Precision Feeding Equals Added Economic Value, Starts with Consistency

As the most commonly used protein source in livestock and poultry diets, soybean meal (SBM) is usually fed at a rate of 15% to 30% depending on the diet’s nutrient requirements. SBM provides at least 50% of the protein and essential amino acids and about 25% of metabolizable energy content in the diets, making it the most expensive ingredient in the feed formula. Any variation of those very important nutrient components will lead to either over- or under-estimation of nutrients in the diet that will affect the overall feed cost, feed quality and ultimately animal performance.

In formulating diets, using SBM that comprises consistent digestible nutrient composition allows for precision feeding, increasing animal performance and efficiency. Furthermore, SBM of a more consistent quality will offer a cost-savings and provide extra economic value (Ravindran 2021).

In comparing soybean meal from Indonesia and the Philippines, Evonik evaluated 10,153 samples from Indonesia and 1,946 samples from the Philippines from January to December 2020. The data comparisons were narrowed to samples comprising 46-49% crude protein (CP) and 4% maximum crude fiber (CF).

The Indonesian samples showed slightly higher CP than the Philippines, but similar CF, fats and total amino acids (AA). Despite the Indonesian samples showing a higher CP content, the apparent metabolizable energy (AME) and net energy (NE) were higher for the samples collected from the Philippines. This can be attributed to the lower fiber and higher sugar content of the samples tested. These results conform with and support the reports based on Meta-Analysis of SBM (Mateos,2020).

The SBM collected from the Philippines also gave higher consistency in all parameters as indicated in the standard deviation (SD), Table 1a & 1b.

Table 1a. Proximate Analysis and Energy

  Parameters INDO samples PHILS samples
Sample Number 10,153 1,946
Dry Matter 88.66 90.13
SD 0.95 0.76
Crude Protein 47.47 47.20
SD 0.93 0.59
Ether Extract 2.00 2.00
SD 0.31 0.21
Fiber 3.40 2.60
SD 0.31 0.24
AME 2,356 2,363
SD 29 25
NE Sow 2,324 2,350
SD 45 31
Sugar 10.00 10.70
SD 0.96 0.35

Table 1b. Amino Acids

Parameters  INDO samples PHILS samples
Lysine, Total 2.94 2.90
SD 0.08 0.05
Lysine SID, poultry 2.61 2.58
SD 0.07 0.04
Lysine SID, pig 2.64 2.61
SD 0.07 0.05
Methionine, Total 0.63 0.64
SD 0.02 0.01
Meth SID, poultry 0.57 0.58
SD 0.02 0.01
Methionine SID, Pig 0.58 0.59
SD 0.02 0.01
Lys 6.15 6.13
SD 0.12 0.10
Meth 1.32 1.36
SD 0.40 0.02

Using the differences based on SD values of all parameters in a starter broiler diet formula, the mean values from Indonesia gave US$0.20/MT of feeds lower than SBM collected from the Philippines. However, due to the higher variation of the quality of SBM collected from Indonesia, the plus/minus 1SD gives a higher cost of US$6.67 and US$5.20 per MT respectively, higher than the SBM collected from the Philippines which gave only US$5.20 and US$4.74 respectively, Table 2. These differences translate to an additional cost of US$0.46 to 1.43/MT of feeds for every 1-degree variation in the SBM collected from Indonesia as compared with SBM collected from the Philippines.

Table 2. Broiler Starter Diet using the Median, +/- SD

Raw Materials Phils     -1 SD Phils Median Phils   +1 SD Indo      -1 SD Indo Median Indo  +1 SD
Corn + Veg oil + FM
SBM source, kgs/MT   (Phils) (Indo)   335.0   327.5   343.0     327.50     314.0     336.5
Cost of formula/MT, US$ 535.36 530.62 525.42 535.62 530.42 523.75
US$/MT difference from the mean 4.74 5.20 5.20 6.67

In these comparisons, the countries of origin of the SBM samples were not identified but import data shows that Indonesia imported about 4.8 MMT of SBM, mainly from Brazil and Argentine, in 2020 with about 130,000 MT from the United States, according to USSEC’s Indonesia office. Meanwhile, the Philippines imports 2.2 MMT from the United States and about 700,000 MT from Argentine, according to USSEC’s Philippines office.

The higher CP content of SBM collected from Indonesia is due to the higher CP content of Brazilian SBM, (Mateos 2020). The slightly lower CP and total amino acid content in the samples collected from the Philippines can be attributed to the number of Argentine samples collected from an integrator in the Philippines who submits samples to Evonik regularly.

SBM collected from the Philippines is more consistent in all parameters, including: proximate analysis, amino acids, energy and sugar content. This gives purchasers, nutritionists and feedmillers increased confidence that the nutrient specifications that they are using in U.S. SBM are correct.