2012 Price of Hog Feed

I did some figurin’ on hog feed prices.  I like to do this every year.  The current prices I’m using include: corn $.10/lb, soybean meal $.17/lb, pig premix $.40/lb, sow premix $.49/lb.  This is using $5.60 per bushel corn and $340/ton soybean meal.

I put 150 lbs. of sow premix in every ton of sow feed and 100 lbs. of pig premix in every ton of pig feed.

The sow gestation ration uses 250 lbs of soybean meal per ton.  The sow lactation ration uses 540 lbs of soybean meal per ton.  So if you do all the math, gestation ration is $.14/lb and lactation ration is $.15/lb.

The pig rations use anywhere from 250 lbs of soybean meal per ton for the largest pigs to 600 lbs of soybean meal per ton for the smallest pigs.  I adjust the amount of soybean meal based on my feed budget and the size of the pigs.

After all the math, the cheapest ration for the largest pigs is $.12/lb and the most expensive ration for the smallest pigs is $.15/lb, with the in between rations falling in between.

There are more expensive rations for smaller pigs, but with my new farrowing system I plan to let the piglets nurse longer, thereby eliminating the need for the more expensive starter pig diets.

These rations are near the historical highs, but not quite as high as last year.  I think these prices are the new normal and we will learn to live with them.

I plan on experimenting with more grazing and feeding forages and alternative feedstuffs this year.  I’ll have feed and production records to analyze next year at this time.

10 Responses to 2012 Price of Hog Feed

  1. I remember you saying you got unusually high prices FOR your pigs last year, did you ever figure out if you made more money that usual or if it was just an overall more expensive year?

  2. Miles Allen says:

    I remember that the Hog farmer next to us raised alfalfa and turned his swine out in it as it grew. This was outside Grants New Mexico and we had cold weather there also. Interesting thing was we had irrigation canals and they would flood the fields. Tasty pork, it was, and well fed btw. And, yes, folks weren’t used to seeing swine graze.

  3. Toasted, yes it was a more profitable year for pork production, especially since we raise our own corn, so that is an opportunity cost, not realized.
    Miles, you have quite the swine experience. I didn’t know any hogs were raised in New Mexico. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Miles Allen says:

    Yep, it was an old Mormon settlement called Bluewater Village. Mr. Rains was a Mormon as I recall, and they were some thrifty folks – He built a huge metal building and moved all his sows and piglets inside during the blizzards. This was back in ’68-70 if I recall correctly. They sold wholesale eggs and hogs. He was always looking for a better way to feed them. I’ve literally seen hogs in clover, as it were. The local farmers raised hay and sold it in southern Colorado. You remember normal sized bales of hay, right? High altitude alfalfa, and they would get two cuttings most years. The real factor was that they flooded the fields from the irrigation canal from Bluewater lake. The Mormons put a lot of work in that village, but by the time we moved there the Temple was abandoned. As best as I can remember, it was a going concern, but his sons didn’t stay with the farm. So, I get a real kick out of your info, and wish ya the best.

  5. pfj says:

    This link has to do with pigs and because you raise them and would be motivated to solve this ‘challenge’ for yourself, as well as for the ‘award’ ($50,000) — take a look:


    They say that they want “a portable device capable of no-contact (‘from a distance’) weight-measuring of live pigs in the farm setting.”

  6. PFJ, This has been around forever. I call it eyeball/experience.
    All joking aside, this is actually what we use on our farm almost exclusively. We have a scales for when we need to know the exact weight, but otherwise we estimate.
    The other day a friend and my Dad were telling me how much some hogs weighed in Hoop A without me even asking them. Perhaps a bigger challenge would be to find the shutoff switch.

  7. As you work to train the pigs to graze a trick is feed them the supplements such as commercial feed, corn and other grains later in the day. Let them graze until noon, then feed them other stuff. Then let them graze until 2 pm, then 4 pm.

    Over time select for pigs that do best on the grazing. Their digestion adjusts. Pure pasture is low in lysine and calories so figure out what you want to use for supplementing that if anything. we use dairy as that is readily available. Minerals and vitamins are another concern so know your forages and soils.

    It can take years to breed to grazing stock but is well worth it. Initially you’ll likely have much slower growth but also you’ll have far lower costs. As the breed improves the growth rate climbs on pasture. It’s a long term project.

    As to the remote measuring device – I call it my pig stick. When I’m sorting pigs each week to take to market I eyeball them as you say. Some aren’t worth thinking about. Others are close and those I hold the stick up to, without touching, and get a fairly accurate measure of their weight. It is based on the formula in the link below but adjusted for our pigs. Different genetics will vary it a little. Males are leaner than females.


  8. Thanks for the link, Walter. I will try using the string technique sometime.
    I like the idea of breeding pigs for forage. It is a thing which can make continual, small progress, but never be finished.

  9. WSB says:

    I think kaizen is the term for continual progress. Ive been meaning to reread Maurer’s One small step can change your life.

    Interesting post, btw.

  10. curiousfarmer says:

    Thanks, WSB! Hadn’t heard from you in awhile. Thanks for adding to my vocabulary.
    When I need a K word, I’m going to name one of my herdboars, “Kaizen.”
    I love this concept. I guess if we don’t embrace it, we go backwards. Change is the only constant.

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