NCCC42: Committee on Swine Nutrition

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Active

NCCC42: Committee on Swine Nutrition

Duration: 10/01/2014 to 09/30/2019

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Statement of Issues and Justification

The overall stability of the US economy continues to significantly depend on efficient production agriculture. Swine production and nutrition form inseparable components of US production agriculture to help feed the worlds population a high quality protein for improved health. Maintenance and improvement of the current level of US competitiveness in the global market continues to be of vital importance. The evidence shows that high-quality and timely swine nutrition research conducted by the North Central Coordinating Committee has made significant contributions to this competitiveness.

The North Central Coordinating Committee (NCCC) on Swine Nutrition (NCCC042), previously called NCR-42, has a rich history, spanning nearly 50 years, of conducting cooperative research to provide answers to specific practical issues dealing with swine nutrition that individual stations could not accomplish on their own. The primary advantage of the cooperative research is the use of the same experimental designs, diet formulations, and experimental protocols because typically confounding factors are incorporated into the experiment allowing for interpretation of results. Research published by the NCCC042 clearly represents a multi-state approach that has resulted in a scientifically productive effort by the members to provide sound nutritional recommendations to the swine industry. Current NCCC042 members have expertise in nutrient utilization, feed analyses, molecular nutrition, mineral metabolism, biotechnology, protein/amino acids biochemistry, and growth and muscle physiology. The committee has also recruited and enlisted the services of biostatisticians, agricultural economists, animal behaviorists and international animal scientists as appropriate.

With the potential development and use of new technologies (low-nutrient-excretion diets, improved genetic lines, nutrition-environment interrelationships, metabolic modifiers, etc.) in the swine industry in the future, specific questions relating to nutritional requirements will need to be answered more rapidly, with more validity, and with broader implications through a cooperative, multi-state effort rather than by individual stations working independently.

The NCCC042 Committee has historically developed projects on a continuing basis rather than completely at the outset of the approval process. This allows the committee to respond quickly and promptly to issues as they emerge. The advantage of this type of approach is the quick attention given to research questions that need to be solved on a national basis without the restriction to specific experiments revised periodically. This is especially useful considering the declining funding in the field of animal nutrition. This collaborative multi-state approach is as relevant now as it has been in the past, evident by the large quantity of quality, robust, timely research. The emphasis on applied nutrition is by design and incorporates a unifying strength in the proactive stance on identification of critical issues facing the swine nutrition industry. Members of the Committee maintain close ties to the swine and feed industries and are keenly aware of basic and applied questions that need to be answered. Representatives from the pork and swine nutrition industries participate in our annual meeting to keep the Committee informed on high-priority areas of swine nutrition that are researchable on a multi-state basis. In addition, representatives from this Committee participate in the annual meeting of the Swine Nutrition Council of the American Feed Industry Association to exchange information on high priority research needs.

Many of the findings by the NCCC042 Committee would not have been discovered without the large number of animals assembled from many stations and the applicability discovered by various genetics and management strategies. For example, the split sex feeding strategy discovered by NCCC042 Committee would not have been possible without the large number of both barrows and gilts as well as the establishment of protein requirements of barrows and gilts versus feeding them together as a large numbers of animals are needed to detect real treatment effects. Most stations working independently could not have researched important issues due to limited numbers of animals. This type of research approach done on a multi-state basis produces results that have broad inferences across many environmental and management conditions.

The NCCC042 Committee has an enviable history of addressing important researchable problems relating to swine nutrition and an excellent record with respect to publishing research in scientific literature. Research conducted by the NCCC042 committee members has made major contributions to swine nutrition and provided technical information to improve efficiency of pork production. Goals of the NCCC042 are consistent with the priority research objective of North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Stations which is to develop improved animal production systems that are competitive, profitable and environmentally sound. The structure and functionality of the NCCC042 is regarded as a national model for coordinating committees. No other regional Committee can boast of the following: record attendance of greater than 90% at annual meetings in the last 5 years; record participation in cooperative projects; record publication of 31 refereed journal papers in the Journal of Animal Science, and presentation of 41 abstracts at sectional or national meetings of the American Society of Animal Science during its 45-year history. In addition, Committee members have written two editions of a comprehensive textbook entitled Swine Nutrition. Since the last project approval, five refereed journal papers have been published in the Journal of Animal Science and three abstracts presented at sectional or national meetings of the American Society of Animal Science.

Accomplishments and Highlights since Last Approval:

A. Joint meetings with the Regional Research Committee on Nutrition and Management of Swine for Increased Reproductive Efficiency (S-1044) in January 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Discussed, during these meetings, research topics of common interest and collaborated several research studies. In addition, the Swine Nutrition Research Team received the Excellence in Research Award in July, 2013.

B. The following feed industry/National Academy of Science representatives were in attendance during NCCC042 meetings in January 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012: Dr. Don Orr (JBS United) representing AFIA in 2009; Dr. David Meisinger, US Pork Center of Excellence Director in 2009; Dr. Steve Smith (NIFA) in 2010; Dr. Lee Southern (Chair of NRC Swine committee) provided an update of the development of the new Nutrient Requirements of Swine document in 2010; Dr. Victoria Siegel (American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) in 2010; Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board in 2011 and 2012; Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra, University of Alberta in 2012; Dr. Martin Nyachoti, University of Manitoba in 2012; Dr. Craig Wyatt, Chair of the American Feed Industry Association in 2012.

C. Regular and periodic interactions between the committee and CSREES representative.

D. Regular and periodic interactions between the committee and National Pork Board to ensure that the research objectives are in alignment with the needs of the U.S. pork industry

E. The committee took on the following research projects: 1. Evaluation of different commercially available binders efficacy on naturally contaminated corn with vomitoxin on nursery pigs; 2. Dietary fat sources and levels for weanling pigs; 3. Oxidative stress in Sows; 4. Tribasic copper chloride in sow diets; 5. Distillers dried grains withdrawal in grow-finish pigs; 6. Distillers dried grains with solubles and soft fat in growing-finishing pigs; and 7. Metabolism procedures.

F. Published the following scientific papers (2009 to present):

Refereed Journal Papers

1. Adeola, O., D. C. Mahan, M. J. Azain, S. K. Baidoo, G. L. Cromwell, G. M. Hill, J. E. Pettigrew, C. V. Maxwell, and M. C. Shannon. 2013. Dietary lipid sources and levels for weanling pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 91:4216-4225.

2. Che, T. M., O. Adeola, M. J. Azain, S. D. Carter, G. L. Cromwell, G. M. Hill, D. C. Mahan, P. S. Miller, and J. E. Pettigrew. 2012. Effect of dietary acids on growth performance of nursery pigs: A cooperative study. J. Anim. Sci. 90:4408-4413.

3. Cromwell, G. L., M. J. Azain, O. Adeola, S. K. Baidoo, S. D. Carter, T. D. Crenshaw, S. W. Kim, D. C. Mahan, P. S. Miller, and M. C. Shannon. 2011. Corn distillers dried grains with solubles in diets for growing-finishing pigs: A cooperative study. J. Anim. Sci. 89:2801-2811.

4. Stein, H. H., O. Adeola, G. L. Cromwell, S. W. Kim, D. C. Mahan, and P. S. Miller. 2011. Concentration of dietary calcium supplied by calcium carbonate does not affect the apparent total tract digestibility of calcium, but does decreases digestibility of phosphorus by growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 89:2139-2144.

5. Veum, T. L., J. D. Crenshaw, T. D. Crenshaw, G. L. Cromwell, R. A. Easter, R. C. Ewan, J. L. Nelssen, E. R. Miller, J. E. Pettigrew, M. R. Ellersieck and the North Central Region-42 Committee on Swine Nutrition. 2009. The addition of ground wheat straw as a fiber source in the gestation diet of sows and the effect on sow and litter performance for three successive parities. J. Anim. Sci. 87:1003-1012.

Journal Abstracts

1. Cromwell, G.L., M. J. Azain, O. Adeola, S.K. Baidoo, S.D. Carter, T.D. Crenshaw, G.M. Hill, P.S. Miller, J.F. Patience, M.C. Shannon, and H.H. Stein. 2012. Withdrawal patterns of DDGS on performance, belly firmness, and fatty acids in pigsA cooperative study. J. Anim. Sci. 90 (Suppl. 3):467.

2. Pettigrew, J. E., Adeola, O., Azain, M. J., Carter, S.D., Cromwell, G. L., Hill, G. M., Mahan, D. C., and Miller, P. S. 2009. Effects of dietary acids on growth performance of weanling pigs - a cooperative study. Journal of Animal Science, 87 (E-Supp 2): 437.

3. Cromwell, G. L., Azain, M. J., Adeola, O., Carter, S. D., Crenshaw, T. D., Kim, S. W., Mahan, D. C., Miller, P. S., and Shannon, M. C. 2009. Corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in diets for growing-finishing pigs - a cooperative study. Journal of Animal Science, 87 (E-Supp 3): 44.


  1. Cooperatively conduct research with weanling and growing-finishing pigs using a standardized protocol to allow pooling of the data from participating stations. Thus, substantial numbers of animals will result in meaningful data from which valid conclusions can be drawn and nutritional recommendations established.
  2. Cooperatively conduct sow nutrition research studies using a standardized protocol that will allow adequate numbers of animals to provide meaningful results from which valid conclusions can be drawn and nutritional recommendations established.
  3. Cooperatively conduct digestibility and metabolism studies using standardized protocols to ensure that diets contain adequate amounts of digestible and available nutrients and that the amounts of excreted nutrients are minimized.
  4. Discuss research in progress at participating stations in order to enhance collaboration among stations and prevent duplication of efforts.
  5. Discuss graduate student training at participating stations in order to ensure future personnel in swine nutrition.

Procedures and Activities

The committee will engage in integrated and collaborative research that is aimed at reducing feed costs and enhancing sustainability investigating ways to reduce feed costs, improve energy utilization, increase usage of co-products from by-products including the fuel ethanol industry. To this end, the committee will conduct research to evaluate new feed ingredients, continue to assess value of co-products from the food and ethanol industry, measure energy and macro nutrient digestibility, and other important research areas.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • The committee will coordinate specific research studies using common protocols.
  • The committee will meet annually to exchange ideas and information. In addition, the committee will meet jointly with another multi-state committee working with swine (S-1044) to exchange ideas and information. In some instances, members of S-1044 will cooperate with members of NCCC042 on specific research studies, using common protocols and provide graduate education.
  • The committee will publish joint research articles. Abstracts and presentations will be given at scientific meetings (American Society of Animal Science), and papers will be published in a peer reviewed scientific journal (Journal of Animal Science).
  • The committee will invite the Chair of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) Nutrition Council, Swine Committee to attend the annual meeting of NCCC042 to present information from their organization relative to high priority areas that are researchable on a regional basis. In turn, the Chair of NCCC042 will attend the annual meeting of the AFIA Nutrition Council, Swine Committee to build strong interactive relations and identify critical/key research and education issues with this important industry group. The science and research leader from National Pork Board will be invited to exchange information and provide for collaboration in the production of pork.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

The NCCC042 Committee consists of prominent swine nutritionists from the North Central Region along with a few surrounding states and has been in existence since the early 1960's. It has been involved in cooperative research for nearly 50 years and is recognized as one of the most effective regional committees of its kind. The committee meets annually in January to plan experiments with a common protocol, present research results from such experiments conducted during the previous year, review publications in progress written by the committee, and share pertinent information regarding swine nutrition.

In addition to the annual meeting, three subcommittees meet and function during the year to develop initial protocols. The subcommittees are: 1) wean/grow/finish, 2) sow, and 3) nutrient digestion/metabolism. The general objective of each subcommittee is to investigate the industry concerns involving the nutritional problems of the various phases of swine production. Subcommittees meet annually to develop plans for their respective area. Generally prior to the annual meeting, ideas are solicited from the entire committee, reviewed by the subcommittee, and project proposals are developed. At the annual meeting, the entire body of members votes to collectively conduct studies based on an agreed-upon protocol. The experiments to be conducted use the same design and protocol but under differing experimental facilities, genetics, and environmental conditions. The composited replicates from this procedure allows the use of large number of animals and replicates such that the results can be more widely applied than if the study was conducted at one site. All members of the NCCC042 committee are asked to participate in approved NCCC042 projects within a proposed time frame. The general objectives of each subcommittee are as follows:

Wean/Grow/Finish. The committee plans experiments using standardized protocols such that large numbers of animals can be used to investigate areas of nutritional concern in these three swine production phases.

Sow. Sow nutrition experiments have historically been conducted using low sow numbers and inadequate number of replicates which poses problems with interpretation of data. The experiments planned and conducted by the committee using a large number of sows generally eliminate those concerns. The sow committee investigates those nutritional issues that are of concern to the swine and feed industry such that valid conclusions can be made.

Nutrient Digestion/Metabolism. The nutrient content and nutrient digestibility of feed ingredients and premixes vary by source. To ensure that diets contain adequate amounts of digestible nutrients and that the amounts of nutrients excreted from growing and reproducing swine are minimized, precise estimates of nutrient digestibility coefficients are needed. The committee plans to cooperatively conduct digestibility and metabolism studies using a common set of protocols.


The recommended Standard Governance for multistate research activities include the election of a Chair, a Chair-elect, and a Secretary. All officers are to be elected for at least two-year terms to provide continuity. Administrative guidance will be provided by an Administrative Advisor and a NIFA Representative.

Literature Cited


Land Grant Participating States/Institutions


Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

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