News: Animal Utilization
In an effort to increase awareness of U.S. Soy and demonstrate commitment to the growing swine industry customers from Romania, a group of technical experts visited with pig integrations on behalf of USSEC during the third week of April. The goal of the mission was to understand the past years’ developments in the Romanian swine sector and to offer technical support in pig nutrition, feeding and management to fast-developing swine integrations. With a pork meat consumption of 20 kilograms (kg) per capita, Romania is way under the European average of 46.4 kg per capita, which paves the way for an increase in pork consumption in the coming years.
Due to similarities in the industry’s development stages and taking into account the leading role and expertise of Spain among the EU and world pig meat production, USSEC invited high profile experts Dr. Josep Gasa, professor of Animal Science at University Autonomous of Barcelona and Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, for onsite technical training for swine farm managers, nutritionists and production staff.
Field visits organized at two swine integrations and one fattening farm facilitated interactions with farm managers and feed specialists. USSEC experts learned from discussions that after a period of stagnation, the swine industry showed a constant increase for the past four years and reached a point where the local breeding farms are not able to supply the rapidly increasing piglets’ demand from the pig fattening farmers. Swine breeding farms are currently established through local or foreign investments and receive strong support from EU funding.
“Due to the rapid development, there is a shortage of qualified personnel at the level of the newly established sow farms, where the required level of technical skills is much higher than the qualification needed for fattening pigs,” said Dr. Mateos. “As one of the top EU grain producers, Romania’s annual production is around 20 million tons; out of this, 60 percent is exported as raw materials to Western European or Middle Eastern countries. Due to the increasing availability of grains, the meat production should expand and this offers excellent opportunities to the Romanian swine industry. However, the feed and livestock industries are confronted with the availability of high quality vegetal protein sources, among these, soybean meal is the main quality protein used in animal feeds. This challenge should be answered by keeping a constant supply of U.S. Soy for the Romanian feed industry,” Dr. Mateos added.
Even if still fragmented, the pork meat production in Romania is the largest and most important sector of livestock production in the country, while the commercial swine industry consumes more than 43 percent from the total industrial feed compound manufactured in the country.
Besides the predicted increase in local consumption, pork meat exports are expected to increase steadily in the coming years, which will reinforce Romania’s position as one of Europe’s top agriculture and livestock producing countries and, indeed, as an increasing market for U.S. Soy.
Poultry expert, USSEC consultant, and University of Arkansas professor Dr. Craig Coon visited Russia May 21-24. Poultry products are very important for Russian customers, as poultry meat occupies a 47 percent share in the structure of meat production in Russia. In 2016, Russia produced more than 4.6 million tons of poultry meat in slaughtered weight (fourth in the world) and more than 44 billion eggs (fifth worldwide).
On May 22, Dr. Coon, accompanied by Maria Domoroshchenkova, USSEC local consultant, and Rachel Vanderberg and Maria Vecherkovskaya, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – Moscow ag specialists, visited the innovative laboratory complex of Cherkizovo Group, the largest producer of meat products in Russia. Cherkizovo Group’s infrastructure includes 8 full cycle poultry production complexes, 15 modern pork production complexes, 6 meat processing plants, 9 feed mills, and grain storage facilities.
Cherkizovo Group’s research center, which is close to Moscow, was started in 2016 with an investment of 350 million roubles (around 70 million USD). It is an innovative laboratory complex equipped with the most modern equipment from American, European, and Japanese manufacturers, which makes it possible to test any of the products produced at the Cherkizovo facilities. The research center also features a highly qualified staff with an average age of 30 looking for new knowledge and technical training.
Dr. Coon shared his expertise in broiler breeding by providing an onsite technical seminar for the employees of the center. His presentations were followed by a lively discussion and an invitation for new visits. These offered the opportunity to further explain the advantages of U.S. Soy or soy in general in poultry rations.
USSEC was a bronze sponsor of the Meat & Poultry / Fish & Seafood Summit, which took place in Moscow on May 23-25, along with International Trade Show VIV Russia, a specialized exhibition for animal husbandry and processing in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. VIV Russia showcases the industry’s developments by the Feed to Food concept that brings together supply and demand within the complete animal protein chain.
More than two thousand visitors registered for the summit, which included several technical conferences. Dr. Coon’s presentation at the conference “Poultry Farm 2.0/17” was met with a high level of interest. Attendees were predominantly representatives from Russia’s feed and poultry.
The visit was used to network and get a better understanding of the Russian markets. Currently, Russia could be regarded as one of the most challenging markets. Recent developments have shown that the growth of the local feed and livestock industries are becoming reality. The growth trend seems to continue for the coming years and switching from imports of meat protein to vegetable protein provides opportunities for U.S. Soy exports.
During the second week of April, USSEC met with integrated companies and feed mills from Romania to listen to and understand their challenges and offer technical assistance to customers of U.S. Soy. USSEC consultants Dr. Craig Coon, professor of poultry nutrition at the University of Arkansas, and Dr. Jan van Eys, animal utilization consultant from France, traveled to Romania to visit with large and rapidly expanding companies; all were top companies in their respective fields in southern Romania. Meeting with managers, quality control managers, nutritionists, and veterinarians was instructive and enhanced the access of U.S. Soy to these customers.
Together with the specialists at the companies visited, the USSEC experts reviewed the businesses’ quality control programs and laboratory methods. At this stage, the feed mill laboratories are pre-formatted and are under excellent management, thanks to the investments and high level of investment in the education of young professionals.
High levels of certain mycotoxins have been detected over the past year in the imported South American soybean meal in Romania and continue to be a problem for feed and livestock producers. Dr. Coon emphasized seasonal advantage (September to March), good infrastructure, and logistics as key advantages of U.S. Soy during discussions with the technical personnel of the companies visited.
Dr. van Eys, the author of the USSEC Soy Quality Manual, pointed out that careful attention should be paid to KOH protein solubility index since feed manufacturers around the world often found this quality parameter below the recommended levels and needing to be constantly investigated. Similarly, soybean meal carbohydrate levels are highly variable and have to be constantly analyzed compared with reference values.
The meetings with feed mill managers, quality control managers, nutritionists, and veterinarians were informative and allowed USSEC to gain a better understanding of the reality of the Romanian poultry and feed industries and its potential for progress and expansion. It clearly showed the opportunities and potential that exist in the Romanian market for growth in poultry production, and, consequently for the use of U.S. Soy products.
Specifically, USSEC should assist or continue provide local feed producers and integrations with information and support to enhance the understanding and importance of quality measures and formulation advantages/techniques to increase the performance of feeds and animals and, through this, show the potential of U.S. Soy.
USSEC, in cooperation with the Egyptian Poultry Producers Association, organized a poultry nutrition seminar in Cairo, Egypt on May 14.
Dr. Craig Coon, animal nutrition professor at the University of Arkansas, gave two presentations to the Egyptian Poultry Producers Association, speaking about broiler breeder nutrition and broiler nutrition. He focused on how the breeder has changed over the past 25 years, discussing some of the nutrition and reproduction problems that occurred in the 90s, comparing them to some of the main issues of concern with the modern breeder. Dr. Coon’s students have generated data on breeders over the past 20 years and he discussed some of the key biological concepts that his students have developed.
A key phenomenon that has been uncovered is how protein turnover changes are linked to body composition in the pullet and breeder hen in production. The breeder dramatically decreases the fractional protein synthesis rate in breast and leg muscles at sexual maturity and elevates fractional protein breakdown rates. The breeder loses lean mass from peak production through 40 weeks and then gains lean mass from 45 to 65 weeks. The breeder supplements the feed nutrients with the breakdown of body skeletal protein during the early production period from sexual maturity to 37 weeks and then switches fuel and mobilizes body fat during the last portion of production (45 to 65 weeks). The breeders were also evaluated in metabolic chambers and the data shows that the respiratory exchange rate (RER) is highest during early production with the largest decline occurring at 45 weeks. The lower RER values in breeders shows that the largest amount of body fat is used near the 45 week mark. The body fat increases in breeders from sexual maturity until 45 weeks of age and then declines from 45 to 65 weeks. A key observation is the large amount of heat produced in breeders during the last portion of production. The Arkansas team believes the increased heat production is because of the protein accretion that occurs during the late production period. Dr. Coon thinks that future feeding systems for breeders will need to account for the protein accretion that is occurring in breeders. The maintenance requirement of broiler breeders is much larger than the requirement for daily egg production or weight gain and the requirement will continue to increase with the added protein accretion in the modern breeder.
In the second presentation, Dr. Coon discussed the response of the modern broiler to dietary amino acids and energy. The University of Arkansas team has worked with Evonik and showed with four large feeding studies that the modern broiler responds to added amino acids above the standard requirements. The broiler improves weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR), processing weight, and yield with amino acids. The broiler also shows that increasing AME with lysine will improve weight and FCR, but the weight gain is primarily increased fat and not protein. Economics need to be involved in making the decision of selecting the optimum digestible lysine:Mcal for your market. Dr. Coon and group have also been evaluating NE while feeding increased amino acid concentration with same energy density and also looked at NE when adding dietary energy with same amino acid concentration. Additionally, the Arkansas group has been evaluating different nutritional programs for the heavy broiler during the 42-56 day period. Dr. Coon talked about white striping and woody breast problems that may occur with the larger broilers.
Dr. Coon was very effective in presenting his technical messages to the audience. In attendance were 35 high-level management and industry participants from Egypt.
USSEC’s 3rd Annual Advanced Training Program for Veterinarians from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was held at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, in Gainesville, Florida from May 15- 19. 22 industry-leading veterinarians from the poultry industries of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey participated in this educational program.
Presentations focused on practical application involving vaccination, disease control, and management in commercial poultry. This forum stimulated considerable discussions among the veterinarians from the different countries and provided ample opportunity for the exchange of ideas.
USSEC again has played a leading role in providing technical support for the MENA region’s commercial poultry industry.