Market conditions provide opportunities for pig producers to save money on feed

11 Jun 2020

by Dave Stephenson, head of Pig and Poultry

At Harbro, our trading department are continually watching the markets to ensure the best quality products are sourced at the best price for the high performance tailored rations we design for our customers.

Currently, rye and barley provide cost effective options, especially compared to wheat. Currently, UK barley is trading at £30+below wheat and this provides pig producers with the opportunity to include significantly higher levels of barley into their rations and save money. With the correct nutritional input, higher barley diets will perform equally well against diets dominated by wheat, and there is much research showing that barley helps to provide better gut health, which in turn improves performance and reduce stress.

One of the few negatives of barley is that is does not ‘pellet’ well and many feed mills are restricted in the levels of barley they can utilise because of this, with some suggesting that 40% is the upper limit. The addition of binders are required when this level of barley is included. These products have no real nutritional value to the pig, carry significant cost, and could be included at a rate of up to 2%. This means that 550kgs of feed on an artic load carries NO value to the pig.

However, at Harbro we are using our fleet of high-tech mobile feed mills to produce quality pig rations with as much as 75% barley content, capitalising on current market conditions to bring our customers even greater value, and reduce their ration costs. The feed produced is in meal form which has an optimum grist profile to ensure flowability along with improved gut health and no binders are required.

We are delighted, but not surprised to see how well diets are performing with barley included at +70% and it gives Harbro customers the chance to become even more efficient.


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