included: the impact of sow lameness on reproduction and piglet performance, research on Vitamin D3 and strategies to produce additional Full Potential Pigs. Those in attendance also enjoyed roundtable discussions on group housing, sow nutrition and the Feeding for 30TM program during a tour of the 1,188-acre Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Mo.

Cindie Luhman, senior director of research and development at Purina Animal Nutrition Center, says the facility - toured by 4,000 to 5,000 livestock producers, students and industry experts each year - is a leading research and development center of its kind. An on-site feed manufacturing unit allows researchers to design new product forms and special rations for livestock trials. The center is staffed by 100 permanent employees including 30 with undergraduate degrees, eleven Ph.Ds, two engineers and two full-time veterinarians.

During the Swine VIP event, swine producers toured the 200 sow grow-to-finish swine research facility and discussed several of Purina Animal Nutrition LLC's 35 current swine research trials.

Information was also shared on an ongoing trial that recorded the benefits of Healthy EDGEŽ Technology, a proprietary feed additive developed at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center. In addition to the work done onsite, Purina Animal Nutrition also worked with researchers at Oklahoma State University, the University of Arkansas and two swine operations in Indiana and Illinois to measure the effects of the sow feed additive. Research to date shows that, on average, sows supplemented with Healthy EDGEŽ Technology were able to produce 1.7 more Full Potential pigs per sow per year. Purina Animal Nutrition defines Full Potential pigs as those weighing 8 or more pounds at weaning.

Colostrum samples from the sows were also evaluated and the impact of colostrum quality of supplemented sows on pig growth rates was significant. Results show that the content of IgAs, IgGs and IgMs in colostrum increased by 93 percent, 115 percent and 38 percent, respectively, for supplemented sows. Also, at weaning, the additive increased pigs weaned (10.27 vs. 10.85 pigs, P<0.01) and litter weaning weight (149 vs. 156 pounds, P<0.04). The high statistical significance of the results implies that Healthy EDGEŽ Technology is likely to perform as shown 9 out of 10 times or better.

Luhman says that, like with the Healthy EDGEŽ Technology trials, the objective of each study conducted at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center stays true to the company's goal of providing the best commercial animal nutrition.

"Our research on nutrition and management is conducted for the practical improvement of the industry," she says. "The objective of each of our studies is to help producers find innovative and cost-efficient solutions. We also strive to provide the most value to our customers. An investment in research is an investment in our customers and the future."

Swine producers, veterinarians and nutritionists can learn more about the Feeding for 30TM Program and access nutritional resources by visiting or Management tips also may be received by texting "FF30" to 31256.

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