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Potential new use for soybean meal

January 5, 2012
By Dennis Timmerman , Marshall Independent

AURI project director

Feed prices have been moving up steadily during the past several months, mostly due to the skyrocketing price of soybeans brought on to a large extent by increased exports. Whatever the case, as most of the protein in animal feeds, such as swine and poultry, comes from soybean meal, the impact of high prices can be felt from the top down.

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of approximately 25,000 farmers in our state. Governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program, it is required that all soybean producers pay a fee on the soybeans they sell.

This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans. To assist the Minnesota Soybean industry, I have been working with the University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center and the Swine Research Center in Waseca to evaluate the effect of replacing conventional soybean meal (SBM) with low oligosaccharide soybean meal (LOSBM) on growth performance in terms of average daily gain, average daily feed intake, gain-to-feed ratio and carcass characteristics of pigs from wean to finish.

Furthermore, interaction between LOSBM and the use of fishmeal and spray dried porcine plasma was also evaluated. Feeding low oligosaccharide soybean meal is a promising opportunity, but more information is needed to make any decisions about its value.

Preliminary feeding trials conducted showed replacing conventional SBM with LOSBM did not affect the growth performances in the measured terms, nor did the supplementation of diets with fishmeal and spray dried porcine plasma result in improvement in average daily gain or average daily feed intake, however it did improve feed efficiency.

The results of the study suggest that low oligosaccharide has no negative effects on performance, also presenting digestibility data that is promising.

Probably the most important observation is that LOSBM can be a cost effective substitute for conventional protein sources in starter swine diets. If an alternative such as this is widely adapted, soybean producers will have the opportunity to process more of the soybeans locally, creating jobs and markets within the industry. For the full report, please visit the AURI website at



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