Asian Agribiz‘s first live session of the Broiler Feed Quality Conference (BFQC) in three years kicked off on Monday in Bangkok, delving deeper into how producers can maximize corn-soy diets, manipulate digestion and absorption in the gut, and ways to assess potential alternative feed ingredients. Below are some highlights.
Creatine plays key role in energy metabolism
There is a creatine supply-demand gap that limits broiler performance, as creatine plays a key role in energy metabolism. Pradeep Krishnan, Technical Service Director, Evonik SEA said the rapid turnover of creatine needs continuous replenishment. Evonik’s GuanAmino, an amino acid derivative and precursor of creatine in the body, can be applied via two approaches: on-top supplementation and nutritional matrix application. “If you are trying to improve performance, we suggest on-top supplementation. But if the objective is to optimize the diet costs while maintaining the performance, we certainly recommend the energy-sparing method supplementation,” he said.
Commodity prices to stabilize and even fall slightly
In five years, commodity prices are projected to be stable or slightly lower than they currently are, contributing to increasing consumption and import demand. Bob Swick, Poultry Industry Consultant and Adjunct Professor, Poultry Hub Australia, University of New England, said China will remain the largest importer of raw materials like soybeans. Meanwhile, the global feed industry will grow faster than overall population growth and the broiler industry will continue to grow, with countries in Southeast Asia as a major producer. “There will be a squeeze on raw materials, but we will continue using corn and soybean meal. And there will be an increased focus on amino acids and enzymes,” he said.
Major forces accelerate change in the agrifood business
Four major forces are accelerating change in agrifood production: digitalization and automation, displacement, disruptions, and sustainability. Jean-Yves Chow, Managing Director Asia at Creadev, said for digitalization involves omnichannel, e-commerce, blockchain, and Saas (software as a service), among others. Blockchain is a game changer as it will improve traceability, food safety, and agri-fintech. “For Saas, there is a huge demand in Asia from smallholders. It will streamline the industry and make it more efficient,” he remarked. Meanwhile, sustainability is important as ‘conscious consumerism’ means consumers, led by the younger generations, are willing to pay for sustainably produced food.
Better measures of soybean value needed
Soybean remains the most valuable commodity for poultry feed, and the industry needs better measures of soybean value. Soybean is a complex and variable commodity, and traditional grading systems are poorly correlated with actual value, said Seth Naeve, Associate Professor and Soybean Agronomist from the University of Minnesota. Soybean and sbm have been valued primarily on crude protein (CP), an indirect measure of protein. But CP is not the best measure of a soybean value. Other measures of quality include essential amino acids. “For producers, it is important to identify the value proposition for their feed ingredients, measure that, and purchase accordingly,” he said.
Mastering gut functionality
Mastering gut functionality involves five key areas: gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiome, immune status, GIT mucosa, digestion and absorption, and welfare. Pietro Celi, Manager Performance Solution-Oceania at DSM, said the animal microbiome is an organ, and targeting microbiome metabolism offers a powerful new tool for the poultry industry. He explained that the GIT is a sensory organ, and the mucosa is populated with various sensory cells. They enable the gut to sense and adapt to the luminal environment. “Their role is not only for digestion but also for gut growth and protection from pathogens,” he explained.
Broiler diets are cost-optimized under commercial leads
Broiler diets are very stringently cost-optimized, in particular under nutritionists and commercial leads in feedmills. Susanne Kirwan, Global Technical Service Manager for Intestinal Health at Kemin, said the potential hazards are seen in economics, health, and welfare on farms, not on the feedmills. “With new diets, we need to think strategically about how to use the microbiome to make broilers more resilient. That doesn’t apply only in times of expensive raw material prices, and it must be considered any time,” she said. If raw materials are unavailable, Ms Kirwan said producers could formulate a different diet, downspec existing raw materials, and use alternative ingredients.
Look out for a more detailed report in Asian Poultry Magazine and Asian Feed Magazine.