News: Greater Europe
USSEC recently brought Dr. Jannes Doppenberg, a swine nutrition and feed manufacturing expert of Schorthorst Feed Research in the Netherlands, to Poland to work with selected swine production influencers.
The project involved a tour of Poland by Dr. Doppenberg and Jerzy Kosieradzki, USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe, which aimed to illuminate the added value of U.S. soybean meal on a personal level to nutritionists representing key commercial feed and pig growing companies. For this endeavor, in-company meetings worked better than group sessions such as seminars or conferences because of language differences, but, most importantly, because trust and confidence need to be built before nutritionists are willing to discuss their feed formulation work in detail with “outside” consultants.
Among the customers visited was CEDROB, Poland’s largest chicken integrator, which is now expanding into integrating swine production. They already have 9000 sows, which has given them the possibility to develop a full line of piglet, pig, and sow feeds. They were shown in greater detail the added value of U.S. soybean meal in reducing production costs per bird and pig produced.
At LIRA-Pasze, a feed compounder, their main production is pig feeds, which represents 70 percent of total feed production. The company specializes in high margin piglet feeds (branded as Porcus) and manufactures piglet feeds for Cedrob. The company operates three feed mills. They have focused strongly on feed technology by using extruders. Although LIRA’s feed production is relatively low, they are the market leader in piglet feeds and the use of extruders. Convincing Lira to exclusively use U.S. soybean meal as a high quality soybean meal source in their piglet feeds will help to position U.S. Soy in Polish pig feed production.
Smithfield is by far the leader in pig production and meat processing in Poland, and Agriplus is their integrated pig growing company. Currently, they have 80,000 sows with plans to increase to 120,000 in 3-4 years and then to 145,000 sows. The largest sow farm they own has over 10,000 sows and they use 90 percent contract growers to finish pigs. They currently produce around 850,000 tons of feed a year and will need to expand as sow/pig numbers increase. They have feed mills and slaughter facilities all over Poland. Because they want to produce more antibiotic free pork, protein quality will need to be very high in order to keep the crude protein content as low as possible. The usage of higher quality U.S. soybean meal was recommended.
Further professional discussions with these and other influencers of the Polish swine production sector about cutting edge swine nutrition and production know-how, including optimal utilization of U.S. soybean products and USSEC assistance, are planned for FY17.
The Euro-Asian poultry conference, “International Poultry Forum Baikal 2016,” was held July 4-8 in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the republic Buryatia (located in the Asian part of the Russian Federation). The Russian organizer of the event, International Poultry Forum LLC, is a member of the International Poultry Council and of the Euro-Asian Poultry Association. Attendees included representatives, specialists, traders, poultry producers, and feed compounders from different regions of the Russian Federation and from the surrounding countries of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Japan. USSEC co-sponsored the conference and associated activities.
USSEC consultants presented two papers, introducing different aspects of U.S. Soy and its proper application and usage in feed formulation. Dr. Jan van Eys introduced the “Importance of Soy and Soybean Meal; Control of Quality Parameters for Soy Products and their Application in Broiler Feeding,” and Dr. Iani Chihaia presented “Fine Tuning of Ingredient Matrix for Accurate and Economic Poultry Feed Formulation.”
The presentations were well received and by the end of the lectures, participants posed several questions about U.S. Soy quality and feed formulation techniques. The information delivered during the event through the papers presented and one-to-one interactions was appreciated by the Russian, Belarus and Kazakhstan poultry and feed professionals, and they showed interest by interacting with USSEC to learn more about the advantages of soy in poultry feeding and precise feed formulation.
Active discussions and networking, visiting with end users and potential customers, and general exchanges during and around the conference represented an important aspect of the overall activities and these clearly led to opportunities to expand recognition and engagement for USSEC.
The potential of expansion for U.S. Soy exports is a great opportunity in a growing feed market with considerable opportunity to increase its soybean meal consumption. Follow-up with the various contacts established at this conference, especially those in neighboring countries, will be necessary to consolidate gains in recognition.
USSEC’s attendance and participation at this important regional conference allowed the organization to communicate its message of the advantages of U.S. Soy to a unique international audience and, consequently, allowed U.S. Soy to be positioned as a key, competitive source of value relative to soy of other origins in a region where an increase in competition is crucial for the livestock and feed industries.
In May, USSEC visited and investigated the offshore marine fish cage aquaculture industry in Malta to evaluate whether it would be a suitable replacement for the recently cancelled (due to ongoing security concerns) team tour to the offshore industry in Izmir, Turkey.
USSEC Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant – SEA Lukas Manomaitis worked with a local expert, Dr. Carmelo Agius, to get an overview of Malta’s marine fish cage aquaculture industry. Based on this trip, USSEC is confident that it will be able to bring a team to Malta later in 2016 to replace the cancelled tour in Turkey. Because Malta lacks a large hatchery facility, a trip to a suitable hatchery in Sicily is also being planned.
Marine fish aquaculture is particularly attractive for U.S. Soy products because marine fish require ingredients that are of high quality and very consistent.
ST. LOUIS (July 22, 2016) – The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) is pleased to announce the long awaited European Union approval of three biotech soy traits for import and processing. The three stacked events are:
- Monsanto’s Xtend (dicamba x glyphosate MON87708 x MON89788)
- Monsanto’s Vistive Gold (high oleic x glyphosate MON87705 x MON89788)
- Bayer CropScience’s Balance GT (glyphosate x HPPD inhibitor FG72)
“The EU’s approval of these events is welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers,” said USSEC chairman Laura Foell, a soybean grower from Schaller, Iowa. “We’re happy that we can supply our European customers with a reliable supply of safe food.”
Europe is one of the largest customers of U.S. soybean farmers with over 165 million bushels of soybeans in exports already this year.
In 1996, U.S. growers began to adopt biotechnology on their farms. Today, twenty years later, growers are expected to plant 94 percent of their soybean acres with biotech soybeans. The technology allows U.S. soybean farmers to produce a healthy, affordable protein source sustainably with increased yields on less land, which helps to feed a growing world population. Biotech seeds allow farmers to limit their impact on the land as they apply fewer pesticides and herbicides, along with employing sustainable practices such as no-till that helps them to achieve a better moisture content in the soil in addition to reducing erosion and cutting carbon dioxide emissions and also helps to reduce energy consumption. Biotech also reduces the amount of crops that are lost due to variables such as insects or drought, which helps keep food prices more affordable.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council aims to maximize the use of U.S. Soy internationally by meeting the needs of global customers that use U.S. Soy in human food and feed for poultry, livestock and fish. The organization uses a global network of stakeholder partnerships, including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusinesses, agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies, to accomplish that mission. USSEC programs are partially funded by the United Soybean Board (USB).
For more information, contact Lisa Humphreys at (636) 449-6040 or LHumphreys@ussec.org
June was a busy month in Southern Europe for USSEC. In addition to attending national and regional feed association assemblies usually held in June, USSEC organized a risk management course in Tarragona, Spain; a country meeting in Murcia, Spain; and a country meeting in Rennes, France.
The risk management course, coordinated with FCStone, boasted an attendance of 40 customers hailing from all regions of Spain. The course objective was to teach raw materials management and how to reduce purchasing risk in a volatile market, especially related to soybean meal. Participants had the opportunity over the two-day course to learn how markets work and studied several tools to manage risk in a constantly changing market. The training program also provided USSEC with an opportunity to present the U.S. soybean meal quality advantage and disseminate information about the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and U.S. Soy sustainability. The importance of sustainability in purchasing is increasing in Spain but is still below Northern European levels.
USSEC also held two country meetings in June. The first took place in Murcia, Spain with the feed association collaboration. Murcia is located in a major area of Spain’s pork production. 25 customers attended the meeting, and the agenda focused on quality, sustainability and soy markets. USSEC consultant Jan van Eys discussed quality, Jaime Nola Miralles of FCStone talked about general raw material markets and how to manage risk; and USSEC consultants Mercedes Ruiz and Lola Herrera spoke about cask markets in the Spanish ports. USSEC’s mission and its activities in Spain and Europe were presented during the introduction.
USSEC collaborated with the U.S. consulate in Bretagne, and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Paris to hold a similar program in Rennes. This country meeting also featured a presentation about soybean markets from Lucile Lefebvre, FAS – Paris, and a presentation about the French market was given by Christophe Callu Merite, Feed Alliance General Manager, Sanders purchasing part of the Avril Group. 28 key French feed compounders and soybean meal importers attended the meeting.
Spring is a busy time for the feed associations assemblies in southern Europe.
USSEC collaborates with many country level associations including IACA in Portugal, ASSALZOO in Italy, SNIA in France, and CESFAC in Spain, which represent a total of 60 million tons of industrial feed, more than 30 percent of the European market.
Sustainability was a main topic at all of the assemblies. USSEC had the opportunity to be present at all feed association events and to share the story of U.S. Soy sustainability and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) with feed association members.
Industry innovation and competitiveness are also important subjects at these conferences.
In Portugal, the USSEC team discussed U.S. Soy sustainability and quality. Customers appreciated the presentation and gained a better understanding how U.S. farmers produce their crops sustainably.
In Italy, USSEC updated the sustainability situation, giving the association the good news that the SSAP is accepted in the European Feed Manufacturers’ Association’s (FEFAC) sustainability scheme.
The creation of DURALIN, the French organization for sustainable supply in all feed and food chain, SNIA, and the French co-op, has given France a strong direction in its sustainability program.
The SNIA’s annual assembly in Spain was held on June 3. In addition to sustainability, discussions focused on how the most successful businesses must be sustainable and competitive at the same time.
USSEC also participated in the regional feed association assemblies in Galicia and Andalucia, Spain. USSEC had the opportunity at both meetings to talk about SSAP during the general assembly and in one-on-one customer conversations.
The CESFAC Assembly in Spain discussed following France’s model of organizing a roundtable to present sustainability from two different views – government and industry. Lola Herrera, USSEC consultant in southern Spain, moderated the roundtable and had the opportunity to talk about SSAP and how U.S. farmers produce soy sustainably.
United Soybean Board (USB) director Scott Singlestad of Minnesota and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kendall Culp from Indiana attended the CESFAC assembly where they had the opportunity to meet the main players in the Spanish market. The grower leaders also had the opportunity to visit the NUTRECO head office in Madrid; the port of Cadiz, a main area to import soybean meal; and a farm in Andalucia, which produces fruits, durum wheat and corn. They also travelled to Zamora to visit COBADU, which is an example of a Spanish cooperative that practices “field to table.” The coop has 14,000 association members that produce grains, hogs, cattle, chicken, and other livestock. COBADU produces feed for their association use at two plants, and is currently building a third plant.
The third annual conference of the Romanian Feed Association (ANFNC) took place on June 30 in the capital city of Bucharest. The event is convened annually to gather related experts and industry delegates to exchange their newest ideas and experiences in the field of the animal nutrition and feed manufacturing. With the theme of “Squeezing the Most out of Vegetal Protein Ingredients,” the conference speakers focused on taking a smarter approach to better using protein and improving the conversion of feed into meat.
The theme event engaged a large amount of current as well as potential new ANFNC members who were eager to learn more about the organization and converse with their industry peers. Top feed industry suppliers Bunge, DSM, Evonik, DuPont and Andritz Feed & Biofuel joined the efforts in conference organization, and prominent international speakers discussed soy market trends, technical solutions for efficient use of vegetal protein ingredients and feed manufacturing aspects.
Daniel Herrero, conference keynote speaker and Global Protein Product Line Manager at BUNGE Europe, offered an review of soybeans and soybean meal supply and demand, while USSEC consultant Iani Chihaia gave a comprehensive presentation on vegetal protein ingredient usage in animal nutrition and consumption trends in the world. Mr. Chihaia also highlighted the benefits of U.S. Soy in terms of amino acids digestibility and dollar saving derived from correct soy application and use in animal feeding.
The European Crop Report, presented by Anca Ion of Evonik, provided a perspective on nutrient content of Romania’s major feed ingredients, emphasizing the impact of soy variability on poultry performances. DSM and DuPont’s speakers detailed the enzyme products available today to get as much as possible form soybean meal: energy, amino acids and phosphorus. Advanced feed conditioning technology for improved thermal modification of protein raw materials introduced by Andritz’s speaker was a topic of high interest, as well.
In addition to quality presentations, the active participation of the key industry influencers contributed to the success of this year’s conference. This success was driven not only by the fact that the participants were able to obtain the most current and professional information on trends in the global agricultural business, but also to achieve short- and long-term business arrangements.
USSEC held its exclusive training course devoted to recent advances in poultry production and nutrition at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Agronomos of the Madrid Polytechnic University (UPM), Spain. Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, USSEC consultant and professor at UPM, coordinated the course. The event’s audience was composed of commercial nutritionists of key poultry integrators and compound feed manufacturers from Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic, who were recruited and accompanied by two USSEC local representatives, Sirri Kayhan (Turkey) and Jerzy Kosieradzki (Northeast Europe).
The lineup of lecturers included twelve Spanish academics and commercial experts and one Norwegian scientist. The classroom portion of the course began with digestive physiology that prepared the ground for more in-depth broiler nutrition topics such as feeding programs and flock management, genetic improvement, and health and animal welfare, all of which are nutritional factors affecting wet litter problems in poultry. The focus on optimal utilization of various nutrients began with starch and fat digestion, fiber, energy sources, and protein sources, with a special focus on soybeans and soybean products, to move to the use of feed additives.
A special section was devoted to broiler production in hot weather, microbial contamination in feed production and feedstuffs, and final feed products’ quality control programs, with soybean meal being widely commented upon. Two speakers shared practical aspects of feeding broiler chicks and the effects of management on carcass quality in finished broilers. Some time was given to feeding the modern laying hen that included feed form, particle size and nutrient requirements and influencing egg quality with nutrition, etc.
Feed mill design, with special attention to its effects on hygiene, cost efficiency and product quality, was followed by feed milling technology. Both topics were taught on the second day. The speakers discussed quality and feed safety programs in the EU-28 with the participants.
After three days of long and intensive classes, the participants went on a bus tour of the Spanish feed labs (Cargill’s Central Quality Control Lab in Madrid), poultry growing complex (Cesar de Escalona’s farm at Malpica de Tajo), commercial feed mill (Veravic integration at Casatejada), and commercial broiler farm (Julian Cepeda at Caceres) to supplement theoretical and practical training. The participants were especially pleased that Dr. Mateos traveled with them as a chief trainer and was able to explain the many professional issues raised during the field visits and discuss the content of some of the lectures as well.
Speaking on behalf of all training course participants, Elzbieta Pietkiewicz, a poultry veterinarian and nutritionist at the third largest feed company in Poland, said, “It was the best training program I have ever participated in, with the exception of a similar one held also by USSEC in Madrid three years ago. In just a week’s time we had a chance to learn so much and discuss the many practical issues we face in our daily work. We were honored by having such a great group of speakers sharing their knowledge with us.”
Acting upon a request from the Polish Grain & Feed Chamber, a longtime USSEC cooperator, and its allies in Poland’s poultry, swine and dairy industries, USSEC organized a special seminar devoted to the benefits of biotech soybean products and derived feeds and the threats to the European livestock industry if it turns its back on genetically enhanced soybeans.
The ban on GM feed was introduced in Poland in 2006, but has never been fully implemented, thanks to moratoriums on putting the law into practice adopted every few years under pressure from the local feed and livestock industries. The present moratorium ends on December 31 and threatens to cut the Polish food chain off from necessary soybean imports.
Marek Przeździak, a director of the Polish Federation of Food Producers and an agricultural lawyer, who works closely with EuropaBio Group, spoke about various negative consequences of asynchronous authorization of new GM crop events in the EU to European agriculture and economy as a whole. While registration of novel biotech events takes only 12 months in Australia and 23 months in the U.S., the EU needs 78 months to close such a process. Such asynchronous and asymmetric authorization increases financial risk for suppliers and leads to disruption in the whole agricultural production chain and a 25 percent rise in food prices. If only conventional beans are allowed in Europe, the disruptions in major soy exporting countries may boost soy and soy-based feed prices by more than 200 percent.
Dr. Francisco Areal, researcher at the University of Reading, UK, presented various studies proving GM soybeans were indispensable raw materials in the EU and evaluated several alternatives and their economic impacts on feed manufacturing and livestock producing sectors; he assumed both Spanish and EU perspectives.
“The total impact of a potential ban on imports of soy to Spain would result in $60 billion in added cost,” concluded Dr. Areal. “The EU could only replace 10 to 20 percent of soybeans and soymeal imported to the EU with increased production and imports of non-biotech protein-rich crops.”
The educational event was completed with a broad picture analysis by Professor Tomasz Twardowski, a Polish biotechnologist and educator, on “Polish and EU Bio Economy without GMO: Is it Possible?” and USSEC Regional Director – EU / Middle East/North Africa (MENA) Brent Babb’s expose on safety, quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy, which transitioned into a vigorous discussion.
Some interesting regulatory solutions to improve biotech feedstuffs and food trade were presented by the participants and speakers that were carefully noted by USSEC and the Chamber’s reps to be further discussed in an industry meeting with the hope to result in an official industry request to Polish legislators.
A Chinese study team of 24 selected swine and feed producers from all over China took a swine intensive training course at South Dakota State University (SDSU) from May 31 to June 8. The team was escorted by USSEC staff and consultants: Dr. Richard Han, Dr. Sam Shi, Sunny Zhang and Dr. Robert Thaler. All team members were able to learn U.S. advanced swine production management, nutrition requirement, barn design and ventilation system, meat quality science, manure treatment and environment control, disease prevention, and the control and merits of U.S. soybean products in pig feeds in improving China’s pig productivity in order to increase the demand of U.S. soybean products in China’s animal feed.
During the study period, the team also visited the soybean farms of Marc Reiner and Matt Bainbridge as well as the Oak Lane Hutterite Colony to personally see and learn about the U.S. sustainable soybean production system. The delegation especially valued a chance to better understand GMO soybeans. Grower leaders from South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, the Iowa Soybean Board and the Iowa Soybean Association all met with the Chinese team. The team also participated in the World Pork Expo in Des Moines on June 8 on the last day of their trip.
USSEC organized a team travel training program for a group of Polish specialists representing key dairy and beef producing farms, dairy nutrition advisors, and AminoPlus importers in May. USSEC Technical Director Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki, and USSEC Dairy & Aquaculture Nutrition Consultant – Europe Jan van Eys organized this activity in Bretagne, France.
Some of the visits were organized through BCEL Group – Quest (Bretagne Conseil Elevage), a local company that coordinates milk recording and pedigree books in Bretagne as well as providing farmers with a range of valuable services. Additional farm and feedlot visits were organized directly or through contacts in the local industry.
The Polish group traveled for a full week visiting dairy and beef farms, a feed manufacturing company, a feed additive company, a milk testing laboratory and a technical agricultural/livestock production school with an experimental farm. At each visit a detailed document in Polish was provided to the Polish visitors, and at each visit, a point was made on the importance, role and inclusion rates of soybean meal in compound feed and the associated performance levels.
The selected farms covered much of the entire range of dairy production methods and systems in the visited region of France – largely pasture-based systems. The feed plant, the laboratory and DHI-type organization (BCEL) work in close contact with these farms and have a major influence on their feeding systems. Soybean meal is critical to all these farms, either as a component of the compound feed or as a raw material included in the total mixed ration. Currently, like most of the dairy production in Europe and the Americas, payment arrangements are such that revenue per liter of milk remains below the cost price. This leads to an overall difficult situation in the dairy sector and a reduction in investments, including concentrate feeding.
At the end of the dairy industry tour, a summary discussion was organized to review the findings and opinions of the Polish participants. Some problems observed by the Poles were thoroughly explained and corrective measures presented to the trainees. The ongoing milk price crisis resulted in the French farmers feeding fewer concentrates and soy products, which are greatly recognized for their quality. Once profitability improves, sales of those should increase as well.
Leaving France in Rennes, the Polish customers expressed their appreciation to the U.S. soybean farmers for providing them with such a great learning opportunity and a professional knowledge exchange among the participants.
USSEC attended the 10th International Conference “Mixed Feed 2016” hosted by the Industrial International Academy (IAA) in Moscow, Russia from June 21 – 23. The conference was organized by the Russian Feed Manufactures Union in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Russian Institute of Compound Feeds Industry, and IAA and supported by national livestock, swine, beef, poultry and grain unions, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, and by a number of specialized professional magazines.
USSEC consultants Dr. Maria Domoroshchenkova and Dr. Iani Chihaia joined the event, giving presentations promoting the usage of soy proteins in modern feeds and featuring the quality of U.S. Soy. They also offered soy technical papers, answered technical questions and inquiries from industry delegates visiting USSEC’s booth at the conference, and met with officials from professional associations, state organizations and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Moscow.
The event was one of the key industry’s annual meetings in Russia and offered broad possibilities of interactions with soy end users, feed millers, livestock companies and traders from the Russian Federation. More than 150 local professionals attended the event. The conference benefited from the support of several top feed additives, lab equipment, and feed milling technology suppliers including Evonik Germany, Buchi Switzerland, DSM Switzerland, Kemin Europe, BDW Feed Mill Systems, and JPT Industries Finland, among others.
Information delivered by the USSEC consultants during the event through the papers presented, interactions at the booth, and discussions during conference breaks was appreciated by the Russian poultry and feed professionals and they showed interest by asking more about the U.S. Soy nutritional profile, efficient use in animal feeding, challenges from using alternative ingredients and precise feed formulation.
In addition to meeting with industry representatives, the conference was an opportunity to follow up on previous activities to gain a better understanding of the current developments and future trends of the Russian feed industry. In this regard, the aqua sector development in Russia is on the agenda of the officials and several investors are interested in aqua farms.
The aqua market in Russia is in its infancy but has a significant potential for growth over the next decade with the majority of the increase in production coming from farmed fish that will require high protein feeds. According to the Russian Feed Manufactures association statement at the conference, the local aqua sector is going to be developed within the next five to ten years in order to supply the existing demand for fish products. Currently, over 60 percent of the fish consumed in Russia are imported. Estimates show that the annual demand for aqua feeds will grow up from 150 thousand metric tons (TMT) in 2015 to 500 TMT in 2020 and up to 850 TMT by 2025. Consequently, this opens up an important growth area for U.S. Soy products.
With the goal to increase awareness of U.S. Soy and help customers differentiate between soy of different origins, USSEC conducted a five day training program at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) in Poultry Nutrition and Production for a team of 11 nutritionists and poultry professionals from top poultry integrations and feed manufacturing companies from Russia, Bulgaria and Romania from June 13 – 17.
The classes were organized in close cooperation with Cargill, the Spanish Confederation of Compound Animal Feeds (CESFAC) and the Spanish Animal Nutrition Foundation (FEDNA) under the lead of Professor Gonzalo Mateos of USSEC Spain. Nine lecturers introduced recent advances and reviewed key concepts in poultry related to nutrition, flock management, ingredient quality control and feed manufacturing.
“We were pleased to continue to provide knowledge to U.S. Soy customers through this week’s instructive and intensive short course that enables them to understand the recent advances in poultry nutrition and how to apply them with benefit in the field,” commented Dr. Mateos. “We trust that we have thus not only acted for the benefit of U.S. Soy, but also have upgraded knowledge level of course participants.”
After two and half days of classes, the first stop for the scheduled field visits was to visit Cargill’s area laboratory, serving both customers and internal requests from Spain. Participants listened with high interest and asked intensive questions about near infrared (NIR) technology, wet chemistry, and pathology exams performed in the lab. The impact of soybean meal quality on feed quality and economics was discussed, along with the importance of a quality control monitoring program.
Thanks to the farm visits, the course attendees were able get an understanding of the Spanish experience in industrial poultry farming and feed quality control under EU laws and regulations. Field visits were organized as well at VERAVIC and TECA Feed Mill, two of the most representative feed manufacturing companies from the Extrema Dura region in Spain. Besides learning about the latest advances in poultry nutrition, class participants had the opportunity to understand the Spanish experience in soybean meal differentiation, soy quality control procedures and monitoring programs, and feed quality control under EU laws and regulations.
The training achieved USSEC’s goal in educating Eastern European customers in recent advances in poultry nutrition and soybean meal differentiation. By the end of the event, all the participants had a clear understanding of the concept of soybean meal differentiation based on origin.
The World Soy-Feeds Conference is one of the main annual events in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for local crushers, feed millers and livestock companies. Organized in Saint Petersburg, the event’s main goal is to disseminate the latest international information from the field of market trends, soy processing, and soy ingredient use in animal feeds by the rapidly growing Russian livestock industry.
Early this year, Russian crushers imported 486.1 thousand metric tons (TMT) of U.S. soybeans. This is the second consecutive year that the country has been a key European customer for U.S. Soy. In an effort to continue good relationships with Russian industries, USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz led the USSEC delegation at the 2nd World Soy-Feeds Conference, which took place June 1 – 3. USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Utilization (AU) Pam Helmsing, USSEC consultant AU – European Union (EU) Iani Chihaia, and Matt Ammermann, Commodity Risk Manager and Vice President – Eastern Europe/Black Sea Region of INTL FCStone were also part of this team. Local consultant Maria Domoroshchenkova hosted the delegation in her native city.
Mr. Metz spoke to about 200 industry delegates from different regions of Russia and neighboring countries about how he farms quality U.S. Soy for customers around the world, sharing his farming practices, and how he preserves land resources for future generations. Andrey Kolyaskin, general director of the trade house Belagro (Agrolats Group), a grain and soybean meal trader, reiterated what Mr. Metz had said, reinforcing the role of farmers in raising safe, healthy food for people around the world and restating their duty to build the foundation for a future generation of farmers.
Mr. Ammermann discussed the recent rise in soybean and meal prices, and oilseeds market factors influencing the next crop from the Northern Hemisphere. His presentation provided attendees an understanding of the soy market from a worldwide prospective. Factors such as weather, currencies and geopolitics play a role in the latest developments.
Dr. Chihaia stressed the importance of vegetable protein for the global feed industry, focusing on issues related to the most important alternative protein ingredients currently available in Russia: rapeseed meal, double dehulled sunflower meal, and lupins, discussing losses and gains when substituting soybean meal. His presentation concluded that the best broiler performances are achieved only if soybean meal remains the staple of broiler feeds.
The conference was an excellent opportunity to promote U.S. Soy and interact with Russian customers to learn useful information about the latest developments and trends of the feed industry, animal husbandry and Russia’s soy market. USSEC was able to deliver inspiring messages about farming quality U.S. Soy for worldwide customers and how to build the foundation for the future generations of farmers.
USSEC’s presence at the World Soy-Feeds Conference facilitated ample interactions with several local crushing, feed, and livestock companies. The opportunity to chat in an informal manner with industry friends gave the delegation a good understanding of the reality of current Russian livestock production and the challenges of importing U.S. Soy. Continuing USSEC’s efforts to support and educate young Russian specialists in the efficient use of soy will create customer loyalty to U.S. Soy and the continuation and growth of imports.
After the conference, Ms. Helmsing and Dr. Domoroshchenkova visited the Federal Selection – Genetic Center of Fish Breeding in Ropsha, near St. Petersburg, and Gatchinsky Feed Mill, which manufactures different types of compound feeds including aquafeeds. Despite the current low level of aquaculture and fish farming in Russia, this area has a very high potential for development in upcoming years and would contribute to the growth of soy consumption.
At USSEC’s “Feed Manufacturing and Swine Farms Management” training recently held in Timisoara, Romania, Smithfield Farm delegates had the opportunity to hear about the latest findings in swine feeding and farm management research.
During the first day of training, presentations were focused on demonstrating nutrition knowledge in relation to the benefits of feeding U.S. soybean meal and soy products to modern swine hybrids.
“Soy is the key ingredient in swine diets and when it is properly used, it improves performances while enhancing the economics and sustainability of pork production. It has been a pleasure to share with the technical team of Smithfield Romania the latest knowledge regarding composition of soy from different origins,” said USSEC consultant Gonzalo Mateos. “Besides that, we enjoyed meeting and visiting with Smithfield’s Romania people. They have a state of the art feed mill, probably one of the best at this stage and qualified personnel, which gives the company a competitive advantage.”
On the second day, Smithfield managers and the speakers focused on different aspects of feeding and health of the sows and interactions between nutrition and management. USSEC consultant Josep Gasa Gaso demonstrated that properly fed ratios to gilts and sows increases the potential to obtain an adequate number of pigs per litter at birth, with good growth rates during their productive lives. In this regard, the use of soy products should help in designing optimum feeds for breeding swine.
As a key player in Romania, Smithfield annually manufactures over 360,000 metric tons (MT) of feed compound and is one of the top soybean meal, soy oil and soy protein concentrates users in the Southeast Europe region. Working closely with key customers, organizing common events, and providing education will rebuild the strengths of local pig production and potentially generate U.S. Soy exports.
On May 12, USSEC joined with the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association (Het Comite) and the Dutch Feed Industry Association (NEVEDI) in organizing a networking event focused on the “Challenges in Global Raw Material Supply” near the port city of Rotterdam. Over 120 industry representatives participated in the daylong conference, which covered a range of issues currently facing the feed industry in the Netherlands. Former Dutch Minister of the Environment Jacqueline Cramer opened the morning session with a call to broaden the circular economy on resource use in the Netherlands. Additional speakers addressed current challenges in the plant protection business and the Netherlands government’s efforts to increase the use of insects in animal feed. The Chairman of the European Former Foodstuffs Processors Association gave a presentation on efforts to increase industrial food products in animal feed (do not use the word “waste”).
USSEC representative – Northern Europe Eugene Philhower gave a presentation on the sustainability of U.S. soybean production, emphasizing the continuous improvement efforts by U.S. soy growers and the recent inclusion of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) on the approved list of FEFAC sourcing guidelines. To address concerns on the volume of sustainable soy available from the United States and the costs involved with sustainable production, Philhower emphasized that almost all U.S. soy is certifiable and that applying for the certificate is free for exporters.
In a panel discussion afterwards, Mr. Philhower presented his thesis: as long as the European model of agriculture was based on livestock production, Europe will continue to import a majority of its protein needs. In that market, the U.S. wants to position itself as a reliable source of high quality, competitively priced and sustainably produced soybeans.
In an effort to capitalize on the market opportunities offered by the recent dynamic changes in the Southeast European feed and crushing industries, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) consultant Gunnar Lynum and USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Iani Chihaia visited local crushing plants and feed mill companies from May 16 – 18. The goal of this mission was to promote U.S. Soy and create confidence on the end users’ side in directly importing soybeans beans from U.S. farmers and cooperatives.
“Visiting with end users in Bulgaria and Romania at this time of the year is the right time since in a couples of months, harvest will become more of a reality and time allows us to establish commercial contacts and properly follow up with them,” said Mr. Lynum. “I believe that every little win is part of improving market opportunities for U.S. Soy. We would like to see the plants in Romania and Bulgaria processing U.S. Soy and this should happen once the new crop is harvested.”
Even if is not the largest soy user in the EU, southeast Europe’s sub region offers opportunities for U.S. Soy exports simply because of the high interest from local companies to secure their soy ingredient supply under the current market situation. In this regard, soy extrusion plants are looking at ways of getting back into production by the U.S. harvest season. In the meantime, Bulgarian oilseeds are currently exploring possibilities of converting existing sunflower processing plants to soybean crushing in order to optimize profitability. By working closely with the local industries, a supply chain should be developed between U.S. Soy farmers and end users from Southeast Europe, a market which is using over 800,000 tons annually.
Romania most likely boasts the largest number of soy extrusion plants of any European country. Over 20 companies have their own soy extrusion plants and at this stage, the main challenge is the continuous supply of beans needed in order to keep the existing extrusion plants running all twelve months of the year.
During the first week of May, USSEC consultants Mian Riaz and Juan Acedo Rico visited Romania in order to understand the current status of the soy extrusion technology use and to evaluate the adoption of good manufacturing practices in full fat soybean meal production, conveyed through different USSEC activities organized over the past few years.
“The output of the past activities carried out by USSEC in Romania are outstanding,” Dr. Riaz commented. “We are impressed with the high level of adoption in a relatively short period of time of soy extrusion, mainly dry extrusion technology, developed by U.S. Insta Pro Iowa. The customers we visited with this week in Romania have the capability to properly process soybeans by means of extrusion – expelling and quality of the products is very good,” he continued. “We are glad to see that and we can acknowledge that there is a high demand for beans here, and the people we met are looking at ways of getting their facilities back into production by harvest season in the U.S.”
During discussions with the plant managers, the consultants emphasized the optimum parameters for maximum full fat soybean meal quality. They also highlighted the nutritional benefits for non-ruminants of extruded soy.
“Dry extruded soybean meal is high in both protein and energy, which creates a highly competitive ingredient against other oilseeds used in animal feeding. As a farm-processed raw material, full fat soybean meal is a fresh ingredient with reputedly lower feed costs and improves animal performance,” explained USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Iani Chihaia. “Especially in broiler feeding, extruded soy’s benefit is that it supplies over 30 percent of the energy in the feeds, thereby reducing the need for expensive vegetable oils, and the demand for full fat soybeans should grow. The fact that it can be used in many applications in high value feeds makes extruded soy very appealing to the Romanian feed manufactures.”
“Besides the quality of the beans, a fundamental understanding and experience in engineering is required for the design of the extrusion plants. Today, that work incorporates the understanding of the functional properties of soy, selecting the right equipment, coupled with practical experience,” Dr. Acedo Rico said. “However, improper engineering design is just one of many functions that could ruin a soy extrusion business,” he added.
“Because it does not grow enough soybeans for its feed and livestock requirements, Romania imports over 80 percent of the meal consumed by the feed industry. Early this year, U.S. soybean meal imports filled the gap for the first quarter, but starting with the second quarter, there are no bean stocks available in the country,” stated Dr. Iani. “The main achievement of this week’s activity implemented in Romania is that we revived hopes for a potential resurgence in extruded full fat soybean production, which prepares the ground for U.S. bean imports from this year’s crop from the U.S.”