Finishing Hogs on Small Grains
Organic hogs typically grow slower and are less efficient than conventional hogs. High-fiber diets high in small grains are common in organic production but may be less efficient compared to corn-soybean diets. Tom Frantzen and family fed groups of similar hogs either an organic corn-based diet or a small grain diet where succotash replaced corn. Small grain-fed hogs grew less quickly and efficiently, but carcass price per lb was similar between diet groups, and feed price per lb was less for the small grain diet.
Feed consumption and cost was greater for small grain-fed hogs, while weight gain was lower. Small grain-fed hog carcasses were slightly smaller but of comparable quality to corn-fed hog carcasses. Hog feed is a viable use for small grains produced in organic crop rotations, as it is low-cost and produces comparable finished carcasses to corn-fed hogs.