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J Anim Sci. 2009 Feb;87(2):778-92. doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1463. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

ASAS centennial paper: Landmark discoveries in swine nutrition in the past century.

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Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546, USA.


During this centennial year of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), it is of interest to look back over the history of our Society and, in particular, to the many contributions made by researchers in the area of swine nutrition. A great number of basic and applied research studies involving the nutrition of weanling, growing, and finishing pigs, and gestating and lactating sows have been conducted by swine nutritionists during the past 100 yr. Most of these studies were conducted at universities by animal scientists or by the graduate students under their leadership. Others were conducted by nutritionists in the feed and pharmaceutical industries and government scientists at ARS/USDA research centers. Contributions were also made by animal scientists beyond our borders. Much of the research was published in the Journal of Animal Science during its 66 yr of existence. Before the first issue of the journal was published in 1942, some of the earlier studies were reported in the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Animal Production, the forerunner of ASAS. These research studies have progressively led to a better understanding of the role and utilization of dietary energy, protein, AA, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins by pigs and have helped to quantify the nutrient requirements of pigs for various stages of growth, for sows during gestation and lactation, and to a limited extent, for boars. Determining the nutritional value of a wide array of feedstuffs, evaluating feeding strategies, and assessing the value of growth-promoting and carcass-enhancing agents have been important research contributions as well. To identify the particular studies that were among the most instrumental in contributing to our present knowledge of swine nutrition is, to say the least, a daunting assignment. To aid in this task, a survey of swine nutritionists was conducted in which they were asked to identify and rank the 10 most significant findings in swine nutrition during the past 100 yr. The results of that survey are presented in this paper.

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