Corn Price Pinching? Think Grain Sorghum

In some places sorghum is selling for 70 percent the price of corn.

Swine producers who feel the pinch of corn prices should think about switching their hogs to grain sorghum, says Kansas State University swine specialist Bob Goodband. Goodband said he recommends switching to sorghum when prices are 96 percent of the price of corn or less. In many locations, sorghum is selling for about 70 percent of the price of corn.

Goodband said sorghum can totally replace corn in all swine diets and variety seems to have no impact on nutrition. Hogs also gain weight on sorghum at the same rate as corn. Producers may want to consider, however, the fact that milo is a bit lower than corn in both energy and lysine content. Unless countered, this can lead to a small drop in feed efficiency. "They might want to make a slight adjustment in soybean meal or synthetic amino acids," he said.

Milo has a small kernel that's much harder than corn's. So, proper processing is vital, Goodband said. Roller mills are best for achieving the optimum particle size of 600 to 700 microns for meal diets.

More about Goodband's latest research in swine nutrition is available on the Web, as part of K-State's 2008 Swine Day proceedings.

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