USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA), China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA), and China Meat Association (CMA) organized and conducted the 2015 U.S. – China Swine Industry Development Symposium on September 16.
This is the symposium’s fourth year and this year’s topic was “Is Bigger, Better?” There were about 200 attendees, roughly 60 percent swine producers and the rest a mix of industry, government and association representatives.
Two grower leaders, John Heisdorffer, USSEC director and American Soybean Association (ASA) vice president, and Bob Metz, USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director, traveled to China to participate in this event. Mr. Heisdorffer provided opening remarks, talking about U.S. soybeans and his farm. Mr. Metz made a toast on behalf of USSEC at the gala dinner following the symposium.
USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition & Meal Pam Helmsing, USSEC Regional Director – North Asia Paul Burke, USSEC Country Director – China Xiaoping Zhang, and USSEC Animal Utilization (AU) Technical Director Dr. Richard Han also attended this symposium. Mr. Zhang chaired the session in the afternoon and Dr. Han provided comments on the China swine farm models.
Participants learned about models, management and challenges to both the U.S. and China swine industry during the symposium, which provided a good bridge to understand and communicate between the agriculture industries in the U.S. and China.
The group also participated in customer meetings on this trade mission.
On September 17, the delegation attended the Novus/USSEC Swine Master Academy in Xiamen. Mr. Heisdorffer and Mr. Metz both talked to the attendees about swine and soybean farming in the U.S. and the quality and safety of U.S. Soy. Dr. Han discussed the nutritional advantages of U.S. Soy and sustainability.
The following day, the group visited Hua Mei Swine farm outside of Xiamen, which has about 1,500 sows and finishes 20,000 head per year. The owner had attended the Swine Master Academy and USSEC consultant Dr. Mike Brumm provided suggestions to improve profitability, including reducing feed and water waste and optimal particle size for feed, noting that there is no need to further process U.S. Soy.
On September 19, the group was joined in Shanghai by ASA director Monte Peterson and Rob Westmoreland of Informa to visit an Intensive Pond Aquaculture (IPA) fish farm in the Songjiang District southwest of Shanghai. IPA technology can increase fish production in a pond threefold. The farm is experimenting with upping it to five times the fish that can be producing using conventional aquaculture technology.
At Shanghai Xinnong Feed Company, the delegation met with the purchasing manager. This company purchases three to four million metric tons (MMT) of soy per year for hog feed. They purchase U.S. Soy from November through June and prefer it because of its golden yellow color and the stable protein and oil levels. The company can and does specify country of origin and prefers U.S. soybean meal to Argentine even if the Argentine meal is cheaper.
On September 21, the group participated in the USSEC industry roundtable. Mr. Heisdorffer and Mr. Peterson talked about their farms, the markets and risk management. They fielded questions about weed management; GMOs; whether they will plant more corn or soybeans next year; freight rates; supply and capacity, particularly in the Pacific Northwest; crop insurance; credit and government subsidies; and why U.S. Soy has a better amino acid profile. At the break immediately following the grower leaders’ presentations, some of the participants remarked that this conference had been the most informative one they had ever attended.