Indonesian Feedmillers Attend USSEC Feed Quality Workshop

Staff and managers of quality assurance divisions from several feedmills located in the greater Jakarta area, Bandung, Medan, and Surabaya, Indonesia attended USSEC’s feed quality workshop in Ciawi, Bogor, Indonesia from August 13 to 15. The workshop covered techniques to measure soybean meal and full fat soybean meal quality (physical, chemical, and biological), mycotoxin analysis, quality monitoring, and the U.S. soybean grading system. The feed quality workshop was designed to expose the participants to the total quality of U.S. soybeans and soy products beyond crude protein. Participants were encouraged to look at more critical soybean nutrients such as digestible amino acids, low foreign materials such as whole soybeans, higher metabolizable energy, and low fiber content, which is good for poultry feed, and fine particle size that make the mixing process faster and more efficient.
Several experts and consultants were involved to deliver the training, including Jimmy Pan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), who provided hands-on training on how to perform soybean quality grading based on the U.S. standard; staff from Trouw Nutrition introduced advance technology called mobile near infrared system (NIRS) to predict soy and corn nutritive value; local consultants from Research Institute for Animal Production, Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture (IRIAP) trained participants to measure soybean meal quality by using wet lab methods such as kjeldahl; and USSEC animal utilization (AU) consultant, Dr. Budi Tangendjaja shared his knowledge on critical aspects of feed quality ingredient assessment.
Following the completion of the three-day workshop, participants are expected to adopt a better and proper way to measure the quality of feed ingredients needed to discover strong nutritive value of feed ingredients originating from the U.S., especially soybean and soybean products.
The workshop was attended by participants whose profile and background fit with USSEC criteria of being in charge of quality control for incoming feed ingredients and are working with large and medium size feed millers, livestock research institutes, and breeding farms. Geographically, they are also diverse as they are based in the greater Jakarta area, Medan-North Sumatra, Bandung and Bekasi-West Java as well as Surabaya-East Java.
USSEC, through this workshop, was able to build a collaborative platform involving various key agencies to work together to contribute to Indonesia’s livestock sector development. The Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture allowed USSEC to use IRIAP facilities such as room and laboratory for the venue. Some livestock scientists from the Ministry were also involved in training delivery. Trouw Nutrition brought their state-of-the art portable NIR machine, along with experts to introduce the method to participants. FGIS-USDA assigned one of their senior inspectors to educate participants regarding the U.S. soy grading system. At the end, the Director of IRIAP and the Agriculture Counselor of U.S. Embassy Jakarta jointly closed the workshop with positive remarks and commitment to continue this collaborative effort.
U.S. suppliers and Indonesian buyers employ different methods to measure the crude protein of soybean meal. More practical methods such as combustion are largely used in the U.S., while Indonesian buyers are still heavily using wet lab method such as Kjeldahl. USSEC has encouraged Indonesian buyers to use combustion and/or NIR to minimize disputes resulting from discrepancy in U.S. soybean meal’s crude protein content between what is stated at the COA and the buyer’s own laboratory test. In this context, the workshop was able to provide evidence that the wet lab method is strongly subject to possible human and technical errors in each of its multiple critical steps. Several lab analysts who analyzed the same sample of soybean meal based on same lab equipment and reagents can produce different percentage of crude protein content.
USSEC learned that most of the participants are still focusing on too many unnecessary and irrelevant indicators when evaluating feed ingredient quality. The workshop educated participants to identify the most critical quality indicators for each of the feed ingredients. For example, with respect to soybean meal, we encourage them to pay more attention on digestible amino acids and metabolize energy rather than crude protein only.
Following the completion of the workshop, participants are expected (1) to adopt a better and proper way to measure the quality of feed ingredients needed to discover the strong nutritive value of feed ingredients originating from the US, especially soybean and soybean products, and (2) to broaden their quality spectrum from being strongly stuck to crude protein to stronger appreciation toward more critical soy nutrients such as digestible essential amino acids and higher metabolizable energy.
USSEC hopes that better understanding on the strong nutritive value of U.S. soybeans and soy products will help incentivize and convince representatives from feed millers and self-mixing farms who attend the workshop to realize their U.S. soy and soy products’ purchase plan.
Indonesia’s annual imports of soybean meal reach approximately 4.5 million tons, originated from Argentina (~80%), Brazil (~15%) and the United States (~5%). Price disadvantage is one of the main factors that lead to weak market penetration of U.S. soybean meal. Another factor that comes into play is the fact that Indonesian buyers strongly stick to crude protein levels for quality indicator. This explains why Hi-Pro Brazilian soybean meal, while the price is $13-15 higher than Argentinian meal but cheaper than U.S. meal, can still enjoy a good market share in Indonesia.