Starting last year, the most innovative side of international agribusiness meets at the Animal AgTech Summit. Last year in San Francisco, this September in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Here’s 5 initiatives in the feed industry that you will hear more about.
First things first: The Animal AgTech Summit initiative began in 2018 with an event in San Francisco, CA, United States. The concept will now be rolled out over the continents, with a 2019 event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Latin American meetings planned in São Paulo, Brazil before it returns to San Francisco next year.
The Animal AgTech Summit drew about 250 agtech experts worldwide to Amsterdam in September. Photos: Vincent ter Beek
Larger animal nutrition and health companies, like e.g. Trouw Nutrition, Cargill, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck/MSD had sent representatives to talk and interactively discuss the challenges of the modern era. All in their own way, these companies have embarked on finding innovative ways to embrace new technological solutions. For instance, MSD completed the acquisition of animal identification company Antelliq/Allflex earlier this year, Zoetis introduced its herd monitoring software Smartbow late last year and Boehringer Ingelheim its biosecurity tool Combat in 2018.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are also many smaller companies whose initiatives have just seen the light, whose technologies require still more investments before they will become profit-making, or whose concepts are experiencing a breakthrough right now.
The company Unibio, headquartered in London, UK, but with a strong base in Denmark, uses waste to begin something new. It converts methane into protein that can be used for animal nutrition, using a U-Loop Fermentor. Most attention so far has gone on aquaculture, but the company also presented figures from a small-size trial in post-weaning piglets. According to slides presented, the animals did not experience any increase in diarrhoea when compared to using zinc oxide in the feed. [Photo: Henrik Busch-Larsen, Unibio]
The Lodz, Poland-based animal health company Proteon focuses on the use of phages (or viruses) that attack specific types of bacteria. This approach could be a promising alternative to antibiotics. The company already has a phage product ready against salmonella in poultry while it is waiting for the EU to give approval for the marketing for this type of animal health strategy, COO Matthew Tebeau said. In the meantime, the company is working on more products for pigs, aqua, dairy and poultry. [Photo: Matthew Tebeau, Proteon]
Ÿnsect was one of the major sponsors of the event. The company promotes the use of for instance ŸnMeal, a defatted free flowable protein that comes from insects. At Animal AgTech, the company’s CCO Benjamin Armenjon shared trial results, conducted in Thailand. There it was tried and tested in shrimp, where the effects of the use of this type of protein was observed to have an effect on growth and immune status. Some trials on poultry were also shared. The company also markets the product ŸnOil. [Photo:Benjamin Armenjon, Ynsect]
String Bio, headquartered in Bangalore, India presented itself as ‘changing how waste flows through the ecosystem’, according to the company’s CEO Ezhil Subbian. String Bio’s solution leverages methane produced from waste or available from natural sources, to create chemical monomers and single cell proteins. Single cell proteins extracted from microbes can be used as sustainable animal feed. The protein content of the biomass is between 60-70% and can be used directly in the feed. [Photo: Ezil Subbian, String Bio]
Veramaris is a joint-venture between Evonik and DSM, based in Delft, the Netherlands, and was launched in 2018. The company’s global marketing and communications director Øyvind Ihle told those at the Animal AgTech Summit that the company focuses on the production of omega-3 fatty acids for animal nutrition, without using wild fish for that purpose. The company produces the fatty acids straight from natural marine algae. The company has a production facility in Blair, NE, United States. [Photo: Oyvind Ihle, Veramaris]