Mr. Klober goes on to enumerate why he believes that raising livestock on "valuable land" is still a viable practice, but I think I could some it up in just one sentence. The basic idea is that yes you can create a lot of commodity crops on good land and you can grow a lot of pork in a confinement building, but when you add in all of the handling/infrastrucure/input costs you might not come out ahead. I obviously haven't run the numbers on this and don't have a clue what those numbers would be like if I did run them, but I do think there is something to be said about having livestock add to the nutrients of the soil on the farm.
But, back to the feeds and feeding parts of this chapter. Here are some tidbits that I really found useful:
- With 15-20 finishing hogs per acre you can save between 800 and 1,000 pounds of grain and 500 pounds of protein by having them on pasture.
- Good pasture access should be considered a plus for lactating sows and they probably should be kept on their regular ration so they maintain the best condition during lactation.
- "About 10% of a growing hog's nutritional needs can be met by good legume pasturage."
- Mr. Klober likes to use a 14% to 15% protein ration for growing hogs on pasture no matter their weight.
- One acre of corn that is "hogged down" can support 10-15 hogs to butcher weight assuming that they have enough mineral, protein, and water.