Cargill launches holistic program to battle EMS

Animal nutrition division offers new combination of additives, services to aid shrimp producers

Cargill’s animal nutrition division announced the launch of the SmartShield program to help its customers combat the impact of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS). The program takes a holistic approach to mitigating the risk the disease poses to shrimp producers by combining specialized feed with technical services. 

According to the company, in addition to EMS prevention, the system can also improve a shrimp farm’s profitability by increasing production by an average of 30 percent.

EMS, now technically known as Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND), is caused by strains of the bacteria Vibrio. The disease has caused devastating production losses in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico, and has recently been suspected in disease outbreaks in other Central American countries. Outbreaks of EMS have caused mortality rates as high as 100 percent.

The SmartShield program “couples farm management best practices with innovative feeds and proper diagnostics,” including on-farm risk assessment; advanced nutrition and functional additives delivered through a complete feeding program; and on-site performance evaluation tools and rapid water quality and disease diagnostics for early detection.

In field trials conducted in Mexico, customers experienced an average of 59 percent higher production yield using the SmartShield program, the company reports.

The program is the result of two years of research at Cargill’s Global Animal Nutrition Innovation Center, located in Elk River, Minnesota.