News: General News
The second SFERA conference “Fish 2017” (Fish processing and aquaculture technologies) took place during the first week of February, in Moscow, Russian Federation. The publishing house SFERA from St. Petersburg and the All-Russian Atlantic Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography were co-organizers of the event. Approximately 200 registered, national, and international scientists, nutritionists, and representatives of the feed industry attended the two-day conference. Speakers came from Russia and from several other European countries.
Besides the exchange of research, results, and scientific data, the conference aimed at exchanging and reviewing successful experiences of national and foreign companies in their establishment and further development in Russia. Representatives from the executive and legislative branches of the federal and regional governments were also present. Consequently, regulatory aspects of the aquaculture sector were discussed along with the various development programs for Russian regions. The aquaculture industry is clearly a priority for the Russian federal government and its regional governments. This is hardly surprising given the tremendous capacity and potential of aquaculture in Russia.
The papers presented at the conference addressed the characteristic issues associated with the rapid growth of a new industry from technical, marketing, and legal points of view. Animated discussions followed the presentations.
USSEC was a major sponsor of the conference and two USSEC consultants, Dr. Iani Chihaia and Dr. Jan van Eys, spoke at the event. Dr. van Eys presented a paper, “Innovations in the Area of Technologies and Feeding of Industrial Fish Production,” emphasizing the potential of soy products to replace fishmeal in aqua formulations. Dr. Chihaia presented a paper entitled “Optimization of the Use of Ingredients in Aquaculture Feeds; Nutritional, Biological, and Technological Properties for Proper Application, Balancing, and Manufacturing.” The main issues of the USSEC presentations were published in Russian language in corresponding articles in SFERA FISH magazine distributed during the conference and released on the SFERA website.
The issue of the use of soy products to replace fishmeal is of major concern and interest for Russian fish producers and since much of their current and future production concentrates on fresh water species, the potential for the use of soy products in fish feed is important. The superior quality of soy relative to other plant protein – even locally produced – is well recognized and appreciated.
A delegation from the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) visited the United Kingdom for four days at the end of January. Included in the group were ISA chair Daryl Cates, vice chair Lynn Rohrscheib, treasurer Stan Born, and USSEC director Sharon Covert, along with six other ISA board members and four ISA staff, including CEO Craig Ratajczyk. The objective of the visit was to gather insights into the current dynamics of the soybean market in the UK and engage with industry contacts on issues such as Brexit, sustainability, and future U.S.-UK bilateral trade. Eugene Philhower, USSEC Representative – Northern Europe, developed the schedule and program in cooperation with USSEC consultant David Green of Greenhouse Communications.
The formal visit began with a dinner with Mike Hambly, chairman of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Combinable Crops Board, who farms in Cornwall, who provided useful and interesting insights. While agricultural producers in the UK and the U.S. face many of the same challenges, the political and social environments in the UK and European Union are very different, with more powerful environmental NGOs and retailers influencing both policies and the market.
The group visited Tithe Farm, a 450 ha. arable crop operation run by Jim Meadows and his son Mark. They saw firsthand winter rapeseed and learned about weed resistance, increasing limitations on pesticides use, and general uncertainties in the market. The group also visited with Camgrain, a storage and logistic farmer cooperative. On the same compound, a rapeseed processing plant to be powered by a woodchip biomass generator was under construction.
The group visited the headquarters of the UK National Farmers Union in Stoneleigh and received briefings from the NFU staff on the rapeseed market, innovation, Brexit and sustainability. There is a high degree of uncertainty of what Brexit will mean to producers, with the added complication that agricultural policy has been devolved to the four parts of the UK (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England). Also, the diversity of the British agricultural sector, with some producers very dependent upon exports to the continent and others less so, complicates the approach to be taken in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
The following day at the hallowed Farmers Club in London, the group received a number of briefings: Mr. Green provided a briefing on the institutions of the European Union and provided status reports on biotech approvals and pesticide re-registration; Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – London provided an overview of bilateral trade between the U.S. and the UK and the uncertainties with Brexit and the new administration in the United States; Richard Whitlock, a British agricultural consultant, provided his views on the challenges ahead; and Keith Millar of the UK Food Standards Agency briefed the group on developments within the EU and the UK on animal feed.
This was a very educational trip for all of us. We learned of the similarities between U.K. and Illinois farmers, such as government regulations and challenges such as resistant weeds to control. However, one thing that all of us are in agreement on is how important trade is for everyone, now and in the future.
-ISA chair Daryl Cates
A delegation from the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) visited the Netherlands on January 23 and 24. The purpose of the visit was to get a better understanding of the dynamics influencing the Dutch market for Illinois soybeans and to engage the Dutch industry on issues of importance to the U.S. Soy industry. The group was joined by Eugene Philhower, USSEC Regional Representative – Northern Europe, who organized the two-day visit.
The group included ISA vice chair Lynn Rohrscheib and ISA directors Gary Berg, Jered Hooker, Paul Rasmussen, and Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, as well as Craig Ratajczyk, ISA CEO and Jayma Appleby, director of industry relations.
The program was designed to gain insights into the Dutch market by briefings along the soy value chain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office from the U.S Embassy in The Hague provided an overview of the Dutch market, highlighting the importance of the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam as the entry point for U.S. commodities coming into Europe. The Dutch Farmers Organization (LTO) provided a briefing on agricultural policy and the challenges being faced by Dutch producers. Their representative pointed out that the Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural and food products in the world. Nevedi, the Dutch feed industry association, described their work supporting the development of sustainable soy sourcing guidelines for the Dutch and European feed industries.
The group visited the headquarters of Ahold Delhaize, a global retailer (comparable to Food Lion or Stop and Shop in the U.S) and the largest retailer in the Netherlands and Belgium. After visiting a local store (Albert Heijn), they provided a briefing on the organization and their sustainability initiatives. Dutch retailers have committed to 100 percent sustainable soy for feed, mostly relying on Roundtable on Responsible Soy Standard (RTRS) credits to achieve that goal. They were interested in learning more about the U.S. Sustainable Soy Assurance Protocol (SSAP).
On the second morning, the delegation visited an agricultural research farm operated by Wageningen University where they are conducting varietal tests for soybeans, mostly varieties developed in Canada. The researcher admitted that growing soybeans in the Netherlands has its challenges in terms of protein content, length the growing season and overall yield per hectare. In three to five years, they project 10,000-20,000 hectares producing soybeans for human consumption. That afternoon, the group visited a feed mill operated by AgruniekRijnvallei, a Dutch cooperative specializing in custom feed preparation for the Dutch livestock industry.
At the end of the visit, Ms. Rohrscheib said, “The trade mission to the Netherlands was a great opportunity for Illinois soybean producers to be able to engage in fruitful discussions with the buyers, constituents, and governmental organizations who play a major role in the soybean story in the Netherlands and the European Union.” She added that the group learned how Dutch and European farmers are being regulated and how those rules not only affect the farmers and consumers in the European Union but how those regulations affect soybean producers in Illinois. “As producers, we look forward to continuing the discussion with the key players in the European market so we can work together, market our soybeans and continue to provide the highest quality soy. Without these key conversations, we will not be able to understand the foreign markets and effectively sell our soybeans.”
USSEC participated in the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia from January 30 – February 2.
125 guests from 16 countries attended a luncheon hosted by USSEC.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter welcomed the attendees, and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Brian Ogletree gave a presentation titled, “My Farm & the U.S. Soy Advantage.”
USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madid, spoke about his research on soybean origin, “Have You Checked Your Soybean’s Pedigree Lately? Evaluating the Nutritive Value of Soybean Meal in Poultry Diets.”
Grower leaders Bob Metz, United Soybean Board (USB) director, and Rusty Smith, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, joined Mr. Ogletree on this mission.
In addition to the luncheon, the team represented the U.S. Soy industry at the USSEC booth and escorted regional trade teams.
The 2017 IPPE convention brought together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. The show focuses on innovation, education, global reach, and networking and is regarded as the largest annual trade show for the poultry, meat and feed industries.
As a direct outcome of the information and knowledge provided by USSEC’s biotechnology and sustainability team in September 2016, the Colombian Association of Endocrinology (ACE) is now officially supporting the poultry sector in Colombia in demystifying the supposed use of hormones in broilers, which had thought to be linked to early puberty in teenagers. This stance also comes from a thorough and comprehensive understanding of GMO products and U.S. production.
The president of ACE and a director of FENAVI, the Colombian Poultry Federation, participated in this program, led by USSEC. The Americas team was made up of more than 40 representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica and included representatives from the government, industry, and media sectors. Throughout the event, the group was exposed to U.S. regulatory authorities, academic /scientific representatives and grower leaders, all of whom provided valuable information and demystified beliefs around the topics at hand. The group had access to an array of information on agricultural production of GMOs in the U.S.
USSEC visited different marine fish farms in the Philippines to provide technical support and suggestions to improve their efficiency and production. USSEC was able to discuss and show on site proper feed management using the satiation setting technique using extruded floating feed.
USSEC was able to provide additional knowledge and information in marine fish hatchery biosecurity and production improvement, and proper fish culture management and feeding management to marine fish cage operators in Luzon and Mindanao, Philippines.
In two consecutive events titled “Protein for All,” USSEC India targeted the layer industry to accelerate demand for soybean meal usage. With 83 billion eggs produced last year, India ranks third in the world. The province targeted for this activity, Andhra Pradesh, accounts for 30 percent of India’s egg production. The region is also the leading province for the production of fish and shrimp and figures in the top five provinces for broiler production.
Soy inclusions in the layer sector can swing substantially depending on the price, supply, and availability of other competing sources of protein. Customers recognize that soybean meal is produced using a standard process and therefore the quality of protein is nutritionally superior to other protein sources. In order to build more demand for soy in the layer sector, USSEC conducted two events in this province, set apart by a distance of 124 miles, where the maximum concentration of operations exist. It partnered with the leading poultry industry group, Srinivasa Hatcheries, which helped gather potential customers at the seminars.
Dr. S.V. Rama Rao who represents the Poultry Directorate of the Central Government of India was the lead speaker. A well-known researcher and an accepted guide for the industry, Dr. Rao spoke in depth on the quality and nutritional intricacies of soybean meal and how they affect egg production. USSEC animal utilization consultants Pawan Kumar and Yadu Nandan spoke on the commercial side, guiding the audience on buying skills and supply and demand trends of soy. The consultants also emphasized egg as a low cost protein source for the Indian population and recommended that the government position eggs in their social welfare and feeding programs. USSEC Deputy Regional Lead – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Vijay Anand wrapped up the discussions by explaining how value addition to soy can be benefit the sellers (crush plants) and how customer demand for full strength soy protein can benefit the buyers (poultry sector).
An estimation made by USSEC consultants helped to quantify the target customers at these two events. The first event conducted in Vijayawada had 110 layer farmers and 8 aqua feed millers who represented 28 million layer bird holdings and 430,000 metric tons (MT) of annual aqua feed milling (layer and aqua). The layer group represented a soybean meal usage of 109,000 MT, while the aqua feed millers represented 86,000 MT. Similarly, the second event held at Rajahmundry, with 130 participants represented 23 million layer bird holdings requiring 92,000 MT of soybean meal in their operations.
USSEC attended one of Russia’s largest industrial exhibitions, the XXIInd International Industrial Trade Fair, “MVC: Cereals – Mixed Feeds – Veterinary – 2017” on January 30 and 31 in the All-Russia Exhibition Center of Peoples’ Achievements in Moscow. Since 1996, this particular trade fair has become an undisputed authority and one of the largest professional forums in the world where experts gather to share and exchange new ideas and knowledge, build long-term relationships, and sign contracts. More than 400 exhibitors represented 26 countries and 40 regions of Russia at the event.
The exhibition was accompanied by a diversified business program including international conferences, seminars, and workshops devoted to different aspects of feed supplies and production, nutritional parameters of different feed additives and modern feeding programs, livestock production, feed market status and development, oilseed and meal supplies, and veterinary issues, among others.
The USSEC consultants participated at two key events of the program, giving presentations featuring the usage of soy for different feeding applications and demonstrating the nutritional benefits of U.S. Soy.
More than 120 people attended the USSEC presentation and follow-up discussions. Dr. Jan van Eys answered a number of questions proving the availability of soy proteins for aquaculture diets. Despite the modest level of current aquaculture and fish farming in Russia, this area has a very high potential for development in the next few years. Domestic production of Hi-Pro soybean meal and soy protein concentrate (SPC), which was started by the Sodrugestvo group in Kaliningrad, coupled with a shortage and a rise in fish meal prices has increased the interest of local feed producers to alternative protein sources derived from soybeans.
Russia already ranks fifth in the world in pork production and is expected to grow further over the next several years.
One day of the Moscow visit was devoted to meeting and consulting with local customers at the booth of Sodrugestvo group, which offered the opportunity to further explain the advantages of U.S. Soy and soy in general in poultry, aqua, and swine rations.
Sodrugestvo is the largest soybean crushing company in Russia and the former Soviet Union region. The company is the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In MY16, it imported half a million metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans. T he company was very disappointed with a temporary suspension for the import of U.S. soybeans imposed by Russia in February 2016 and looks forward to its cancellation.
As a part of special series of projects for the U.S. Soy Industry’s 60th Anniversary in Japan, USSEC organized a dialogue with the U.S. Embassy – Tokyo to discuss U.S. Soy Sustainability and women’s empowerment, concentrating on the program focusing on Japanese women in the soy industry and creating preference and differentiating the U.S. Soy Advantage across the entire value chain.
USSEC North Asia Regional Human Utilization (HU) Coordinator and Japan HU Director Masako Masi Tateishi invited Rachel Nelson, U.S. Embassy Tokyo Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Director, to an interview-style meeting, facilitated by the Japanese business and economics newspaper Nikkei, which covered the story in its popular section, “Marunouchi Career Academy” during its evening January 30 issue. The section organizes various enlightenment activities such as promotional events, seminars, and dialogues in Japan to connect business professionals and companies for the purpose of career empowerment.
The U.S. Soy dialogue included efforts made through cooperation between the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) Tokyo and USSEC, plus the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Women in Agriculture program to introduce how the U.S. agriculture industry enhances and supports women’s careers in agricultural industries. USSEC also provided an assessment of the current status of the Japanese soybean industry as it pertains to women.
Ms. Nelson and Ms. Tateishi were nominated to serve on the judges’ panel for the national natto competition to be held in Kyoto, Japan on February 24. USSEC will continue to collaborate with FAS Tokyo on the topic of sustainability in the U.S. and Japanese soybean industries.
Brazilian meat company BRF has signed an agreement to acquire USSEC customer and Turkish poultry producer Banvit to expand its international presence. Turkey is a bridge between Europe and Middle Eastern countries and BRF plans to use this advantage to produce poultry in Turkey and export to these countries due to the price advantage and Halal certification of Turkish companies.
The enterprise value of Banvit is estimated at $470 million. The transaction will be carried out through a joint venture between BRF and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign fund of Qatar. While BRF will hold a 60 percent stake in the joint venture, QIA will own 40 percent. Banvit, a fully integrated producer, has facilities ranging from feed control to final food processing. It has five feed plants, four hatcheries, and five production plants.
The first phase of the transaction involves the purchase of a 79.5 percent stake in Banvit, followed later by a tender offer for the remaining minority interest of 20.5 percent.
Banvit is a loyal USSEC customer, consuming around 150,000 tons of soybean meal and full fat soy for its poultry production. Banvit representatives have been regular participants in USSEC’s activities in the poultry nutrition, risk management, dairy nutrition, and feed formulation fields since USSEC began its activities in Turkey. This acquisition will drive the growth of Banvit as well as the poultry industry in the next couple of years in Turkey, as well as helping the Turkish poultry industry to export its production to other countries.
USSEC recently attended the Pakistan Edible Oils Conference (PEOC) and visited customers in Pakistan, in addition to holding Asia Subcontinent (ASC) staff planning meetings in India.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter and USSEC Acting ASC Regional Lead and Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition Pam Helmsing traveled to New Delhi and Agra, India and Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan from January 13 – 26. During that time, they met with customers and potential customers of U.S. Soy in Pakistan to hear about their markets and concerns and talk about the value of U.S. Soy; Mr. Sutter spoke at the PEOC event; and they worked with the ASC team to plan for the execution of existing and future programs.
Mr. Sutter addressed approximately 500 attendees at PEOC, speaking about the value and sustainability of U.S. Soy. After the PEOC event, meetings with Pakistani crushers and feed mills took place.
USSEC’s plans in Pakistan include: technical training for the solvent extractor industry; nutritional expertise for the poultry industry; possible assistance with demand building for poultry, including nutritional information and countering junk science that says poultry is harmful; possible U.S. Soy oil promotion assistance to position soy oil as a premium brand; and the possibility of bringing a group to Kansas State University for soybean procurement training through a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cochran grant.
Palm and canola currently dominate the oil market in Pakistan, although soybean imports for crush have increased dramatically. The industry recognizes that oil produced with U.S. Soy is lighter in color and has a lower cost of processing than soy from South America. There continues to be a preference for canola and palm, however, because of higher oil contents and consumer preference. Pakistani crushers are very price sensitive. They admit that they are unable to take U.S. Soy and produce as high a quality of soybean meal as can be imported from the U.S. and are anxious to learn how to improve their processes to do so.
Because purchases of soy by individual companies are rather small, purchases are usually made with multiple consignors. This means competitors are getting the same quality at the same price at the same time, which leads to consensus opinions about the quality and/or issues with product from a given country or supplier. This is true for both soybean meal and whole beans. The industry is moving toward some bulk handling.
The feed industry also recognizes the difference in quality between U.S. soybean meal and meal produced locally from U.S. beans. They note that the quality is improving. The feed industry is sophisticated and recognizes the value of U.S. Soy, both intrinsic and extrinsic advantages, and is looking for ways to calculate what premium they can afford to pay for U.S. origin.
The poultry industry has been growing at a rate of eight to ten percent yearly, but there are some plateau years. Profitability is low, with chicken at about two-thirds the price of lentils. The two major barriers to growth in chicken consumption are poverty and misinformation about the quality of poultry meat. The Pakistan Poultry Association is planning a feeding program at a few public schools, providing eggs and chicken legs to children and will collect data to show improvements in health, school attendance and learning.
USSEC hosted a team of 12 animal utilization (AU) industry representatives from core customer companies from 5 Latin American countries to the New Orleans area in October 2016.
Through a series of visits and meetings over the course of three days, the customers gained first-hand exposure to some of the advantages of U.S. Soy, in relation to logistics, finance, and quality. Participants had the opportunity to interact with two USSEC member firms, a shipping agent, and USSEC consultant experts, and discuss purchasing and maritime freights.
The visit to Thionville Laboratories catered to specific interests expressed by customers from the Dominican Republic, English-speaking Caribbean, and Mexico. The CEO of Thionville Laboratories extended a warm welcome to the team and shared information relating to the technical aspects of surveying, its conditions, requirements, and advantages. The staff in charge of the laboratory and analysis discussed technical topics ranging from sampling procedures, to input analysis methods, to the equipment and resources available, and the most current techniques. The team had the unique opportunity to see the laboratory conduct a series of tests on soybean meal samples that had been submitted in advance by one of the firms in attendance, giving way to in-depth discussions.
CHS Inc. hosted the team at their Myrtle Grove facilities. It was the first time most of the members of the group had ever visited a port and export facilities, where they could tour and interact with trading representatives and local staff in charge. This opportunity led to discussions focused on current market perspectives, loading and exporting processes, execution of contracts, and competitive logistics in the U.S.
The third visit took place at Bluewater Shipping, Inc. After a presentation about their company and the services they offer, the discussion turned to the information and resources available to keep track and evaluate logistics and shipping, and follow-up vessels en route.
During the site visits, USSEC consultants Mark Kuehl (expert on freights), Ronald Perez and Francisco Cabrera (experts on purchasing and contracting), discussed the following topics with the group: pricing of products, domestic river and barge logistics, elevation facilities, and related costs. Mr. Kuehl conducted a presentation on maritime freights, freight market structure, and perspectives. Based on the most up to date information and figures, he led participants through comprehensive examples of freight estimations and transit times, which highlighted the logistical advantages of U.S. Soy and grains.
The AU team was escorted by USSEC consultants Pedro Lora, Fradbelin Escarraman, and Gerardo Luna, whose varied knowledge and expertise provided participants with a tailor-made experience, which allowed them to participate in discussions around key aspects of soybean meal, products, exports, technical, trade and marketing related issues.
The trip was a great success, and the team expressed their appreciation to USSEC and all the companies and firms visited.
USSEC recently conducted a soy demand-building event in Kandy, Sri Lanka as an extension of a two-day national event planned by the Sri Lankan government to educate audiences about protein. About 500 participants attended this event with a significant group including influencers from the government, scientists, and representatives from the animal feed and protein trade industry.
USSEC consultants in Sri Lanka and southern India, Dr. Athula Mahagamage and Dr. Yadunandan, led the conference. Dr. Mahagamage delivered a lecture on importance of protein and how Sri Lanka has been able to increase the production of chicken and eggs to meet growing demand. The session was also used to demystify perceptions about processes employed in chicken production, which was identified as a minor constraint that hampered chicken consumption in the country despite stable demand. During his lecture, Dr. Mahagamage shared data on the utilization of U.S soybean meal in the Sri Lankan poultry industry, emphasizing that the quality meat and positive economics seen in production economics are due to the superior quality and consistent supply of U.S soybean meal.
Drs. Mahagamage and Yadunandan also conducted a closed room discussion with the animal husbandry department, poultry farmers, and veterinary college faculties. Participants agreed on the importance of developing further strategies to increase chicken and egg production in Sri Lanka. Mr. Jayan, owner of Jaya farms, a leading poultry enterprise, pointed out that how U.S soybean meal has contributed to the development of Sri Lanka’s poultry industry.
Mithreepala Sirisena, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, attended the event’s second day. The 304 participants included officials from various government departments, teachers, animal husbandry officials, poultry farmers, and feed millers. Dr. Mahagamage invited two external speakers, Dr. Gamini Jayakody, consultant physician to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Dr. Nimal Priyankarage, head of nutrition at the Veterinary Research Institute, to speak at the event and focus on nutrition and nutritional factors. Dr. Priyankarage spoke on high quality protein and how to differentiate complete and incomplete proteins. While speaking on amino acid composition in vegetable and animal proteins, he stressed that only soybeans offer an almost complete profile of amino acids.
USSEC recently organized a technical seminar in Bucharest, Romania to support the development of the consolidation of Romania’s swine industry.
USSEC consultants Dr. Hans Stein and Dr. Jan van Eys visited with key Romanian integrated companies on behalf of USSEC prior to the event. The consultants were invited for field visits that focused on the industrial Romanian swine sector, including integrated feed manufacturers and large size swine farms, owned by local and foreign investors from various countries. The objective of these field visits was to audit the industrial facilities and see where technical advice could be provided in order to improve operations, increase efficiency, and emphasize the advantages of working with U.S. Soy products.
Meeting with feed mill, quality control, and farm managers was instructive and appreciated by the representatives visited. Regular contact between USSEC and its customers enhances the message that needs to be communicated and reminds customers of the importance of quality differences among soy products in addition to what USSEC can mean for these customers – both from a commercial as well as a technical point of view.
The week concluded with the seminar in Bucharest, where more than 25 attendees valued the information conveyed by speakers in regards to soy quality, novel soy ingredients, and swine nutrition.
Currently, the pig production in Romania is in the process of consolidation and pig farmers have understood the need for having sustainable production based on investments in technology, genetics, nutrition, and integration. At this stage, the top swine integrations are controlled by U.S., Chinese, and Danish investors who understood the opportunities coming from the demand and supply ratio: Romania produces 55 percent of the pork meat it consumes.
Given the interest in the various topics discussed during USSEC’s visit to Romania and the need as well as potential for improvements in pig feed manufacturing and farm management, a regular follow-up activity is suggested. This is especially true when considering the opportunity this market offers for growth in livestock production in Romania and the use of value-added U.S. Soy products.
USSEC India recently organized a training program, which dealt with economical approaches to chicken production and creating trade linkages to South India’s broiler sector, in Ooty, Tamil Nadu Province. USSEC partnered with a leading soybean meal trader, Sri Amman Enterprises, to help achieve its objectives.
USSEC consultants Dr. Yadunandan and Dr. Pawan Kumar coordinated the sessions to bring together poultry integrators, feed millers, and the soy distribution system. About 110 midsized and small broiler integrators and feed millers participated in this training program. Together, this group represented 460,000 metric tons (MT) of soy use per year. Sri Amman Enterprises handles sales of 130,000 MT of soy annually and Sai Smaran Foods Pvt Ltd crushes 200,000 MT of soybeans per month. The audience at this event involved the entire value chain of soy, comprised of crushing, distribution, and soy utilization.
Dr. Yadunandan introduced USSEC and its activities and gave a presentation on the supply and demand of soybean meal in India and the Asia Subcontinent (ASC). India produced a good soybean crop in 2016 after three back-to-back years of poor production, but India’s supply is not enough to cater to the needs of the entire ASC region. Discussions stressed the need to proactively address raw material security for a growing poultry industry. Dr. Kumar expressed that chicken, eggs, and soy flour are the three cheapest sources of protein for Indians and stressed higher dependence and consumption of the same. On the technical front, the two consultants explained soybean meal inclusion levels in formulations and the bearing they have on the economical production of poultry meat and eggs. Other topics addressed included making appropriate buying decisions of soybean meal and interpreting analytical data.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) has communicated to the White House that the significant trade benefits U.S. farmers have achieved under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must be protected as the Trump administration moves forward with plans to renegotiate the agreement.
Please click here to read ASA’s news release.
When it comes to commercial aquaculture, a lot of people have some legitimate concerns – fish farms can introduce antibiotics, anti-algal chemicals, and concentrated fish waste into the ocean. Escaped fish can upset the local ecological balance, and wild fish still need to be caught in large numbers as a food source for some species of farmed fish. While there have been recent efforts to address the first two concerns, the fish-in-the-fish-food problem is now being taken on in two different research projects, which are aimed at replacing the fish content in fish feed with more sustainable ingredients. Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have spent the past ten years developing a feed additive that does away with those fishy ingredients, a diet of microbes for prawns.
Traditionally, farmed prawns have been fed pellets that contain some fishmeal and fish oil. These are included mainly to help the animals grow large quickly. The additive contains marine microorganisms that have been bred in captivity, and which have been shown to play a crucial role in prawns’ growth process. In a large-scale field test, the product was mixed with an existing commercial feed (taking the place of the usual fish meal and oil), then used in ponds at an Australian prawn farm. According to CSIRO, the additive-consuming black tiger prawns grew an average of 30 percent faster than their regular-food-eating counterparts, plus they were healthier.
Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have developed an alternative feed that consists entirely of plant-based ingredients. Fishmeal and oil are commonly used in the pellets eaten by carnivorous fish such as sea bream and striped bass. Instead of fishmeal, the experimental new feed includes corn, wheat, and soy. Taking the place of fish oil is a combination of lipids (fatty acids) from algae, amino acid supplements, and soybean or canola oil. Not only have test fish apparently thrived on the feed, but their flesh reportedly also has polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and mercury levels that are a hundred times lower than those found in fish consuming regular pellets containing wild-caught fish. This would allow consumers to eat striped bass twice a week, as opposed to the once every two weeks currently recommended.
USSEC consultant Pablo Adreani, founder of AgriPAC Consultants in Argentina, will present the outlook for South American agriculture at the AgServe Agriculture Outlook Summit in St. Louis on March 9.
Mr. Adreani, also a consultant to the United Soybean Board (USB), understands the dynamics of South American agriculture on U.S. producers and agribusinesses.