Pig farmers save money by fighting global warming

4 million tons of CO2 reduction plus an economic bonus of 2.5% savings on feed are what enzymes can do for the pork industry.

It costs money to breed pigs. As a rule, approximately 50–60% of the costs go to their feed. It is with feed that expenses could be reduced by making the pigs more receptive to the different nutrients available in their feed.

So there is money to save when you manage to help the pigs be more efficient at taking up nutrients from their feed. How much? For the average pig farmer, this saving amounts to about 2.5% on feed costs when they use just 200 g of the feed enzyme Ronozyme® WX CT in every ton of feed.

Better nutrition
More concretely, the basis for the saving is that pigs are poor at digesting certain common feed ingredients, such as bran. When they cannot digest their feed properly, they do not benefit from the proteins and the energy found in their feed. The added enzymes help by breaking down the cell walls in the feed, so the pigs’ digestive system can absorb the nutrients that would otherwise be lost. The cost saving comes from being able to substitute the expensive and protein-rich ingredients, such as soya, with cheaper feedstuffs such as barley.

“2.5% does not sound like a lot, but when you consider that each year pig farmers use more that 650 million tons of feed, 2.5% really amounts to something significant,” explains Anders Østergård, Marketing Director for feed enzymes at Novozymes.

Help reduce global warming
But it is not just the economic benefits that we can be happy about. The environment also benefits from the use of enzymes. By giving these feed enzymes to the pigs, their manure contains less methane and fewer nitrites, both of which are powerful greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming. Additionally, there is a reduction in ammonia and nitrates in their manure, which eases the release of unwanted nutrients to the environment.

“There is no doubt that there is an enormous benefit, beyond the economic arguments; there are significant environmental advantages by using enzymes in animal feed,” says Anders Østergård.

For each kilogram of pork that is produced using the feed enzyme Ronozyme WX, approx. 185 g less CO2 is produced, just because different feed is used, and not as much of it. In total, the release of greenhouse gases from pork production will be reduced by between 3 and 8%.

In Denmark alone, the total potential savings in CO2 emissions are approx. 360,000 tons annually. And this is the same as the yearly CO2 output from 90,000 cars.