Nursery Research

  • CRF Nursery Research Farm - Sycamore, Ohio
    CRF Nursery Research Farm - Sycamore, Ohio
  • Kalmbach Feeds mill in Upper Sandusky, Ohio
    Kalmbach Feeds mill in Upper Sandusky, Ohio
  • CRF Nursery Research Farm
    CRF Nursery Research Farm
  • Dr. Kevin Herkelman - CRF Swine Research Manager
    Dr. Kevin Herkelman - CRF Swine Research Manager
  • CRF Nursery Research Farm
    CRF Nursery Research Farm
  • CRF Nursery Research Farm
    CRF Nursery Research Farm

CRF reported its first swine trial in 1958, and since then our members have maintained a significant research focus on developing priority nutrition and nutrition management issues that lead to the creation of solutions and strategies to support significant economic return to the members’ swine nutrition customers.  The CRF organization has conducted 810 large scale swine trials over the years, leading to numerous innovations for the benefit of pork producers throughout the world. Today, CRF members apply CRF’s research to 2,000,000 metric tons of swine feeds annually!

The members of CRF have many novel concepts that are cultivated and transitioned into research projects and allow CRF to meet our vision to develop and maintain an on-going swine research program dedicated to improving the long term sustainability of the global swine industry.  Many of these concepts fit into our current research objectives for the weaned pig….

  • Evaluate nutritional and ingredient strategies to decrease formulation cost and/or increase performance of nursery pigs.
  • Evaluate nutrient and ingredient strategies to support performance without pharmaceutical levels of zinc oxide. 
  • Evaluate non-antibiotic feed additives that improve performance, improve health, reduce mortality/morbidity and/or decrease cost.

CRF’s research program for weaned pigs also has numerous achievements over the recent years, such as…

  • Alternatives to high levels of zinc oxide to improve performance and health. 
  • Feeding strategies to mitigate the negative effects of mycotoxins in grains.
  • Development of antibiotic-free nursery programs without plasma.
  • Development of nutritional strategies to use when super-dosing phytase.
  • Strategic use of butyrate in nursery feeding programs.
  • Evaluation of direct-fed microbials and phytogenic feed additives in antibiotic-free nursery programs.
  • Evaluation of proteases and energy releasing enzymes in nursery diets.
  • Evaluation of alternative protein and energy sources for weanling pigs.
  • Established optimum diet sequence and cost for high-health early weaned pigs.
  • Feeding strategies for early weaned pigs, feed budget or chronological age.

CRF continues to achieve statistically valid research data that can be applied to starter nutrition programs on the commercial production farm via our private, member owned nursery research farm near Sycamore, Ohio, USA that is owned and managed for CRF by Kalmbach Feeds, Inc.  The features of this research farm include:

  • Two nursery buildings each with a capacity of 1,200 pigs in three rooms (400 pigs per room, 40 pens per room with 10 pigs per pen).
  • All-in/all-out management, high health status and a strict biosecurity program.
  • Pigs sourced from a single Kalmbach Feeds Swine Management Division sow unit.
  • Access to weaned groups of pigs ranging from 17 to 21 days of age.
  • Pens provide approximately .279 m2 per pig, have slatted metal floors and are equipped with one 4-hole stainless steel self-feeder and one combination nipple-cup waterer.
  • 4 to 6 treatments per room are typical.
  • Ability to weigh pigs individual or by pen.
  • Feed consumption and weigh backs of uneaten feed are recorded weekly for each pen.