soybean field

USSEC Participates in Japan Feed Seminar Series


A USSEC mission visited Japan from April 18-24 to participate in three seminars of the Japan Feed Seminar Series and meet with customers. American Soybean Association (ASA) director E.L. Reed of Missouri traveled to Japan with USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition/Meal Pam Helmsing.
USSEC Japan Director, Mitsuyuki Nishimura, briefed the team on Japan’s changing demographics; the country’s crush industry and tight margins; and the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TTP), which Japan recently joined.
Mr. Nishimura said, “We need to educate Japanese animal producers and the feed industry about the importance of amino acids.” He continued, “Soybean meal is historically traded in Japan on the basis of protein content, but it is meaningless to evaluate soybean meal by protein content.”
At the conferences, Mr. Reed talked about his farm, his family seed and feed business, the U.S. swine industry, the advantages of U.S. Soy and prospective plantings. He was impressed with the “kind and considerate” people that he met there and stressed that making connections with customers of U.S. Soy is key. “It takes a little more human sometimes,” he stated.

U.S. grower leader E.L. Reed spoke about his 48 years in farming to seminar participants
U.S. grower leader E.L. Reed spoke about his 48 years in farming to seminar participants

The seminar audiences included veterinarians, feed formulators and farmers who were engaged and asked technical questions. Mr. Reed said it was important to “get down to a common narrative” between the two countries.
The team visited Zen-Noh and Hayashi, where USSEC consultant Jannes Dopplenberg talked about optimizing feed formulas, reducing feed costs and optimizing technical results. Follow up questions centered on maximum performance vs. optimal performance and various equipment used in feeding trials. Hayashi shared feed formulations and discussed actual formulations and ways to improve. The USSEC team also toured the feedmill and drove through one of their hog farms housing about 4,400 sows.
Japan has conducted several seminar series, bringing in well-respected experts from around the world, including USSEC consultants Drs. Gonzalo Mateos, Richard Miles, Hans Stein, Jan van Eys, Paul Tillman, Jim Pettigrew and Jannes Dopplenberg. More than 90 percent of the attendees of these seminars indicated that the seminars enhanced their understanding of the value of soybean meal from the U.S. and similar results have been obtained when Japanese teams visited the U.S.
Ms. Helmsing said, “The feed and livestock industries are becoming better educated consumers of soybean meal and are recognizing the value of U.S. Soy but it remains a challenge to close the loop to get them to feel empowered to demand U.S. Soy from the importers.”
“We need to continue to spread the message that testing can help to optimize feed rations and improve profitability and work with the industry to develop ways for end users to influence the country of origin for their soy for animal feed,” she summarized
Mr. Nishimura agrees, “We need to continue to educate them as a long term project. Also, it is a good chance for both Japanese and U.S. grower leaders to understand both countries’ situation mutually through this seminar series.”