USSEC conducted a seminar on U.S. soybean meal for nutrition and good farm practices for table egg producers in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The seminar was made up of ten presentations relating to the use of U.S. soybean meal and how it compares with other soybean meals from different origins; feeding programs for laying hens and pullets; the effects of heat stress; formulation with digestible amino acids; the ideal protein ratio in laying hen feeding programs; and other important laying hen topics. The presentations also provided an overview of USSEC and the U.S. soybean sustainability assurance protocol (SSAP).
USSEC animal utilization consultants Carlos Campabadal and Fradbelin Escarraman led the seminar, along with Richard Miles, a poultry nutritionist from the University of Florida.
The evaluation of the seminar by participants was very positive and they felt they learned a lot about the nutritional value of U.S. soybean meal, and the differences in nutrient composition and quality between U.S. soybean meal and Brazilian and Argentinean products.
There is great interest to improve egg production in Jamaica. The country only has a laying hen population of 870,000 and 400,000 pullets, which is very low, considering the country’s population is 3,000,000. Jamaicans only eat one egg per week, which gives an egg consumption per capita of 52 eggs; again, a low number. The main reason for this low consumption is cultural, as there is concern for the relationship between egg consumption and high cholesterol.
The Jamaican Egg Producers Association is carrying out an egg consumption campaign and according to its president, the campaign is working very well. For USSEC, this is a very good opportunity to increase the consumption of U.S. soybean meal, especially if they continue helping the Egg Producers Association with layer nutrition information and management programs.
In 2016, Jamaica imported 120,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybean meal, which was 12 percent higher than 2015. Through May 2017, Jamaica had imported 82,309 MT, compared to the same month in 2016, when 78,792 MT was imported.