Cargill Animal Nutrition’s president Adriano Marcon discusses the importance of accuracy and traceability in feed production, and the company’s new ‘future-ready’ Lewisburg, Ohio, animal nutrition facility.
In January 2021, Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health celebrated the grand opening of its new 220,000-sqaure-foot Lewisburg, Ohio, premix facility. The plant is the world’s largest and most modern premix plant, producing 154,000 tons of non-medicated animal nutrition products per year across four segregated production lines.
Adriano Marcon, the president of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, joined Feed Strategy Chat to discuss the role bioefficacy will play in shaping the future of feed safety and production.
Video transcript: Feed Strategy Chat with Adriano Marcon, president of Cargill’s animal nutrition business
Jackie Roembke, editor, Feed Strategy: Hi everyone and welcome to Feed Strategy Chat. I’m your host, Jackie Roembke, editor of Feed Strategy.
This edition of Feed Strategy Chat is brought to you by WATT Global Media and FeedStrategy.com. FeedStrategy.com is your source for the latest news and leading-edge analysis of the global animal feed industry.
Recently, Cargill opened its new premix animal nutrition facility in Lewisburg, Ohio. The future-ready plant is using advanced technologies that will require less resources to produce feed, while ensuring the quality and traceability of its products.
Today, we are joined on Zoom by Adriano Marcon, the president of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, to talk about feed safety and the new facility. Hi, Adriano, how are you?
Marcon: Hi, Jackie. Thanks for having me.
Roembke: Thanks for being here. During the virtual grand opening of the Lewisburg facility, you emphasized the importance of bioefficacy in animal feed. What role do you foresee bioefficacy playing and shaping the future of feed production?
Marcon: Super important. The role of bioefficacy is about having the right nutrients, delivered at the right time for animals and working in vivo. Like we say: animal nutrition, right. So, when we talk about bioefficacy program at Cargill Animal Nutrition, we want to give our customers peace of mind that our products really work for the animals. And this is super important because what we want is to enable animals to express their productivity potential. And they only get, if they have the right ingredients, the right nutrients that work for them when it needs to be working.
For example, what we produce there in our plants, part of our Cargill Animal Nutrition bioefficacy program, because we produce their premix. For example, they are no more than 2% of the total mass the total weight that an animal eats. But, of that 2% of mix that we supply to our customers, it carries 50% of the nutrients. So, it’s our job to ensure that those nutrients are the right ones that we’re working with: vitamins, for example, that that resists heat treatments in a pelleted feed that we work with, e.g., amino acids from protein sources that are highly digestible.
In our in our plants, particularly what we do is that we ensure that those selected ingredients are properly dosed in our mixes. And there’s full accuracy though, because those ingredients are needed in parts per million for the animal. So, we want to make sure that animals have what they need to express their full potential.
Roembke: How can this emphasis on bioefficacy help strengthen consumer confidence in the food system?
Marcon: Consumers are looking for a constant supply of food and produced in a sustainable way. Bioefficacy is underpinning animal productivity and, the higher the animal productivity, the more sustainable the production system will be. And it works like this, I mean, the less feed we need to produce a kilo of pork or beef, or poultry, meat or eggs. The less ingredients — the less corn and soybeans — we need the world to produce to feed these animals.
When we talk about bioefficacy, we want to support these animals to be as productive as possible. Because it’s really important to our customers. It’s economical for our customers. But for consumers, that’s the link between sustainability and productivity.
Roembke: The Lewisburg facility is the largest and most modern premix facility in the world. What are the plant’s three most notable features?
Marcon: It really is, but we’re looking for what we call the safest plant in the world — safest from our employees’ standpoint, but also especially food safety. So, this plant had three goals in mind when we planned for it.
First of all, is we want to meet the new consumers’ demand. And in the United States and in Europe and other places of the world, people are looking for non-medicated-produced animals. So that is leading to what we call now non-medicated facilities. And that is one of the things that we accomplish with Lewisburg. It’s a non-medicated plant so there’s no antibiotics in there.
The second thing, we talked about food safety, right? Food safety is also a function of cross contamination in these plants. So this plant has a unique vertical design: we have a 160-foot steel premix tower that that allows us to flow ingredients only through gravity, there’s no mechanical conveying here. And because there’s no mechanical conveying, there is no traces of material that can be left behind. And therefore, there is a very, very low risk of cross contamination, which is one of the challenges in premix plants, so that ensures food safety.
The third goal we have in mind is full accuracy, parts per meter and accuracy. I mean, micronutrients are called micronutrients because they are needed in small quantities to nourish an animal. So, part per million grams per metric ton precision is required in there. So, we do that in this plant by having 95% of the mass in this plant is done in an automated fashion. We also have other features that we developed, especially for this plant, based on our knowledge of premix production around the world, like we have flexible hoppers that support precise dosing, and we have multiple checkpoints throughout the production process to confirm the weights.
Remember, it is about weight accuracy, parts per million accuracy, we have a locked access points in many parts of the production process to ensure that we have the right ingredients for the right mix. There is no risk of people picking out the wrong ingredient for a particular animal species.
So, enabling the new consumers’ demands like non-medicated feed, securing food safety with the vertical design and full accuracy with our automated systems — those are the hallmarks of this plant for us.
Roembke: Very good. And you touched on several of these, but in your opinion, how will this investment ultimately benefit Cargill customers?
Marcon: Well, we really want to give our customers peace of mind. We supply a significant amount of premix. In the Americas market, we have 4 to 5 million of tons of feed in America each and every month. So, with that comes the responsibility that that we preserve the brands of our customers, we know we not only want to preserve that brand to avoid any food safety situation, but like I said earlier, we want to ensure that our customers have products that are bioefficacy-validated to support their animals to express their maximal productivity potential.
Roembke: Excellent. Thank you so much, Adriano. And if you’d like to know more about the Lewisburg premix plant, visit www.cargill.com. Thank you, Adriano, and thank you for tuning in.
To view Cargill’s Lewisburg, Ohio, premix facility, visit https://lewisburgwest.com/