When Ractopamine is Not An Option

This past fall, multiple large packing plants announced that, starting in February, they will no longer be accepting hogs that had been fed ractopamine so that they can export the pork to foreign countries. Ractopamine, more commonly known as Paylean® or Engain®, was a fairly large part of pork production in the United States. It helped to add more weight on the pigs during late finishing by increasing the feed efficiency, rate of gain, and carcass leanness. Because of this change, we, as producers and feed manufacturers, may need to alter the way we have been doing things 


There are some options for producers to compensate what is lost by not being able to feed ractopamine. First and foremost, the best option to help fill that void would be to assess your management practices. Bettering your day-to-day pig management can fill a large majority of this gap in most circumstances. Typically, there are a lot of dollars per pig left on the table as a result of poor pig management. There are also a few other feed additives that can help make up some of this lost ground, such as Ambitine® (PMI) and Skycis® (Elanco), just to name a few. 

As a result of ractopamine being cut out of swine diets across the industry, Farmers Coop Society has switched all seven of our feed mills over to ractopamine-free. This will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers while increasing our efficiency at the same time. 


Just as with any change, there is a ripple effect. Since ractopamine was removed from diets, the hogs will take a few more days to get to the target market weights, which has lead to a shortage of pig spaces, resulting in a shortage of hog barns. If you have been thinking about adding another hog barn, now may be the time. 

The key to staying successful in the swine industry is adapting to the changes. Farmers Coop Society is here to help. Whether it be help with the management practices, swine nutrition, or wanting to grow your operation by building another hog barn, we are here to work with you. Give us a call today and see how FCS can help!