Expert opinion

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The power of (feed) data

January and February are always exciting months. Not only to make new plans for All About Feed for the rest of the year (such as webinars, show visits, new ideas for the website), but also because in these first months of the new year, a lot of statistics of the previous year are released.

A great example are the Fefac figures about the compound feed production in the EU, although there is always a delay of quite some time here, meaning the latest figures are from 2015. According to Fefac, the EU-28 produced 155 million tonnes of compound feed together in 2015. A steadily increase over the last 25 years as seen in the graph below. Germany remains the biggest producer in the EU with over 23,3 million tonnes in 2015 (less than year before!). In my home country the Netherlands, the feed sector produced around 14,3 million tonnes (more than 2014!). We are the fourth biggest producer in the EU-28.

Over the magic 1 billion MT

More recent compound feed data are released each year by animal nutrition company Alltech. The latest figures over the year 2016 show that the global production of compound feed increased again in 2016 and is over 1 billion metric tonnes globally now. Quite a dazzling number! China and the United States are now responsible for 35% of the world’s total feed production. The 1 billion metric tonnes is produced with less feed mills by the way. In 2015, the world had 32,341 feed mills. Last year, this number dropped to 30,090. We have said goodbye to 2,251 (probably) small, old feed mills.

Worrying mycotoxin data from Asia

At the same time, animal nutrition company Biomin released its global survey data for mycotoxins prevalence. These fresh data can be found in the soon to be released edition edition (2017-1) of All About FeedFor the webinar, click here This year, almost 100,000 analyses were performed, compared to a little over 49,000 the year before. Remarkable are the test results from Asia. In this region, mycotoxin risk was the highest in 2016 (8 in 10 samples had at least one mycotoxin above the threshold levels. This is the highest risk level seen for Asia since Biomin started its survey.

Other key points from the survey include the fact that Fumonisins rose with the 2016 harvest of North American corn and that the risk level in South America jumped from 37% in 2015 to 60% in 2016. Especially FUM is a problem in South America, as you can see in the graph below.

Tools to help farmers and feed professionals

Although some of the mycotoxin data are worrying, these huge amount of data sets are crucial to analyse, see trends, and hence draw conclusions what this means for the international feed industry. More feed, meets more demand for animal protein. The rise in aquafeed for example shows clearly that people are eating more seafood, which is a trend that has been observed for many years now.

On the website of All About Feed we are increasingly focused on delivering these relevant data for feed professionals. Last year, we already launched the mycotoxin regulation tool, the mycotoxin Wikipedia section, and on our sister websites we have animal disease databases launched, such as this one for poultry diseases and this one for pig diseases. So keep an eye on our website so not to miss any new additions and tools (among which a mycotoxin prevalence tool in cooperation with Biomin, to be launched soon). We want to provide you with the best information and data to be able to do your job better!

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