Soybean – The kingmaker in feed technology and animal nutrition

The US Soybean Export Council’s (USSEC) final regional technical conference of the year was held in Pampanga, Philippines, this September with a two-pronged theme: maximising profit in feed processing and biosecurity as well as risk management in livestock. The Petri Dish’s editor-in-chief, MAHALETCHUMY ARUJANAN was an invited delegate and she reports the key highlights of the conference.

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Soy is a part of a diverse crop rotation plan produced on 26 per cent of US cropland

 

The US soy farmers demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by adhering to the US Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol

 

The Conference – a convergence of nutrition and biosecurity

The conference saw a convergence of scientists, feed millers and formulators, animal nutritionists, veterinarians, quality control personnel and livestock producers. Avian Influenza (AI) and African Swine Flu (ASF) took centre stage at this conference as the latter is threatening farmers in Asian countries. So far, reportedly about 1,170,000 pigs were culled in China, 4,500,000 in Vietnam, 7,000 in the Philippines, and 25,000 either died or were culled in Laos.

Biosecurity measures to contain the spread of the diseases were presented by veterinarians. The trade impasse between US and China was a major topic and its implications to the soybean trade, particularly for the US, was discussed. Soybean meal consumption in China went plunging in 2018 and 2019 due to trade conflicts and African Swine Fever (ASF). However, the recent truce between these two mega economies is expected to result in more soybean import into China from the US.

The conference turned into a biochemistry class with in-depth protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism tutorials. These biochemicals impact on feed processing and formulation. Energy conversion, feed processing and formulation, heat treatment and impact of heat on the nutrients and reactions between nutrients were also discussed, providing feed millers valuable insights into producing quality feed for poultry and livestock.