Abstract

Abstract Swine nutrition and production has been the cornerstone scientific discipline of the Midwest Section ASAS meeting for decades. During this time, the impact of scientists’ work and the scientific application by swine professionals has been profound. However, if we are to double our food supply by 2050, we have much to do. This presentation will attempt to illustrate contrasting examples of production efficiencies associated with differing production goals, and highlight examples of processes that lead to improved pork production efficiency within the discipline of swine nutrition. This presentation will also cover obstacles and gaps in knowledge that practicing nutritionists, pork producers, and other professionals regularly encounter. Some knowledge gaps are within a single scientific discipline and if resources were put towards the problem would be relatively easily solved. Examples include: development of an inexpensive in vitro assay to assess DDGS amino acid digestibility, re-defining the upper and lower critical effective temperature for modern pigs, defining the minimum and best equipment for growing pigs, identifying additivity effects of various dietary compounds, scientifically sound method(s) to understand and resolve mycotoxin contamination of grains. Other gaps in knowledge are more complex and require multi-disciplinary scientific approach. Examples include: defining root causes of sow mortality, defining factors influencing pig and piglet mortality especially during health challenges, developing models to assist optimization of litter size and post-wean performance, determining best practices of cross-fostering. Pork production will continue to be a viable yet challenging endeavor. It will require persistence, collaboration, and ingenuity from our scientific and pork production community in order to adequately feed the growing population’s demand for protein.

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