For every pig farmer in 2021, it could pay big dividends to know the answer to this simple question: How much feed never gets eaten by your pigs and ends up as waste?

Whether it’s in a manure pit below a farrowing or gestation barn or under multiple grow-finish barns, feed wastage this year could translate into massive losses, especially with corn prices above $5 per bushel and soybean meal north of $400 per ton.

The answer to the feed wastage question is most certainly that “you don’t know.” However, this is truly a case of what you don’t know may hurt you, especially in a high feed-cost environment. Regardless, it is likely to be far more than we would care to admit.

The current elevated grain prices have dramatically increased the cost of feed and have had a negative impact on every pork producer’s bottom line. So, it pays to think about the many ways in which feed might be wasted and address these through management practices to reduce costs.

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