CJ Bio’s Bart Matton discusses how amino acids can be leveraged to improve the environmental footprint of swine production.
The swine industry’s ability to reduce nitrogen excretions is key to sustainable pork production — and the feed industry plays a major role in delivering improved nitrogen efficiency through nutrition.
In advance of his Feed Strategy Seminar session on November 17 at EuroTier 2022, CJ Europe‘s research center technical marketing manager Bart Matton joins the Chat to discuss how swine feed can contribute to reduced nitrogen emissions and result in more eco-friendly pig production.
Transcript: Feed Strategy Chat featuring Bart Matton, technical marketing manager – research center, CJ Europe
Jackie Roembke, editor in chief, WATT Feed brands/Feed Strategy: Hello everyone and welcome to Feed Strategy Chat. I am your host, Jackie Roembke, editor in chief of WATT Feed brands and Feed Strategy magazine.
This edition of Feed Strategy Chat is brought to you by CJ Bio. CJ Bio is a global leader in green biotechnology. The company provides products and solutions to meet its customers’ needs, based on ecofriendly biotechnology and a unified worldwide network. It produces several No. 1 bio products, accomplished with outstanding microbial fermentation technology developed more than 60 years ago.
Today, we’re joined on Zoom by Bart Matton, technical marketing manager – research center with CJ Europe. He’s here to discuss economical and efficient ways to run an ecologically friendly and sustainable swine business.
Hi Bart, how are you today?
Bart Matton, technical marketing manager – research center with CJ Europe: Hello, Jackie, I’m fine. Thank you.
Roembke: Excellent. Thank you so much for being here. Well, let’s get right into it. The term sustainability has a broad meaning — with many different definitions out there in the marketplace. How do you define sustainability in animal production?
Matton: Thank you, Jackie. Thank you for the question. Indeed, sustainability has a broad range of meanings, but when we try to summarize the definition a bit more, we can basically say it’s trying to fulfill our current needs, our current demands, without jeopardizing the needs of future generations.
When we bring it back to food production, I like to refer to a questionnaire conducted by the European Consumer Organization just before the COVID pandemic. Here, they asked European consumers from different countries, what pops into your mind when you think about sustainable food? The majority said it needs to have a low environmental impact, together with being produced locally. Animal welfare, for example, was less important to them at that time, neither was a fair farmer income, or having affordable and enough food at their disposal.
However, I think when we look at it today after the pandemic — and in the current economic situation — I think some consumers will change their mind. Environmental impact will remain the most important issue, but I also think sustainability is kind of a flexible word which, depending on the timing of when you ask consumers, is influenced by the timeframe in which we live.
Join us on November 17 at EuroTier 2022 for Bart Matton’s presentation, “Economical and efficient ways to run an eco-friendly and sustainable swine business” | Hall 17 @ 16:30-17:30
Roembke: Do you think different sustainability goals may interfere with each other or undermine others?
Matton: Yes, for sure. When we think about low environmental impact, we are thinking mainly about how to preserve the environment. But when we then look to, for example, animal welfare or the different breeding situations, i.e. conventional organic or free range, then you see that when we move toward a more organic farming industry, we will have a higher impact on the environment because the animals are less productive and there are restrictions on certain feed additives or feed ingredients.
There is indeed, or there can indeed be, interference with different sustainability goals.
Roembke: Looking closer at reducing [animal production’s] environmental impact, what are the main parameters take into consideration?
Matton: There are a lot of items to explore, but when we look a bit closer, it’s mainly about air pollution, land use, eutrophication, acidification, etc. When we look at pig production in particular, we must acknowledge that about 70% of the environmental impact is coming from the feed. Feed plays a part in the environmental impact of pig production.
Next to this, of course, is manure and how we treat the manure, how it is stored, etc., — is all very important. When we examine the feed, we have phosphorus, which is important, but the red line is the nitrogen. Nitrogen has an impact on all the different parameters I mentioned before. So keeping an eye on that one — or steering on that one — is super important.
Roembke: And what role does formulation play in contributing to this?
Matton: Like I said, nitrogen is basically the key driver of environmental impact. When we want to steer on nitrogen, we need to do it through formulation. When we say nitrogen, we mean crude protein. Reducing the crude protein in the diet is a very effective way to reduce the environmental impact. As a rule of thumb, we can basically say that, for every 1% of crude protein reduction, we are able to reduce up to 10% of nitrogen excretion.
And it’s not only nitrogen excretion from an environmental point of view, but also, for example, from an animal welfare, an animal health, perspective. Excessive protein in the gut will be fermented, producing toxic metabolites, which then disrupt the health balance of the animals — resulting in the need for extra medication and antibiotics to solve this, which is also not sustainable.
In the end, taking care of nitrogen will have a direct influence on excretion, but also indirectly on sustainability by, for example, through animal welfare.
Roembke: So, looking at the different feed formulation options that that you’ve presented here, where do you see the contribution of amino acids?
Matton: Yes, of course, lowering crude protein (CP) is easier said than done. When we lower CP, we must take care that performance is also not being hampered by lowering the CP. Amino acids play a critical role in that because, in the end, we want the animal to perform as they did before. However, when you lower down the protein, you need these crystalline amino acids to help you get the performance up and running again.
On the other side, when we want to use more local raw materials, which are more sustainable than, for example, the use of soybean meal, we are often confronted with the fact that these raw materials have lower digestibility. Crystalline amino acids then help correct this in the feed, providing an efficient and economical solution for the farmer.
In the end, amino acids play an important role in connecting the whole chain by combining different sustainability aspects in feed formulation.
Roembke: Very good. Thank you so much for those insights.
If you’ll be in Hannover for EuroTier 2022, join us on November 17, 2022, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Hall 17 for the Feed Strategy Seminar session, “Feed additive solutions for reducing emissions in pig production.”
Thank you so much, Bart. And thanks to you for tuning in.
EuroTier 2022 Technical Session:
Feed additive solutions for reducing emissions
in swine production
November 17, 2022 | Hall 17 | 16:30-17:30
Economical and efficient ways to run an eco-friendly
and sustainable swine business
Speaker: Bart Matton, technical marketing manager – research center, CJ Europe
Sustainable pork production is a key challenge for the feed industry. Reducing nitrogen excretion plays a huge role in this endeavor. Improving nitrogen efficiency can be obtained by applying different strategies in farm management and nutrition. The presentation will highlight some key elements on how the feed industry can contribute in an effective way to a more sustainable animal production. Learn how “less is more” when talking about nitrogen.