When it is understood that the profits on forage fed spring pigs can be increased more than five fold over those fed in dry lot, the great value of green pastures in pork production becomes clear. In 1911, pigs grazed upon alfalfa at the Iowa Agricultural Experiment station returned a profit of more than $3.00 each, as compared to 61 cents in dry lot. The yearly net profits with spring pigs on an acre of forage at Ames, counting corn at 50 cents a bushel and hogs at $5.00, has ranged with the best forages from $30.00 to $80.00. In 1909, an acre of red clover netted on this basis, $32.34; oats, red clover and rape, $32.30; in 1910, sweet clover, $42.07; rape, $37.57; and red clover, $34.62; in 1911, rape, $80.37; alfalfa, $65.99; and oats, field peas and rape, $64.63.
Such profits encourage the growing of hog forages. The average daily profit on young pigs grazing in forage is invariably higher than on those confined to pens.
Kennedy, W. J.; Evvard, John M.; Kildee, H. H.; and Robbins, E. T.
"Forage crops for hogs,"
Bulletin: Vol. 12
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol12/iss136/1