IFEEDER starts study of COVID-19 feed industry impact

Forthcoming update to animal food consumption report will come with an analysis of COVID-19's potential long-term impact on the feed industry.

One of black-and-white dairy cows looking at worker of farmhouse
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Analysis of COVID-19 industry impact will accompany update to feed consumption report

How will the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shape the feed industry for years to come? The Institute for Feed Education & Research is set to find out.

IFEEDER has awarded a contract for research to update the organization’s 2016 Animal Food Consumption Report. Decision Innovation Solutions, the author of the original report, will not only provide updated figures on animal feed consumption, but will also put together estimates projecting the current and future impact of COVID-19 on the feed industry, according to Rob Cooper, IFEEDER executive director.

The new consumption report, Cooper said, will use data from 2019 — the latest available. While he said the IFEEDER board still sees that as valid, valuable information, he said there was also a recognition that the data would be “pre-COVID.”

“We did step back and say, ‘We’re in the middle of COVID-19,’” he said. “Can they also look at what the potential post-COVID landscape might look like for the next five years, using trend analysis to develop some forward-looking projections?”

Cooper said it’s difficult to know now, “right in the middle” of the COVID-19 pandemic, to understand where the industry will stand when the virus subsides, resulting in a need for forward-looking information.

Updating the feed consumption report will also provide insight into any feed industry trends that developed between the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, and the release of the previous report in 2016.

IFEEDER anticipates that the update and the COVID-19 analysis will be complete toward the end of this year, though Cooper said it is not yet clear whether they will be released as one, or two separate reports.

IFEEDER is also in the early stages of commissioning a separate study looking at how swine disease is or can be spread by feed ingredients and equipment, and also plans to commission a project on sustainability in the animal feed industry, Cooper said.

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