Energy crisis will affect critical feed ingredients

Animal Nutrition Views

Dr. Ioannis Mavromichalis is an animal nutritionist holding graduate degrees from Kansas State University (MSc) and University of Illinois (PhD). He is the Principal of Ariston Nutrition Consulting International. He may be contacted at [email protected]. See all author stories and blogs.

Energy crisis will affect critical feed ingredients

Ioannis Mavromichalis

Availability for several critical ingredients will be short and any available quantities will be expensive.

Liquid whey, as it comes out of the cheese-making process, contains about 6% solids – that is about 50% of whole milk solids. In animal nutrition terms, liquid whey contains 6% dry matter (as opposed to 90% in dried whey we use in piglet feeds) and 94% water. Other similar byproducts of the human food industry contain equally low dry matter that rarely exceeds 20%. Another important raw material for piglets (as we started with that species) is animal plasma which, when in liquid form, contains less than 9% dry matter and needs to come to 90% dry matter before it can be used in feed formulas.

All that water needs to be removed by one method or other. There are several such methods that have one thing in common: They all require tremendous amounts of energy to dry these liquid byproducts into usable dry raw materials. And here is where the future looks bleak to me when it comes to these already expensive but indispensable ingredients.

The whole world is facing an energy crisis, either self-inflicted or due to uncontrollable external variables (that would be TV news for you.) In fact, the EU where we anticipate the worst in terms of energy availability this winter, there is a question mark on the availability of enough energy for households let alone for animal production in general.

In short, availability for several critical ingredients will be short and any available quantities will be expensive – more expensive than ever. Especially, since in the immediate past we have printed enough money like there were no tomorrow, something we will discuss in the next blog. Inflation, thus, is only going to make things worse, and formulating feeds under inflation pressure is something we will be discussing for a long time to come.