Person: Tom and Irene Frantzen

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Small grains production will be the focus of new Practical Farmers conference plus several field days this summerFor Release: June 21, 2017 Download PDF (126 KB) Contacts: Nick Ohde | Research & Media Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | nick@practicalfarmers.org Alisha Bower | Midwest Cover Crop Associate | Practical Farmers of [...]

June 21, 2017 


In a Nutshell
• Apple cider vinegar has been long
advocated for its health benefits and
is gaining recognition as a health
supplement for livestock.
• Apple cider vinegar is held to being a
health tonic that promotes beneficial
gut bacteria, improves digestion of
feedstuffs, enhances performance, and
helps decrease parasite load.
• Tom Frantzen supplemented three
groups of pigs with apple cider vinegar
and measured feed intake, average
daily gain, feed efficiency and return
over feed costs compared to pigs not
Key findings:
• Pigs supplemented with apple cider
vinegar were observed to have a
sleeker coat, improved vitality and
looked healthier than those not
receiving apple cider vinegar.
• Pigs supplemented with apple cider
vinegar tended towards increased
feed intake and average daily gains,
higher carcass yields, better feed efficiency,
and higher profits.

December 8, 2015 


Energy markets are unstable and energy purchases can make up a large
portion of farm expenditures.
• The energy sources that power the
majority of farm operations are based
on fossil fuels and are some of the
primary emitters of greenhouse gases.
• Practical Farmers members tracked
energy expenditures in order to
establish an energy baseline and
pinpoint “energy hogs.”
Key Findings
• For vegetable farms, electricity to
power cold storage and gasoline for
product transportation are areas of
intensive energy use.
• For crop and livestock farms, diesel
for field operations and LP for grain
drying are areas of intensive energy
• Detailed records are necessary to
establish a solid energy baseline,
enabling farmers to implement energy
conservation measures and/or
alternative energy technologies.

March 1, 2015 


Organic hogs typically grow slower
and are less efficient than conventional
hogs. High-fiber diets high in small
grains are common in organic production
but may be less efficient compared
to corn-soybean diets.
• Tom Frantzen and family fed groups of
similar hogs either an organic cornbased
diet or a small grain diet where
succotash replaced corn.
• Small grain-fed hogs grew less quickly
and efficiently, but carcass price per lb
was similar between diet groups, and
feed price per lb was less for the small
grain diet.
• Feed consumption and cost was
greater for small grain-fed hogs, while
weight gain was lower.
• Small grain-fed hog carcasses were
slightly smaller but of comparable
quality to corn-fed hog carcasses.
• Hog feed is a viable use for small
grains produced in organic crop rotations,
as it is low-cost and produces
comparable finished carcasses to cornfed

December 8, 2014