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6 challenges facing the global animal feed industry

Prognosticating the six external factors that may complicate the production of commercial and on-farm animal feeds in the future.


It is estimated that global compound feed volume is nearing the landmark figure of 1 billion metric tons. To this number we can add with reasonable safety another 300-plus million tons of home-mixed feed. Thinking ahead, with the assurance of an ever-increasing global population and the vast gap in consumption of animal-derived foods between the East and West, it is reasonable to assume that global compound feed volume will soon exceed the next milestone: 2 billion metric tons. It is only a matter of time.

Read the entire report about feed industry challenges exclusively in the January issue of Feed Strategy.

Whether commercial or home-mixers, feed manufacturers have a plethora of concerns focused on production, cost and competition. Making feed has never been a gold-mine operation, and it is unlikely it will ever become one. But those who engage in preparing feed for the animals who produce our foods have an ever-increasing burden of issues that are largely beyond their individual reach. They can only respond collectively to matters, like environmental legislation, for example, whereas any individual proactive efforts are frequently met by skepticism both by consumers and governments alike.

No one has a crystal ball to foresee the future, at least not with any clarity that can be turned into a tangible profit. Thus, it is difficult to predict the next big challenge for the global feed industry. Taking the most recent example, one can only ask, Who could have predicted that an insecticide would show up in millions of eggs across Europe? But, apart from accidents and even malicious acts, one can use intuition, networking and education to attempt at least a moderate forecast of issues that poses a generic nature. In other words, we can try to predict problems based on present festering issues that remain unresolved.

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