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Whey more available, important as feed ingredient

Cheese production in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past two decades and, as a result of that increased production, whey is becoming a more viable ingredient for liquid feed.

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Ioannis Mavromichalis

Cheese production in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past two decades, and as a result of that increased production, whey is becoming a more viable ingredient for liquid animal feed.

“Cheese production in the U.S. appears that it is just going to continue to increase. From that, of course, one of the products that gets into the liquid feed industry is whey,” said Mark Moss, director of purchasing, Westway Feed Products, on September 11 at the 2018 Liquid Feed Symposium, held in San Diego.

According to Moss, who offered an ingredient forecast during the symposium, United States cheese production has grown an average of 2.6 percent per year over the past 20 years. In 1997, about 7.5 billion pounds of cheese was produced in the United States. In 2016, U.S. cheese production exceeded 12 billion pounds for the first time, and U.S. cheese production increased even further in 2017.

“This is one of the opportunities that we still have to continue to grow, and I think that’s going to be a very important product as we continue to move forward,” Moss told attendees at the symposium.

Whey is a regional liquid feed ingredient

While there is a good supply of whey, Moss pointed out that it should be looked at as more of a regional ingredient.

Typically, he explained, whey consists of between 20 and 40 percent dry matter, and shipping water across the country can be pretty expensive.

He adds that the quality of whey, as well as the handling characteristics of whey, can vary from site to site and facility to facility.

In addition to discussing whey, Moss also offered insights on urea, crude glycerin, and corn during the three-day Liquid Feed Symposium, which was hosted by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

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