The popularity of bacon has been booming with American consumers; however, some concerns with quality have surfaced in recent years with regards to dried distillers grains softening belly fat on carcasses, according to an article by Iowa Farmer Today (http://bit.ly/…).
Research in recent years has found that feeding high levels of DDG were reducing belly firmness, an undesirable effect on bacon. Consumers prefer bacon to be firm, not soft. Also, processors can get more yield out of the belly if it is firm, since more bacon can be sliced from it.
Reducing the level of DDG before slaughter can return the soft fat to its firm condition, according to a study by the North Central Coordinating Committee on Swine Nutrition.
According to Marcia Shannon, Extension swine specialist at the University of Missouri, said that if feeding DDG at 40% in the ration, dropping the inclusion rate to 20% two weeks before marketing would firm up the belly fat. However, reducing the DDG rate 30 days before marketing is even more optimal.
While reducing the rate of DDG could mean a few more days in the finishing stage, the better carcass condition makes the extra days worth the wait, Shannon said.
Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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