• Posted by Anitox

Feed Efficiency is Key to Food Chain Sustainability

A sustainable food chain is one that minimizes the negative impact on the environment, improves the health and well-being of people and animals and ensures equitable access, from field to fork.

Feed efficiency, the ability of food-producing animals to utilize nutrients within their diets for growth and development, is an essential component of a sustainable food chain and key to producing sustainable protein. Improving feed efficiency can reduce the environmental impact of meat production and improve profit margins for producers.

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Why is Feed Efficiency Critical to the Production of Sustainable Protein Sources?

The more efficient the animal is at converting feed into protein, the less feed is needed, and the more sustainable the food animal production process becomes.

sustainable food chainFeed efficiency in food-producing animals is influenced by many factors including:

  • Genetics
  • Health
  • Rearing Practices and Management
  • Feed Quality

Feed quality has a direct impact on animal health and environmental hygiene, making it critical to supporting a sustainable food chain. Feed quality directly impacts feed efficiency and can be broken down into two key components: microbial load and physical form.

Impact of Feed Microbial Loads

Strategies to control feed microbial load must be considered in sustainability plans for raw ingredient and finished feed producers. Feed can become contaminated at any stage of the production process, from the acquisition of raw materials to the storage and transportation of finished products. High microbial loads within raw ingredients and finished feed can result in extra processing and facility decontamination, and potential discarded products, ultimately reducing the amount of finished product to be sold or fed while increasing cost.

Effective feed hygiene programs are necessary to reduce microbial loads and prevent feed recontamination. Using a feed sanitizer in raw ingredients and finished feed can reduce overall microbial loads and pathogen prevalence while providing protection for at least 14 days, protecting feed quality and promoting feed efficiency. Research indicates that animals that consume feed with reduced microbial loads exhibit increased feed efficiency and performance under Necrotic Enteritis challenge conditions.

Optimizing Moisture and Improving Feed Form Minimizes Waste

Poor feed form and moisture management can lead to mold growth in raw ingredients and finished feed, reduced feed efficiency in animals, and waste due to process loss within the feed mill. Efficient feed milling involves optimizing resources, improving production processes, and reducing process loss. Balancing milling efficiency and nutritional value requires improved moisture penetration and meal conditioning. Increased moisture penetration and retention improve the gelatinization of feed ingredients, positively impacting pellet quality and nutrient digestibility.

Strategies optimizing feed moisture promote the production of sustainable meat products by minimizing feed waste and optimizing the production process to ensure feed producers get the most out of high-cost raw materials.

The quality of animal feed affects feed millers, and those in live production. By implementing strategies to reduce feed microbial load and physical form, both parties can improve efficiency and productivity. These strategies promote the production of sustainable protein sources and help feed producers optimize their use of valuable raw materials.

To learn more about how you can implement strategies to improve feed efficiency and support food chain sustainability, contact one of our clean feed experts today.

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