for February 23, 2011
The head of Agriculture Canada's Seed Increase Unit suggests limited demand among swine producers has been the biggest factor limiting the availability of hulless oats for inclusion in swine rations.
With tight margins in pork production and the cost of the more traditional feed grains used in swine rations on the rise pork producers are looking for lower cost feed ingredient options.
Dave Gehl, the head of the Seed Increase Unit with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Indian Head, says whether swine producers grow their own or contract with a local grain producer, hulless oats is definitely worth looking at.
Clip-Dave Gehl-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
In certain classes of hogs it can replace a corn-soy or a barley-pea ration.
It offers almost a complete nutrition for certain classes of swine so it's I think a very excellent feed and we have seen some uptake of hulless oats in Manitoba.
I would say on the prairies that's probably where the most is grown.
It's still considered a fairly minor crop but I think it's something merits probably a bit more attention.
The varieties are fairly widely available.
I would say there may be a problem with accessing seed.
I would say if growers are interested they should probably refer to their seed guide and look to see if they can find a source of pedigreed seed but we do have a fair number of varieties out there to choose from.
The varieties are there but it's kind of been a chicken and egg situation.
It needs the demand from the industry before the seed growers will produce the seed.
Gehl notes in western Canada hulless oats is basically a single purpose crop, that being for use in swine rations.
He suggests grain producers will have to have a good local market before they'll be prepared to gamble on producing hulless oats.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council