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Alltech: 2010 is the year to 'bounce back'

The Alltech European Lecture Tour, which is currently in full swing, highlights this year's theme: Bounce Back. Emmy Koeleman and Vincent ter Beek joined the Dutch meeting in Doorwerth and report.

Four speakers are currently travelling Europe to share the latest research insights with animal feed professionals and clients. Wim Beeks, Director of Alltech Netherlands explained why the company has chosen the theme: Bounce Back for both the Lecture Tours and the upcoming International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium in May this year. "Last year was marked by the crisis, all companies have felt this. This year we need to be creative and innovative again. In other words, we need to bounce back" said Wim. He challenged the audience the make a wish list for this year, containing 5 things that can make a difference. "Focus and actually writing these ideas down already helps in the actual implementation of it" according to Wim.

Concentrated version of Bio-Mos®
Dr. Helen Warren from Alltech explained that we need to safeguard future supply of food. With an increasing world population (+ 3 billion from 2000 to 2050) we have to step up production and efficiency, Warren addressed. Production increase can be done at herd size (more animals per farm) or on an individual animal basis (increasing milk/egg/meat production). A lot of efficiency can be gained through nutrition and letting the animals express their genetic potential to the fullest. At the same time, we have the responsibility to make sure that the animal production is done with respect to the animal itself and the environment. Helen also introduced a new product: Actigen®. This product is a so called concentrated version of the existing product Bio-Mos®. "What we have done is to look at the components of Bio-Mos® that do the actual work and hence extracted them, this way we got an 2.5 more concentrated version of Bio-Mos®", Helen explained.

Quality is key
Dr. Karina Horgan gave the audience an update on detection, discrimination and traceability in the feed industry. Karina addressed the importance of quality control, especially with feed additives coming from China. By having good discrimination tests available you can spot the difference between complexed minerals and chelated minerals. "All chelates are complexes but not all complexes are chelates", Horgan warned. She further explained that by using molecular techniques, different yeast strains can be discriminated, which have been done in Alltech's Selenium Yeast product.

Pig potential
Dr. Geert Rutten from Hendrix Genetics in the Netherlands was this year's guest speaker and gave a nice update on the past and future focus of breeding pigs. Geert addressed that nowadays the focus has shifted from the number of piglets born alive to the number of piglets weaned. "Genetics have brought us so far that we have improved the weaned piglets per sow per year with 0.2 piglets and nowadays we have almost the same number of piglets born alive as piglets weaned" Geert said. At the same time, Geert emphasised that we proper nutrition and management is very important to let the animals reach the genetic potential.

Focus on talents
Patrick Charlton, Regional Director Europe at Alltech ended the meeting by clearly presenting the challenges for coming years. He addressed that agriculture is one of the few sectors that keeps on running on full speed. "The demand for food is always there and increasing drastically". Patrick also showed some UK research that showed that the consumption of meat, eggs and milk was little influenced by the financial crisis, compared to for example the alcohol industry and (non-food) sectors such as cars and houses. Patrick ended this session of the European Lecture Tour by saying that you have to focus on the aspect in which you are good at and bringing the aspects that you are not good at to an exceptional level.

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