Rising Corn and Soybean Prices
From 2021 year-open, corn prices have risen from $4.84 to $5.39 per bushel. Soybean prices have increased to $13.91 per bushel from the 2020 year-open price of $9.56 per bushel. According to Business Insider, corn and soy prices are projected to see price increases of 14% and 8%, respectively. In an industry facing heightened raw material costs, it is more important than ever to extract every feed conversion point. Rising prices and limited availability may lead to the use of alternative ingredients and modified formulations. Preserving feed quality is essential in times of change and uncertainty.
Clean Feed Impacts Efficiency
In regards to corn futures, we should consider the feed production process. Producers of feed and livestock are aware that quality feed leads to improved feed conversion, nourishment, and efficient growth. A primary driver of feed quality is the microbial load. Large microbial loads heighten the risk of pathogen introduction and reduce the nutritional value of feed. Similar to livestock, bacteria use feed as an energy source. Feed containing a high microbial load often results in higher feed conversion rates, worsening the stress induced by raw material costs. Sub-standard feed quality requires more feed to meet market weight and increases the risk of pathogen contamination at processing. Feed sanitation controls microbial proliferation within the ingredient matrix and provides continued protection to the point of consumption. Gut health and efficiency benefit from enhanced nutritional investment offered by sanitized feed. Without the disruption of pathogens, intestinal microflora flourish, nutrient absorption is optimized, and the gut is protected from damage. Clean feed consumed during live production leads to efficiencies that benefit all production stages. After all, quality feed optimizes quality livestock and results in safe food for consumers.
Consideration to Feed Formulation
Nutritionists are well aware of pathogen risks related to specific ingredients and work to produce high-quality rations meeting particular nutrient requirements. Those with a robust pathogen regime in place have greater flexibility to modify formulations. A database of global feed and raw materials containing data on 15,000 untreated samples tested by Anitox shows that 10% of those with the highest microbial loads exhibited Enterobacteriaceae levels of at least 700,000 cfu/g; those ingredients ranging from Wheat to Animal-By-products. As you may know, the family Enterobacteriaceae consists of gram-negative bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. While all feed components have a microbial load, some materials are associated with a higher microbial risk than others. By continuing or beginning a feed treatment regimen with a feed sanitizer, finished feeds are protected from contamination, regardless of the ingredient matrix. This protection allows for flexibility within feed formulations giving producers and nutritionists more options, as well as the ability to reduce margin stress. Ingredient shortages and high material costs make feed production complex. Nothing is more valuable than the ability to meet nutrient specifications within a diet while modifying formulations, bearing no consequence to the microbial quality of the finished feed confidently.
Feed quality is affected by the materials used in production. However, these impacts are moderated by using a feed sanitizer. When push comes to shove, feed production costs must be evaluated by their contributions towards feed conversion. Good quality feed promotes successful livestock production.
For more information on how feed sanitizers benefit the microbial quality of feed visit our website.