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Articles from 2019 In October

MIDDAY Midwest Digest, Oct. 31, 2019

There's a petition to change the day of Halloween.

Daylight Saving Time is this weekend. 

Critics turned out in mass to complain about the EPA's proposal to increase ethanol consumption.

The bourbon industry is thriving in Kentucky.

Gestating and lactating sows perform with hybrid rye diets

National Pork Board Newborn piglets nursing on their sow

By Molly McGhee and Hans H. Stein, University of Illinois
As a crop, hybrid rye is steadily becoming more visible to farmers in North America, as 2019 marked the fourth planting season for certified hybrid rye seed in the United States and the sixth year in Canada. KWS, a German-based plant breeding company, develops hybrids of rye that out yield other small grains, have reduced risk of ergot contamination compared to population rye and tolerate soils unsuitable for corn. Rye has a prominent place in the whiskey distilling industry, but the largest potential market for hybrid rye is as a livestock feed.

Over the last two years, research has been conducted at the University of Illinois to determine the digestibility of amino acids, phosphorus, energy and fiber in hybrid rye fed to growing pigs. With these digestibility values established, the focus of the research with hybrid rye has now shifted to evaluating growth performance of pigs fed rye, beginning with gestating and lactating sows.

Research in Denmark recently demonstrated that sows fed diets containing a portion of hybrid rye during gestation and lactation performed equally well compared with sows fed control diets consisting of barley, wheat and soybean meal. However, there are currently no published data comparing hybrid rye with corn. Although rye has greater concentrations of non-starch polysaccharides than corn, it was hypothesized that sows can perform equally well when fed diets containing hybrid rye because mature pigs have a high capacity to ferment fiber.

Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that hybrid rye can be included in diets fed to gestating and lactating sows at the expense of corn without influencing sow body weight changes, sow lactation performance or litter growth performance.

For gestation and lactation, a corn-soybean meal control diet and three additional diets in which hybrid rye replaced 25, 50 or 75% of corn were formulated (Table 1). The hybrid rye did not contain ergot. Gestation diets were limit-fed according to estimated requirements for maintenance energy based on sow body weigh until Day 90 of gestation, when feed allowance was increased to 3.5 kilograms per day for all sows. Lactation diets were limit-fed at 3.5 kilograms until farrowing, at which point feed allowance was gradually increased to ad libitum by Day 4 to 5 post-farrowing.

University of IllinoisTable 1: Composition of experimental gestation and lactation diets

Table 1: Composition of experimental gestation and lactation diets

Diet did not influence sow body weight or sow average daily gain at any point in the experiment (Table 2). Diet did not affect number or weights of total, live or stillborn pigs, but there was an increase and then a reduction in the number of pigs weaned, litter wean weight and litter ADG as the inclusion of hybrid rye in the diets increased (quadratic effect). Piglet mortality, as well as the proportion of pigs crushed by sows, tended to follow the same trend as hybrid rye was added to the diet.

University of IllinoisTable 2: Performance of sows fed diets in which 0%, 25%, 50% or 75% of corn from a corn-soybean meal control diet was replaced with hybrid rye during gestation and lactation

Table 2: Performance of sows fed diets in which 0%, 25%, 50% or 75% of corn from a corn-soybean meal control diet was replaced with hybrid rye during gestation and lactation

It is hypothesized that the fiber fraction in rye, specifically the concentrations of fructooligosaccharides and other fermentable fiber, may have contributed to the sows on the low-rye and mid-rye diets to be less stressed during lactation compared with the sows fed the control diet, thereby reducing the number of crushed pigs and possibly increasing their capacity for milk production. This hypothesis will be tested when the blood serum, colostrum and milk samples collected during the experiment are analyzed for components related to inflammatory immune response.

In conclusion, replacing up to 75% of the corn with hybrid rye in gestation and lactation diets had no effect on sow body weight changes nor on number or birthweights of piglets, but overall, diets in which 25% or 50% of the corn was replaced by hybrid rye resulted in improved sow lactation performance. No differences were observed for any variables between the control group and the high-rye treatment group, indicating up to 75% of the corn may be replaced with hybrid rye in gestation and lactation diets without significantly affecting sow performance.

Sources: Molly McGhee and Hans H. Stein, who are solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

New voluntary performance standards for pork plants

frotog/ThinkstockPhotos Pig Halves in a Slaughterhouse

Meat processing has come a long way since the early 1900s, when packing plants were graphically depicted in Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle. Since that time, meat inspectors, safety precautions for workers, the use of better technology and higher food-safety standards have arguably made the U.S. food supply the safest in the world. However, there is always room for improvement, and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service intends to propose new, voluntary performance standards for pork.

The final rule for the Modernized Hog Slaughter Plan was published Oct. 1, and one of its goals is to align hog slaughter inspection with hazard analysis and critical control points principles. It will also allow market hog slaughter establishments to operate under the New Swine Inspection System.

Under the plan, all swine slaughter establishments must develop written sanitary dressing plans and implement microbial sampling to monitor process control. Pork sampling will increase in FY2020 and inspectors will stop testing for Shiga-toxin producing E. coli. However, FSIS will partner with Agricultural Research Service to study STEC in pork.

“Modernization moves inspection away from the traditional control and command approach,” says Kis Robertson Hale, DVM, with the U.S. Public Health Service post at FSIS, during the 2019 annual meeting of the U.S. Animal Health Association this week. Hale explains that under the new rule, plant employees will do two points of sampling, one at the beginning and one at the end, giving plants the options for indicator product sampling.

The biggest thing that has been a source of question is the new swine inspection system.

NSIS requirements for sorting state that establishment personnel are responsible for sorting and removing unfit animals before ante mortem inspection, as well as for identifying and trimming defects on carcasses and parts before postmortem inspection. FSIS will continue to do all the inspections it has done in the past, but sorting will be the responsibility of establishment personnel.

“It shifts agency resources so we can do inspections more efficiently,” Hale says.

Establishment personnel will be responsible for: Identifying with a unique tag, tattoo or similar device animals or carcasses that have been sorted or removed for disposal prior to inspection, and; developing, implementing and maintaining written procedures in its HACCP system to ensure unfit animals or carcasses are properly disposed.

Plants will determine line speed
The new standard authorizes establishments to determine their own line speeds based on their ability to maintain process control. This area has received a lot of attention, Hale says, but the important point is the plant’s ability to maintain process control.

“There is still 100% carcass-by-carcass inspection so it isn’t practical to have excessively high speeds. However, inspectors are empowered to slow the lines,” Hale says. “Back in the day, the speed was set on what food inspectors needed to conduct their tasks. Since then, advancements in science and technology have refined our understanding about line speed requirements. We are still very much focused on hazard reduction.” 

Under NSIS, inspectors will be able to conduct more verification tasks that are associated with better food-safety outcomes.

“Science has been the driving force of where we are with pork sampling and slaughter inspection. By increasing industry accountability for pathogen reduction, improvements to food safety are expected,” Hale says. “It’s amazing how many illnesses have been averted by going with a HAACP approach.”

The USAHA covers topics ranging from zoonotic diseases, to regulations, to specific diseases in cattle, horses, sheep, cervids, poultry and pigs, and much more. Leaders from government, industry and academia gather alongside producers to find solutions to health issues that can help animal agriculture thrive.

Source: U.S. Animal Health Association, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Quebec company unveils pig slurry treatment technology

Solugen NHF-solugen water treatement unit jpg.jpg

This week, André Beaulieu Blanchette, president of Développement Solugen Inc., unveiled his innovative process for the treatment and purification of wastewater from the agricultural and industrial sectors to the Quebec pork industry.

The Quebec City company presented its first hog slurry processing unit deployed on a farm located in the Lotbinière region of Chaudière-Appalaches (Quebec-Canada).

“There is currently no process in the world for treating contaminated water that achieves the same level of performance as that achieved by Solugen. The process will have a significant economic and environmental impact on Quebec hog producers by recovering up to 84% of the volume of pig slurry in the form of clean water and eliminating up to 95% of the greenhouse gases and odors associated with pig slurry storage and spreading,” says Blanchette.

Solugen technology is based on 35 years of expertise in the field of industrial process development. More than $3 million dollars has been confirmed for the development of this technological showcase and for the optimization of its performance. Of this amount, $1,624,459 was granted by Transition énergétique Québec through its Technoclimat program, which aims to encourage the development of technological innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy, bioenergy and GHG emissions reduction. Développement Solugen has also received grants from the National Research Council of Canada and Canada Economic Development, and works in partnership with the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique.

With NSERC’s support, professor Jean-François Blais’ research team at INRS will monitor the performance of the Solugen process for the treatment of pig manure by performing physical-chemical analyses at the various stages of the process.

According to the company announcement, Solugen technology will also contribute to the growth of agricultural operations, in full compliance with environmental standards, through job creation and the recovery of three important fertilizers in agriculture: phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. These recycled fertilizers will be reused as natural fertilizers.

Source: Solugen, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

MORNING Midwest Digest, Oct. 31, 2019

Ford autoworkers have settled their contract.

The 2019 World Series had low viewership.

Tim Walz, Minnesota governor, declared a fuel delivery emergency, particularly for western Minnesota.

An Iowa letter carrier was bitten by a pitbull last month; the same dog that bit someone earlier in the summer.

Max has declared the "fake snow" season has started, with an abundance of Christmas movies already playing that have fake snow in them.

Farm Progress America, October 31, 2019

Max Armstrong looks at the recent meeting of the U.S. Animal Health Association looking at a range of issues the organization deals with. The group includes public and private organizations, and many are veterinarians and the meeting covered a range of technical topics. Max shares some observations about the meeting including his observation of the number of students on hand and the opportunity these young people had to intermingle with these executives.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Wallaces Farmer

Keep Porktober alive year-round

National Pork Board Soybean field with pig barns in the background

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and it seems like it just got started.

No, I am not talking about Major League Baseball’s World Series, which closes out the 2019 season with either the Nationals or Astros taking Game 7 tonight. It may just be me, but it seems like the 162-game season and post-season just flew by.

What I’m talking about is the end of October, and with it the end of Pork Month. Social media is full of “challenges,” where people are challenged to profess their dedication or commitment to someone or something.

Leon Sheets, pig farmer from Iowa and a recent America’s Pig Farmer of the Year, took on the challenge to share on Facebook his passion for pig farming. To say that Sheets is passionate about pig farming is the understatement of understatements. If you get a chance to meet the legend in person, you had better hold on tight, because you are going to get a lesson in pig farming and in being a better person. Anyway, this month Sheets has been sharing glimpses into the life of a pig farmer on his Facebook page, under the ‪#‎porktoberfest19photochallenge tag. He shares photos of what goes on around his farm, and away from his farm. Some are humorous, some poignant, some serious, some pure “Sheets-isms,” but no matter how you cut it, they are all very real posts, of real life on an Iowa hog farm.

There also have been many posts throughout the month using #octoberporkmonth or #porktober to promote the U.S. pork industry with info bytes as well as recipes for the real bites.

Real Pig Farming, a program of the National Pork Board, provides at outlet for pig farmers to share their stories, as the subhead of the #RealPigFarming Facebook says: “Real Farms. Real Stories.”

This may be preaching to the choir, as my readership is mostly hog farmers, but Real Pig Farming last week debuted a video series opening modern hog facilities to the consuming public. Maddie Hokanson, a Minnesota pig farmer and former Pig Farmer of Tomorrow, takes viewers on a tour through the farrowing room, nursery and the finishing barn.

Visit the Real Pig Farming Facebook page to take Hokanson’s tour, as well as check out all the other videos available.

Randy Spronk “hosts” a video, also on Real Pig Farming, showcasing the efforts that Spronk Brothers in southwestern Minnesota takes to ensure that the manure from the family’s hog operation is properly applied to surrounding crop ground. Yes, farming has changed from the days of his father and grandfather, but so has the technology that allows today’s farmers to manage the valuable resource that manure has become.

Again, this message is nothing new for you and your fellow pig farmers, but your urban cousins could use these quick tutorials to become enlightened and educated about today’s hog production practices. Farm stories from farmers, rather than some urbanite telling the tale of modern agriculture.

U.S. pork production is something that needs to be celebrated. Yes, pork is one of the most versatile, flavorful and safest proteins available, and it is produced by women and men who care about people, pigs and the planet. Each day they work to instill the We Care principles.

A mere 31 days is not enough to honor the great, wholesome animal protein that we all know and love. Just as one day is not enough to celebrate mothers, fathers, veterans or agriculture, we don’t have to stop celebrating pork when Halloween gives way to All Saints Day.

October was designated as Pork Month to honor the time of year when hogs were traditionally marketed, but as we know, hogs are marketed mostly every day of the year, so we should celebrate all year long.

Changing face of ileitis topic of webinar

National Hog Farmer Young pigs in a pen



Lawsonia Intracellularis (known as ileitis for short) has been infecting pigs for decades. In a Nov. 21 webinar, attendees will learn about this important disease and discuss how the clinical presentation and control methods have been evolving as our methods for easing pigs have changed.

Nate Winkelman and Fabio Vannucci will discuss the different clinical presentations of Lawsonia intercellularis as well as treatment and control strategies in today’s grow finish swine.

This National Hog Farmer webinar, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, will take place at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time on Nov. 21.

Vannucci is an assistant professor and diagnostician at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. His research has been focused on food animal medicine with special interest in pathogenesis and development of diagnostic tools for endemic and emerging diseases of swine. His research interests included experimental infection and molecular pathology with emphasis in emerging and enteric diseases.

Winkelman is an internationally recognized swine veterinary consultant and has presented at a multitude of major veterinarian and producer meetings for over three decades.

Currently, Winkelman is president and co-owner of Swine Services Unlimited Inc with Adam Mueller. SSUI is a swine veterinary consultation and research company, specializing in working with progressive pork producers throughout North America, South America and more recently China, on swine health and biosecurity, production management and record analysis. SSUI also is a Contract Research Organization for swine vaccine and pharmaceutical companies conducting GCP trials on all swine disease pathogens.

Winkelman also specializes in ileitis research. He has developed an ileitis disease model, and since 1995 has emphasized conducting scientific trials with this disease and many others for the swine industry. In 2012 he patented Diluted Lawsonia intracellularis, a method of providing controlled ileitis immunity.

Winkelman obtained a bachelors of science in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota in 1979 and a DVM degree in 1984. He is the primary author of more than 40 scientific articles, a book chapter, and co-author of numerous scientific papers on ileitis and other swine diseases.

Winkelman is currently the American Association of Swine Veterinarians president, and the recent recipient of the Leman Science in Practice Award in 2019.

Kevin Schulz, National Hog Farmer senior staff writer, will moderate this webinar.

By registering, you also have the opportunity to access previous Science Talks. webinars.

Not able to attend? Register anyway, as archived versions of National Hog Farmer webinars are available to watch On Demand shortly after broadcast. You will receive an email with login instructions as soon as the replay is available.

Feeding DDGS diets impact swine health

National Pork Board NHF-NPB-young-pigs.JPG

By Jerry Shurson, University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science
Regulations that have led to restricting antibiotic use for growth promotion have caused swine nutritionists consider various feed additives, functional ingredients and functional nutrients that can be alternatively used to promote growth and health of pigs. Compared with other grain byproducts, dried distillers grain with solubles has relatively high concentrations of natural antioxidant compounds that may contribute toward reducing oxidative stress.

Furthermore, DDGS contains about 10% spent yeast, of which yeast cell walls contain β-glucans, mannanoligosaccharides and nucleotides that have been shown to provide beneficial effects on swine health and growth performance. The relatively high concentration of insoluble fiber in DDGS may affect gut health through changes in cell proliferation, digesta viscosity and microbiome, but limited studies have been conducted to characterize these effects. Although the direct effects of antioxidants, yeast cell wall components, and fiber on swine health is not well understood, there are a few studies that have shown gut health benefits for specific pathogens when feeding DDGS diets to pigs.

Finally, a new dimension of sourcing feed ingredients involves assessing the relative risk of transmission of foreign animal diseases, such as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and African swine fever virus. Preliminary data suggest that compared to soybean meal and corn, DDGS is a lower risk factor for PEDV survival, and does not appear to be a significant risk factor for ASFV transmission.

Installments in the DDGS series

Part 1: 20 years of DDGS lessons in pig diets

Part 2: Varied energy and digestible amino acids levels in DDGS manageable

Part 3: Work continues to evaluate performance responses from feeding DDGS

Part 4: Managing carcass yield, pork fat quality when feeding corn DDGS

Part 5: Reaching an understanding of fiber characteristics of corn DDGS

Part 6: Enzymes, pre-treatment improve fiber and nutrient digestibility

Part 7: DDGS show greater antioxidant capacity than in corn grain

Part 8: Need better understanding of energy levels in distillers corn oil

Part 9: Corn DDGS a good source of digestible phosphorus for swine

Part 10: Feeder design and diet management impact performance with DDGS diets

Part: 11: Feeding DDGS diets to gestating and lactating sows

Part 12: DDGS present handling and storage considerations

Part 13: Pelleting DDGS diets has benefits, drawbacks

Part 14: Feeding DDGS diets impact swine health

Phytochemicals and antioxidant properties of DDGS
Several studies have been conducted to determine the concentrations of phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity of DDGS. Winkler et al. (2007) used several different extraction methods to quantify the phytosterols (1.97 to 2.91 mg/g of DDGS), phytostanols, total tocopherols and tocotrienols (0.73 to 1.82 mg/g of extract), and ferulate phytosterol esters (0.35 to 0.53 mg/g of DDGS) in corn oil and corn fiber oil from DDGS. In a subsequent study, Winkler-Moser and Breyer (2011) determined the oxidative stability, tocopherols, tocotrienols, carotenoids, phytosterols and steryl ferulates in corn germ oil and oil extracted from post-fermentation fractions and DDGS. They found that hexane extracted oil from DDGS was the most oxidatively stable and had significant quantities of functional lipids that serve as antioxidants to increase the oxidative stability.

Luthria et al. (2012) also determined the phenolic (vanillic, caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic and sinapic) acid concentration and antioxidant capacity of DDGS and compared those concentrations to those in corn grain. They found that the phenolic acid profile in DDGS was similar to corn, with ferulic and p-coumeric acids representing about 80% of the total phenolic acids. Furthermore, the total phenolic acid content in DDGS was 3.4 fold greater, and antioxidant capacity was 2.6 fold greater than that in corn grain. In a subsequent study, Luthria et al. (2014) reported that the increased phenolic acid concentration in DDGS was mainly due to depletion of starch during the ethanol fermentation process.

More recently, Shin et al. (2018) evaluated the antioxidant capacity, tocopherols, tocotrienols, xanthophylls and ferulic acid content of 16 sources of DDGS and compared those values with corn grain (Table 1). Antioxidant capacity of DDGS sources ranged from 29 to 65 mmol tocopherol equivalent per kg. The total tocopherols ranged from 91 to 141 mg/kg, total xanthophylls ranged from 447 to 1,586 mg/kg, and total ferulic acid content ranged from 6.8 to 9.5 mg/kg. As expected, DDGS sources had much greater concentrations of these important functional lipids than corn grain. Tocopherols, carotenoids (xanthophylls) and ferulic acid are strong antioxidant compounds that appear to be beneficial in preventing greater oxidation during thermal exposure, which occurs during the DDGS production and drying processes. Furthermore, the relatively high concentrations of these compounds in corn oil from DDGS appear to beneficial in minimizing oxidative stress when feeding highly oxidized DDGS sources to nursery pigs (Song et al., 2013; Hanson et al., 2015b) and wean-finish pigs (Song et al., 2014).

University of Minnesota Table 1: Antioxidant capacity, tocopherols, tocotrienols, xanthophylls and ferulic acid content (dry matter basis) of 16 sources of DDGS compared with corn (Shin et al., 2018)

Table 1: Antioxidant capacity, tocopherols, tocotrienols, xanthophylls and ferulic acid content (dry matter basis) of 16 sources of DDGS compared with corn (Shin et al., 2018)

It is important to determine the extent of lipid oxidation and antioxidant capacity in feed ingredients, especially those with relatively high concentrations of lipid (e.g. DDGS), because it can affect the potential for further oxidation, storage stability and the need for adding supplemental antioxidants. Hanson et al. (2015a) showed that adding either ethyoxyquin or TBHQ antioxidants were about 50% effective in preventing further oxidation from occurring when DDGS samples were stored under hot, humid conditions. Recent reviews have been published regarding the complexity of measuring and interpreting lipid oxidation data (Kerr et al., 2015; Shurson et al., 2015). However, a meta-analysis of several studies has shown significant reductions growth performance and metabolic oxidation status in pigs fed oxidized lipids (Hung et al., 2017).

Although results from previous studies (Winkler et al., 2007; Winkler-Moser and Breyer, 2011; Luthria et al., 2012; Shin et al., 2018) consistently showed that DDGS has high antioxidant capacity, Song and Shurson (2013) evaluated the extent of corn oil oxidation in 31 corn DDGS sources. Their results showed that oil oxidation occurs during the DDGS production and drying process, and the corn oil in some sources may be up to 25 times more oxidized than found in corn grain. In a subsequent study, Song et al. (2013) fed zero or 30% DDGS diets containing three dietary levels of supplemental vitamin E (none, at the National Research Council requirement, and 10 times the requirement) to evaluate the oxidative status of weaned pigs. The DDGS source used in this study was the most oxidized source identified in the Song and Shurson (2013) study, which also contained 0.95% sulfur. Results from this study showed that feeding the DDGS diet increase serum α-tocopherol and sulfur-containing amino acid concentrations, liver glutathione concentration and glutathione peroxidase activity. They concluded that the increased concentrations of sulfur-containing antioxidants (methionine, taurine and glutathione) may protect pigs against oxidative stress when fed highly oxidized DDGS, and that increasing dietary vitamin E concentrations may not be necessary.

Several years ago, a few veterinarians were observing an increased incidence of Mulberry heart disease (vitamin E and selenium deficiency) in nursery pigs and attributed these observations to feeding DDGS diets. Therefore, Hanson et al. (2015b) conducted a study to determine if feeding diets containing the most oxidized DDGS source (identified by Song and Shurson, 2013), with or without supplemental vitamin E (five times the requirement), to gestating and lactating sows and their offspring through the nursery period, caused an increase in MHD during the nursery period. Pigs fed the 30% oxidized DDGS diet had increased feed intake, but average daily gain was not affected compared to those fed the corn-soybean meal control diet.

Furthermore, feeding the oxidized DDGS diet, with or without high vitamin E supplementation, increased serum α-tocopherol concentrations, but there were no differences in glutathione peroxidase activity and TBARS concentrations, nor were there any histopathological lesions indicative of MHD when pig hearts were examined. Similar to the results reported by Song et al. (2013), the serum concentrations of total sulfur-containing amino acids (cystathionine, cysteine, methionine and taurine) were increased by 40 to 50% in pigs fed the oxidized DDGS diets. Sulfur-containing amino acids have metabolic antioxidant properties and can counteract oxidative stress by acting as reducing agents. Results of this study suggest that the increased intake of sulfur-containing amino acids, vitamin E and other antioxidant compounds in DDGS prevented the development of MHD and the potential negative effects of feeding oxidized DDGS.

Weber and Kerr (2011) evaluated the effects of feeding DDGS diets on oxidative stress and immune function of growing pigs. They found no effects on circulating metabolic oxidative stress indicators from feeding a 35% DDGS diet, but showed an increase in plasma IgA and IgG, suggesting an improvement in humoral immunity in finishing pigs.

In contrast, Li et al. (2012) reported that feeding DDGS diets to growing-finishing pigs reduced plasma and tissue redox status. However, Song et al. (2014) showed no benefit of adding supplemental vitamin E to highly oxidized DDGS diets fed to wean-finishing pigs on growth performance. Therefore, the majority of studies indicate that feeding diets containing DDGS with varying amounts of oxidized lipids has no detrimental effect on growth performance, and may enhance humoral immunity and minimize oxidative stress due to increased antioxidant compounds in DDGS.

Yeast content in DDGS
Significant amounts of yeast are added to fermenters during the ethanol production process, and spent yeast remains in co-product streams used to produce DDGS. Yeast cell walls contain β-glucans, mannanoligosaccharides and nucleotides, which are well known nutraceutical compounds that have generally been shown to improve animal growth performance and health (Shurson, 2018). However, it is difficult to quantify the concentration of spent yeast, and yeast cell wall components in DDGS (Shurson, 2018). A few researchers have attempted to estimate the yeast content in DDGS, but the methods used have several limitations and the results reported have been highly variable.

Ingledew (1999) used a mass balance approach to estimate that 3.9% of the total DDGS biomass, and 5.3% of the total protein content was derived from yeast. Belyea et al. (2004) estimated the yeast content of DDGS by calculating the proportional contributions of amino acids from yeast and corn relative to the total amino acid content in DDGS. These researchers estimated that about 50% of the protein in DDGS was derived from yeast. However, this method ignored the effect of amino acid composition in corn, which resulted in an inaccurate estimate of yeast content in DDGS. Han and Liu (2010) used a more detailed approach by conducting a multiple linear regression analysis using the relative percentage of individual amino acids in corn and yeast, relative to total amino acid content of DDGS. They suggested that about 20% of DDGS protein is derived from yeast. However, they acknowledged that this estimate may not be accurate because it assumes that 20% of DDGS biomass is comprised of yeast, which is not accurate. Alternatively, it is possible to use the mannan content in yeast cell walls to calculate an estimate of yeast content in DDGS because mannans are only found in yeast cell walls and not in corn grain (Shurson, 2018). Using this method, the estimated yeast content of DDGS is about 10%, and the yeast content of high-protein corn co-products may be as high as 29% yeast, depending on the production method used (Shurson, 2018).

Yeast cell walls comprise about 15 to 20% of the dry weight of yeast cells, and the main polysaccharide fractions are β-glucans and mannans. The β-glucans have been shown to adsorb or bind toxins, viruses and pathogenic bacteria (Vetvicka et al., 2014). Immune cells (macrophages) have receptors for β 1,3/1,6 branched glucans, and their mode of action has been well defined in human nutrition and medicine (Rop et al., 2009). There is also research evidence showing that dietary β-glucans may improve immune-competence in young animals (Saeed et al., 2014). Lim et al. (2009) used an enzymatic method designed to measure β-glucan content in barley and oats, and estimated that the β-glucan content of DDGS is about 0.57%. However, it is uncertain if this method is suitable for use in estimating the β-glucan concentration in DDGS. Kim et al. (2008) determined the total glucan concentration in DDGS to be about 21.2% (dry matter basis), of which 16% was attributed to cellulose and 5.2% was from starch. Glucans are present in bacteria, fungi, yeast and cereal grains, but vary in molecular configuration, solubility and functionality. Furthermore, cellulose is not considered a functional source of β-glucans because it is insoluble and does not provide the same functionality of yeast β-glucans (Sikora et al., 2013). No other studies have been conducted to estimate the β-glucan content in DDGS, but recent estimates using a Megazyme International Yeast β-glucan assay showed that the β-glucan content in a high-protein DDG was about 8.3% (Shurson, 2018).

Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) function as prebiotics (sources of nutrients for certain microbes in the gastrointestinal tract), that can subsequently result in providing a probiotic effect (Spring et al., 2015). Spring et al. (2015) reviewed results from numerous published studies that evaluated feeding MOS supplemented diets to multiple animal species, and results generally showed improvements in growth rate, feed conversion and reductions in mortality. These researchers suggested that these improvements are a result of MOS binding and limiting the colonization of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract, improving the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, modulating immune system activity, and may be involved in antioxidant and anti-mutagenic defenses. Alizadeh et al. (2016) used a modified procedure to determine the mannose content of a wheat-corn DDGS source and reported it contained 1.6% mannose.

Yeast contains significant amounts of nucleotides, with concentrations of total nucleic acids reported to be between 3.3 to 9.5% (Bacha et al., 2013) and 7 to 12% (Halasz and Lasztity, 1991). Alizadeh et al. (2016) determined the concentration of nucleotides to be 0.13% in a wheat-corn DDGS source, but no studies have been conducted to determine nucleotide content in corn DDGS. There is increasing research evidence that diet supplementation with nucleotides for monogastric animals may affect intestinal morphology and function, immune response, composition of intestinal microbiota, liver function and morphology, as well as growth performance (Sauer et al., 2011).

Changes in microbial populations of the gastrointestinal tract
There is much interest in determining and understanding shifts in the gut microbiome of pigs that occur based on diet composition and interventions on swine health and growth performance. However, our current understanding of positive and negative effects of changes in microbial populations in the gastrointestinal tract on metabolism, nutrient utilization and the immune system is unclear. Tran et al. (2012) fed diets containing up to 30% DDGS to weaned pigs and evaluated patterns of change in fecal microbial populations over time using an electrophoretic fingerprinting technique. Results showed that pigs fed the 30% DDGS diet resulted in a more homogeneous microbial population with fewer bacterial species, but there were no changes on serum immunoglobulin (IgG and IgA) concentrations. These researchers suggested that less microbial diversity in the gut microbiome may be associated with increased microbial ecosystem instability, but there is no direct evidence to support this.

Ewing and Cole (1994) suggested that a greater ratio of Lactobacillus to Enterobacteriaceae spp. could be considered as an index of more favorable gut health conditions because Lactobacillus functions as a major component for prevent infections while Enterobacteriaceae (including Escherichia coli) are detrimental to gut health. Yang et al. (2010) determined the effects of feeding corn DDGS, wheat DDGS and a corn-wheat DDGS source on bacterial profiles in digesta collected at the terminal ileum of pigs. Their results showed that feeding the corn DDGS diet increased Enterobacteriaceae and tended to increase number of Lactobacillus compared with feeding the wheat and corn-wheat DDGS sources. However, the Lactobacillus:Enterobacteriaceae was greater in digesta of pigs fed the wheat DDGS compared with corn DDGS, but the lactic acid concentration was greater from feeding corn DDGS versus wheat DDGS. These researchers suggested that an increase in lactic acid production may potentially inhibit pathogen growth, but provided no direct evidence to support this.

Intestinal cell differentiation and immune response
The small intestine contains many types of cells that have different functions. Enterocytes are involved in nutrient absorption while other cells (i.e. goblet, endocrine, Paneth, tuft and M-cells) have secretory functions. Therefore, understanding the role of different dietary fiber sources (e.g. DDGS) on changes in intestinal cell composition, nutrient transporters and receptors, cell differentiation and the immune system is necessary to improve nutritional efficiency and gut health of pigs. Saqui-Salces et al. (2017) fed a corn-soybean meal diet, or diets containing similar NDF content (about 21%) provided by wheat straw, DDGS or soybean hulls to finishing pigs for 14 days. Their results showed that feeding diets containing DDGS and wheat straw had a greater effect on modulating intestinal cell differentiation by promoting goblet cells and altering expression of nutrient receptors and transporters, than the diets containing soybean hulls or corn-soybean meal.

In a subsequent study, Vila et al. (2018) showed that feeding diets containing DDGS or wheat middlings increased the expression of MUCIN 2 (mucin) in the ileum, without affecting the proportion of goblet cells, compared to feeding a corn-soybean meal diet. They also evaluated ileal gene expression of 12 cytokines to determine if feeding these high-fiber diets, with or without non-starch polysaccharide degrading enzymes, changed the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses. There were no effects of feeding DDGS or wheat midds diets on expression of IFNγ, TNFα, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40 and IL-23. These responses were different than those reported by Weber et al. (2008) who showed that feeding a 7.5% DDGS diet for seven days to nursery pigs increased ileal gene expression of IL-6, IL-1β and IL-10. However, the addition of enzymes to DDGS and wheat midds diets did affect the local immune profile of the ileum and favored a pro-inflammatory response. More efforts are needed to study the many complex responses from feeding DDGS diets on functional changes in gastrointestinal tract relative to nutrient utilization and the immune system.

Effects of feeding DDGS under pathogen challenges
Lawsonia intracellularis
There is some evidence that feeding DDGS to swine has beneficial effects on gut health of pigs infected with Lawsonia intracellularis. Whitney et al. (2006a,b) conducted two studies to evaluate the effects of feeding DDGS diets to growing pigs under a moderate L. intracellularis disease challenge. In the first study, pigs were fed diets containing zero or 10% DDGS, with and without antimicrobials (bacitracin methylene disalicylate and pulse dosing of chlortetracycline), for four weeks before infection and 21 days after infection (Whitney et al, 2006a). Feeding the DDGS diet to challenged pigs decreased the prevalence, length and severity of lesions in the ileum and colon, and pigs fed the antimicrobial also had lower prevalence and severity of lesions. Although length, severity and prevalence of lesions were not affected in challenged pigs fed the DDGS diet with antimicrobials, fecal shedding of L. intracellularis was decreased by 14 days post-challenge. These results suggest that DDGS may provide similar benefits to the antimicrobial used in this study for growing pigs challenged with this common pathogen.

However, in a subsequent study, Whitney et al. (2006b) evaluated the effects of feeding diets containing 20% DDGS, 5% soybean hulls or soybean hulls sprayed with a polyclonal antibody product to pigs challenged with L. intracellularis. In this study, lesion length, severity, prevalence and fecal shedding were generally unaffected by diet, but lesion length and severity tended to be less in pigs fed the DDGS diet compared with the diet containing the L. intracellularis polyclonal antibody product. Feeding the DDGS diet had no effect on serum immunoglobulin concentrations compared with challenged pigs fed the other dietary treatments. The mechanisms of these responses are unknown because there is limited information on how feeding DDGS may affect the intestinal microbiota of pigs and their susceptibility to infection or colonization with pathogens.

Rostagno et al. (2013) conducted two experiments to determine if diets containing 20, 30 or 40% DDGS affected susceptibility, intestinal levels and shedding of Salmonella. In one of these experiments, pigs infected with Salmonella and fed the control diet without DDGS, had higher Salmonella shedding frequency than pigs fed the 30% DDGS diet, but the overall responses suggest that diets containing DDGS do not alter the susceptibility to Salmonella colonization in growing-finishing pigs.

spp. are comprised of a diverse group of Gram-negative spirochetes, of which Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, is known to cause swine dysentery in growing-finishing pigs. In addition, B. hampsonii can also cause disease similar to B. hyodysenteriae, with increased mucosal thickening, hemorrhage and large amounts of mucus in the large intestine. Wilberts et al. (2014) hypothesized that the high insoluble fiber content in DDGS may enhance the intestinal environment to encourage infection from pathogenic Brachyspira spp. and cause clinical colitis. To test this hypothesis, 4-week old pigs were inoculated with an uninfected dose or inoculum containing B. intermedia, B. pilosicoli, B. hampsonii or B. hyodysenteriae, and fed diets containing zero or 30% DDGS for two weeks prior to inoculation through 21 days post-inoculation. Results from this study showed that although feeding DDGS may increase the incidence of swine dysentery, it may not affect the severity. It appears that feeding a 30% DDGS diet may increase the risk of pigs develop swine dysentery, and when exposed to these pathogens, may shed the pathogen one day earlier and develop dysentery almost twice as fast as those fed the 0% DDGS diet.

Risk of virus transmission
Foreign animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever have had devastating impacts on global food animal production, trade and economics (Yang et al., 1999; Huang et al., 2000; Stegeman et al., 2000; Thompson et al., 2002; Waage et al., 2008). The introduction of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus into the U.S. pork industry in 2013 resulted in a loss of 7 million pigs representing 10% of annual production (Schulz and Tonsor, 2015). Although the specific cause of PEDV introduction has not been conclusively determined, contaminated feed and feed ingredients can serve as sources of transmission of PEDV (Dee et al., 2014) as well as other corona viruses (transmissible gastroenteritis virus; porcine delta corona virus; Trudeau et al., 2017). Dee et al. (2015) showed that PEDV was detected by virus isolation or a bioassay up to 30 days post-inoculation from soybean meal, DDGS, meat and bone meal, red blood cells, lysine HCl, DL methionine, choice white grease, choline chloride and complete feed. Although PEDV survival varied among feed ingredients, this virus appears to survive the longest in soybean meal, but applying a formaldehyde-based liquid treatment can be effective for causing virus inactivation in all ingredients. Similarly, Trudeau et al. (2017a) evaluated survival of PEDV, TGEV and PDCoV in various feed ingredients and also showed that PEDV survived the longest, and TGEV and PDCoV also had high survival in soybean meal compared to several other ingredients, including DDGS. These results suggest that soybean meal is a greater risk factor for transmission of corona viruses via feed than DDGS and other common feed ingredients. Furthermore, thermal treatment at temperatures greater than 70 degrees C inactivated PEDV in complete feed, premix and all ingredients, including DDGS (Trudeau et al., 2017b).

Currently, there is significant concern about the risk of transmission of ASF Fever virus through imported feed ingredients into the United States and other countries (Guinat et al., 2016). If ASFV were to enter the United States, it has been estimated that economic losses may be about $16.5 billion during the first year of an outbreak (Hayes et al., 2011). Therefore, Dee et al. (2018) conducted a study to determine the survival of 11 viral pathogens of global significance, in feed ingredients under simulated transportation times and environmental conditions across the Pacific (37 days) and Atlantic (30 days) oceans to Des Moines, Iowa (Table 2). Surrogate viruses with similar characteristics were used for Seneca virus A, porcine sapelovirus, feline calicivirus v, bovine herpes virus Type 1 and canine distemper virus. Ingredient samples were evaluated using polymerase chain reaction, virus isolation and/or swine bioassays to determine virus survival. Of the five ingredients evaluated, seven viruses survived in soybean meal while only two viruses (Seneca virus A and porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus) survived in DDGS. Furthermore, four viruses survived in lysine, three survived in choline and four viruses survived in vitamin D. ASF virus only survived in soybean meal and choline, but not in DDGS. These initial results suggest that DDGS is a lower risk ingredient for transmission of most of the important viruses, and ASF virus does not appear to survive in DDGS under the environmental conditions and travel times used in this study.

University of Minnesota Table 2: Virus survival in selected feed ingredients from trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic shipment models (adapted from Dee et al., 2018)

Table 2: Virus survival in selected feed ingredients from trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic shipment models (adapted from Dee et al., 2018)

Our knowledge about the potential health benefits and limitations from feeding DDGS diets to pigs is limited. However, it appears that the relatively high antioxidant compounds and capacity of DDGS may be effective for minimizing oxidative stress in pigs without the need for supplemental vitamin E. Components (β-glucan, mannans, nucleotides) of yeast cell walls may also provide some gut health and immune system benefits, but no studies have been conducted to directly evaluate their potential contributions.

Furthermore, more studies are needed to improve our understanding of the effects of DDGS on intestinal cell composition, nutrient transporters and receptors, cell differentiation, immune system, microbiome and metabolomics. This is critical information to potentially modify diet composition to avoid negative effects from specific pathogen challenges, as well as use DDGS under disease challenge conditions when it may provide some beneficial effects. Finally, some viruses (PEDV, TGEV, PDCoV, Seneca virus A and PRRS virus) appear to survive in DDGS, but the risk of transmission of these viruses is much less than that for soybean meal.


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Source: Jerry Shurson, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

MIDDAY Midwest Digest, Oct. 30, 2019

With interest rates and the Federal Reserve in the news today. Did you know there are 12 Federal Reserve district banks. There is one state home to two of those district banks. It is Missouri with a bank in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Grain prices have benefitted – corn and soybeans -  from stalled harvest now put on hold by winter weather in some fields. Long-time customers are making purchases from others. In soybean market, too, it’s very much about the demand. Traders await confirmation there is at least part of trade deal with China.

You likely heard about 56-year-old woman in Iowa killed by shrapnel at a gender reveal party.  The powerful blast shook neighboring houses.

There’s a lot of spending for Halloween observance. Overall spending for Halloween is down little from last year. Rest assured, some continue to celebrate just the way they have. National Retail Federation said $390 million spent on Halloween cards.