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Focus turns to EU in hopes to resolve trade barriers

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead EU Trump World Economic Forum .jpg
President Donald Trump meets with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during the 50th Annual World Economic Forum meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, at the Davos Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland.

Coming off the successful conclusion of a phase one trade deal with China and congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Trump Administration is now looking toward finding a deal with the European Union, but it is not expected to be easy.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will travel to Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy Jan. 26-30 to engage with his counterparts on important issues facing agriculture at home and abroad. Perdue will also meet with industry representatives and tour agricultural operations, according to a statement from the secretary’s office.

While speaking before the American Farm Bureau Federation on Jan. 20, President Donald Trump said he told Perdue and some of the people before his speech: "Dealing with Europe, in many ways, has been worse and tougher than dealing with China."

Trump said his Administration has already secured guaranteed access for American beef to the EU that will nearly triple beef exports to Europe in the coming years. “As you know, Europe has tremendous barriers to us doing business with them. All those barriers are coming down. They have to come down. If they don’t come down, we’re going to have to do things that are very bad for them,” Trump said, receiving laughter from the room.

While speaking at a press conference after his trip Jan. 22 to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump said he expects to negotiate a trade deal with the EU before November’s presidential election.

“They haven’t wanted to negotiate with past presidents, but they’re going to negotiate with me,” Trump said.

“They haven’t treated us right,” Trump said of the $150 billion trade deficit with the EU. “They have trade barriers where you can’t trade. They have tariffs all over the place. They make it impossible.”

Washington, D.C., placed tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods in October after prevailing in a World Trade Organization case over illegal aircraft subsidies, which it has threatened to expand. In Davos, Trump also reiterated his Administration’s threat to impose punishing levies on the European automotive sector, saying punitive measures could be ramped up quickly.

Regarding a timeline for a deal, Trump said, “I have a date in mind, and it’s a fairly quick date, and if we’re able to make a deal, then we’ll do even better.”

While speaking at the formal Senate signing of USMCA, Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) was hopeful that progress on the trade front could continue with a deal with the EU, but he also noted that the bloc is a “tough nut to crack.”

Former U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Rob Portman, who also serves as a Republican senator from Ohio, said people are enthused about China and USMCA and is hopeful that an EU deal is maybe “coming around the corner.”

On Monday, Perdue plans to meet with European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and Health & Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. He will also participate in a media roundtable at the U.S. Mission to the European Union and attend a luncheon with the EU Council of Agriculture Ministers. That night, Perdue plans to deliver remarks at a reception to recognize partners in the U.S.-EU agricultural relationship.

On Wednesday, Perdue will meet with industry representatives at the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and will also participate in a roundtable discussion with USUN permanent representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Perdue will meet with FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu and, separately, with World Food Programme executive director David Beasley, assistant executive director for operations Valerie Guarnieri and director of the school feeding unit Carmen Burbano.

Analysis outlines role of feed additives in livestock sustainability

A new publication from Evonik and KPMG examines the impacts of poultry and swine production and outlines the potential societal benefits of using feed additives that reduce crude protein intake, according to an announcement from Evonik.

To build the case for the large-scale use of "innovative animal feed practices" — those that include specialized feed additives such as crystalline amino acids — Evonik partnered with finance and sustainability professionals at KPMG member firms to measure and evaluate the effects of livestock production, the announcement said.

The analysis, using the KPMG True Value methodology, compared the societal impacts of using so-called innovative animal feed versus conventional feed. It covered the economic, environmental and social impacts of meat production across the value chain, from the cultivation of crops for animal feed to animal husbandry, Evonik said.

The analysis was based on 2018 market shares of innovative feed in chicken production in Brazil and pork production in China and on the most advanced innovative feed composition available at the time. The team quantified the impacts in financial terms using valuation data selected from a wide range of sources.

The analysis assigned a financial value for each impact. Once this was established for each impact, the total value of impacts could be calculated for production using innovative animal feed and conventional feed. The two calculations revealed significant differences between the two types of feed in terms of their social and environmental impacts, Evonik said.

The analysis valued the environmental and social impacts of poultry production in Brazil at €1,345 per ton of live weight when conventional animal feed is used. The most significant impacts were land use to produce crops for animal feed and air pollution from chicken waste.

However, when innovative animal feed was used, the negative environmental and social impacts of chicken production were reduced by one-third, Evonik said. The biggest reductions were in land use and its effect on biodiversity, air pollution and the potential for soil acidification and pollution of waterways.

If innovative animal feed replaced conventional feed, the industry would create a net benefit of €85 per ton of live weight for Brazilian society, compared to a net cost of €180 per ton when using conventional feed, Evonik noted.

“The results clearly show a huge potential to positively influence societal value creation when using innovative animal feed and calls for transparency on the overall societal value creation of products,” said Martin G. Viehöver, senior manager sustainability services for KPMG in Germany.

The analysis of pig farming in China showed similar results, according to Evonik. Using innovative feed for pigs could have significant effects on the industry’s social and environmental impacts, potentially reducing the "true" price of pork by almost 12%.

“The results of this analysis could change perceptions within the livestock production industry. They could trigger meaningful dialogue across the value chain and help to shift farming towards more sustainable practices,” said Dr. Emmanuel Auer, head of animal nutrition at Evonik.

“We are sharing the results of this study widely with suppliers, customers, regulators, policy-makers, academics and others to help drive positive, sustainable change in the global livestock industry. Our goal is to generate engagement and debate around how the livestock industry can work together to address its social and environmental challenges,” Auer added.

Conventional animal feed is high in protein, which leads to high levels of nitrogen in animal waste. Evonik has developed amino acids for animal feed that help reduce animals’ protein intake, which, in turn, decreases the level of nitrogen excreted. The additives also improve the efficiency of the animals’ digestion, reducing the amount of food and water consumed and the amount of waste produced, the company said.

“We see this analysis as a tool to guide decision-making in innovation and product portfolio management to develop new products and services with a positive effect on society,” Auer said.

Evonik said it plans to expand the scope of its research to measure the impacts of its feed in other major poultry and swine production regions as well as in the dairy and aquaculture sectors.

Download the publication at evonik.com/building-the-case-for-innovative-animal-feed.

Covantis initiative announces technology partner

DarcyMaulsby /iStock/Thinkstock. grain barge river elevator
This barge on the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa is taking on a load of grain, either corn or soybeans, from area farms.

The founding members of Covantis, a blockchain initiative focused on modernizing global trade operations, have announced the selection of ConsenSys, a market-leading Ethereum blockchain technology company, as the lead technology partner to develop its transformative platform. Founding members Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Glencore Agriculture are jointly developing a platform to make global trade simple, secure and efficient.

“The founders set up a robust selection process, including a two-week hack-a-thon, to ensure that we chose the right technology partner to meet our industry’s needs,” said Stefano Rettore, independent advisor to the project. “ConsenSys presented prototypes that demonstrated excellence in its field and has a track record of using blockchain technology to digitize processes in the commodity trade finance industry. We are confident this partnership will allow us to build a first-class product centered around unparalleled functionality, security and privacy.”

ConsenSys will leverage its enterprise-ready blockchain solutions and services, including PegaSys Orchestrate, Kaleido and MythX, to build the blockchain network on Ethereum. It will build a secured platform based on Quorum, a permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain protocol, to cater to both small and large players across the supply chain.

“The strength of the Covantis initiative’s commitment to leverage innovative, best-in-class technologies to transform global trade operations for agricultural commodities is inspiring,” said Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum. “This platform is evidence that blockchain technology has started to deliver on its promise of unlocking value through collaboration and removal of information silos within and across industries.”

The Covantis initiative was created in October 2018 by leading commodity industry players to develop technologies to standardize and digitize global agricultural shipping transactions for the benefit of the entire industry. A Covantis entity and its digital platform are expected to launch in 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. Initial focus will be on automating grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes.

Interested parties can learn more about the initiative by visiting www.covantis.io.

USDA consolidates lab testing regulations

filmfoto/iStock/Thinkstock two stamp pads with the words regulations and rules next to a stack of documents

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making it easier for animal diagnostic laboratories to carry out vital livestock disease testing on behalf of the agency.

In a stakeholder announcement, APHIS explained that USDA is updating regulations that outline how the agency approves laboratories outside the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) to conduct official testing for animal diseases as well as how they can remain approved. USDA will now use a single, user-friendly process for laboratory approval and consolidate the existing regulations into one location, APHIS said.

Approved laboratories play a vital role in animal health efforts by providing proven, accurate results in a specific time frame, APHIS said, noting that the agency relies on these laboratories every day to provide clear information about the health status of the nation’s many herds and flocks. These changes will make it easier for laboratories to understand what they need to do to become approved and remain approved to conduct a wide variety of official tests for USDA.

USDA made one clarifying change from the original proposal, based on public comments, APHIS said. The final rule defines NAHLN as being primarily composed of federal, state and university-associated animal health laboratories. This change is because, on a case-by-case basis, NAHLN may use private laboratories if their capabilities are needed, APHIS said.

Existing approved laboratories would begin using the new process when it is time for their next renewal. USDA would implement the new process for newly requested approvals immediately when the rule takes effect on Feb. 24, 2020.

NBB leader bullish on biodiesel in 2020

NBB Flickr Feed - ZimmComm NBB CEO Rehagen ZimmComm.jpg
National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen speaks at the annual meeting in Tampa, Fla.

More than 700 biodiesel producers, distributors, retailers and other industry advocates from across the nation gathered in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 20-23 to set their sights on a future for biodiesel that is cleaner, better and here now. During the conference, hosted by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), speakers shared their vision for biodiesel, renewable diesel and Bioheat.

“I am extremely bullish on the future of biodiesel and renewable diesel, but I don’t want to suggest it will be a cake walk,” NBB chief executive officer Donnell Rehagen said. “We will face significant challenges to reach these goals moving forward. We know that and accept the challenge."

A focus for many biodiesel leaders was federal and state policy, with an emphasis on extension of the biodiesel tax credit.

“The extension happened because our industry and membership worked harder, smarter and more strategically than others,” NBB vice president of federal affairs Kurt Kovarik said. “Over the past two years, with the help of our biodiesel champions, we’ve developed a recipe for success in Washington [D.C.]. It’s important that we keep the ingredients in place and maintain our capabilities. There are still many challenges to face, and continued success will depend on your continued engagement, vision and hard work.”

A common theme during the event was that the federal policy fight isn’t over. Collectively, the industry has its sights set on a stronger, reliable Renewable Fuel Standard for 2020 and years to come.

NBB governing board chairman Chad Stone explained that the industry has struggled with the Environmental Protection Agency for the last of couple years as the agency has "aggressively issued excessive levels of exemptions that have harmed the industry. Inappropriate administration of [small refinery exemptions] is a back door to undermine the intention of the Renewable Fuel Standard. We can’t let the EPA get away with this. We have to unite to defend our industry, to defend the law – and we are.”

Conference goers also heard from Bioheat heavy hitters on where their sights are set for 2020. Today, oil heat has grown to be a 7 billion gal. industry.

“It hasn’t been easy. We’ve been through years of studies and testing, years of developing and getting an ASTM standard approved and faced opposition from some of the equipment manufacturers,” NBB supply chain advisor Paul Nazzaro said. “We’ve gone on countless road shows over the last decade trying to convince oil heat leaders, dealers and consumers to accept Bioheat.

“I’m happy to say we’re finally on the verge of a massive shift in this industry in favor of Bioheat,” he added.

NBB closed out the conference with its view on where the growing industry is headed. During the final session, attendees joined subject matter experts from the trade association in a dynamic conversation about the advanced biofuel and what they can expect to see in 2020.

“We have a team of experts working on your behalf every single day to complete important, member-prioritized work,” NBB chief operating officer Doug Whitehead said. “With each of these biodiesel professionals, I am certain our trade association can help the industry meet our lofty goals and bolster growth for America’s advanced biofuel.”

A review: 100 years of soybean meal

Who would have thought that the drought would affect a vitamin It takes 17 acres of soybean plants to make 1 kg vitamin E said Carilyn Carlson Anderson president of Carlson Labs The plowing under of the soybean plants due to drought means less oil for supplements The oil will first be used in other industries such as food animal feed before it reaches the supplement industry The price of vegetable oil distillate is skyrocketing as the supply diminishes

Authors: N. Ruiz1, C.M. Parsons2, H. H. Stein2, C.N. Coon3, J.E. van Eys4, and R.D. Miles5

The 50-year historical review of soybean meal (SBM ) published in Feedstuffs in 1970 by Dr. J.W. Hayward highlighted many of the pertinent advancements concerned with animal nutrition, product development and promotional aspects of U.S. SBM.  In fact, 1920 marked not only the beginning of the industrial production of soybean oil and SBM in the U.S., but also the year that the American Soybean Assn. was founded (Hymowitz, 1990). The use of SBM at the time this 50-year review was published was gradually increasing worldwide, but it was still in its infancy in many respects.

In the 1920s and 1930s, SBM was unknown to many companies and nutritionists and it was not used extensively in animal feeds.  In fact, six U.S. states were not using SBM in feed formulas for poultry.  Hayward pointed out in his review how the use of SBM in broiler diets had increased from little or none used in 1930 to 2.5 million tons in 1970. To promote its use in animal nutrition, Hayward and a special committee in 1938 decided to visit nutritionists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Md., and several universities and spread the word about SBM.  Since that time there has not been any other feed ingredient that has been studied more than SBM.  Thousands of scientific articles are credited with increasing our knowledge about this valuable feed ingredient and spreading this knowledge worldwide.

A lot of information about SBM had been acquired during the first 50 years from research conducted in industry as well as in universities in many parts of the world, especially in the U.S.  Even though a lot had been learned, much more about the soybeans and its meals still needed to be investigated to keep this source of high-quality plant protein at the forefront and moving forward in both human and animal nutrition.  At about the time Hayward published his review there were three areas that began to clearly emerge as being important for proper utilization of SBM when animal feeding is the objective.  Today, these three areas of research still dominate most of the worldwide research concerns with SBM.  These three areas are (1) amino acid digestibility (2) anti-nutritional factors (ANF) and (3) metabolizable and net energy (ME and NE, respectively).  Considering SBM in the worldwide arena, these three factors are precisely what makes SBM so attractive. Compared to other protein sources, SBM has consistently been shown to contain less nutrient variability and lower concentrations of anti-nutritional factors, and higher amino acid digestibility and metabolizable energy. Even though it is common knowledge today that these three areas must be considered in determining the success of SBM in animal feeding, Hayward's review mentioned only energy because of the work that had been conducted at Cornell University with metabolizable energy for poultry in the early 1960s, which included SBM and other soy products.

The objective of this review is to follow Hayward's steps and to briefly summarize the main nutritional highlights of the last 50 years of SBM as an animal feed ingredient and the implications of its utilization. Certainly, this is a limited review but hopefully we encourage other colleagues particularly in the areas of processing, engineering and marketing to tell us the story.

Production of soybeans and SBM worldwide

Although soybeans were introduced in the U.S as early as 1766 (Hymowitz, 1990), it was in the early 20th century, that their production - and that of its main by-product soybean meal - has increased steadily (Fig. 1). Recent levels of production for soybeans and SBM are provided in Table 1. These values, set against a world-wide production of approximately 1.1 x 109 MT of compound feed (Alltech, 2019), emphasize the key role of SBM in modern compound feed production.

The consistent increase in SBM production and utilization reflect on one hand the parallel increase with livestock production (most notably poultry and swine) and on the other hand, the superior nutritional value (price: quality relationship) for SBM relative to other protein sources.

Figure 1. World-wide and US soybean production.

soybean mealt (2).jpg

Source: Schaub, J., et al., 1988 - The U.S. Soybean Industry, Commodity Economics; Division, Economic Research Service, USDA. Agricultural; Economic Report No. 588. ASA – The American Soybean Association. 2019. 2019 Soystats; a reference guide to soybean facts and figures.  USDA- National Agricultural Statistics  Service, 2019; https://www.nass.usda.gov/Data_and_Statistics/index.php

Table 1. Production of soybeans and SBM world-wide; MMT.

Soybean meal table (2).jpg

Amino acid digestibility: poultry

The beginning of a quantitative systematic approach to animal nutrition is the landmark work of Henneberg and Stohman in 1860 in which they delivered for the first time proximate analysis. The next logical step was the measurement of the digestibility of the components of the proximate analysis of the feed which  started around year 1900 when Wilbur Atwater working at the Connecticut Experiment Station published equations and procedures for determining digestible and metabolizable energy in feed ingredients (Carpenter, 1994). As Ewing (1963) said, the analyses of feeds are of great importance, but still the digestibility of the feed by the animal is of greater importance for practical purposes. In fact, by 1938 Crampton and Maynard had already developed their method for cellulose digestibility and had also found that the Weende´s concepts of crude fiber and N-free extract didn't fit very well for ruminants. However, by 1970 when Hayward published his paper on SBM no mention of digestibility accomplishments was made in his section listing 12 "nutritional highlights".  At least one of the reasons for that is because the generation of digestibility coefficients in experiments with different animal species is time consuming and expensive. It is only in the last 50 years that a considerable amount of digestibility data have been produced, specifically for SBM. Sibbald proposed first his true metabolizable energy assay for poultry feedingstuffs in 1976, and later (1979) this author proposed the extension of the concept to determine what today most people in the industry call digestible amino acids. Parsons et al. (1981) further standardized the procedure working with dehulled SBM. The current standardized procedure also known as the precision-fed rooster assay (Corray et al., 2018) is performed with conventional roosters for the determination of TMEn, and with cecectomized roosters for standardized amino acid digestibility. Similar work was conducted at other laboratories such as Rhône-Poulenc Animal Nutrition (1993) in France. Because the basics of the Sibbald methodology are assay brevity, linearity of input/output, and additivity of values with a collateral of being less expensive, this methodology is partially responsible for the literally hundreds of coefficients of digestibility of amino acids published and available today for SBM and for most of the relevant raw materials for poultry nutrition.

Over the past 50-60 years SBM has become the reference ingredient for feed evaluation, notably protein ingredients. However, to maximize nutritional value SBM − more than any other ingredient − relies on accurate heat processing, avoiding under and overprocessing.  Overprocessing results in decreased digestibility for lysine, arginine, and cysteine (Parsons, 2000).  Amino acid digestibility determination on samples of representative lots of industrially over-processed SBM is key for the understanding and formulation of SBM within the concept of precision nutrition (Sifri, 1997). Parsons et al. (1992) working with a laboratory model of overprocessing (autoclaving) demonstrated the negative effect autoclaving had on analyzed lysine concentrations suggesting that substantial quantities of advanced Maillard reaction products are formed during overprocessing at the expense of intact amino acids. Presumably, a similar damage occurs under industrial SBM overprocessing during the solvent-extraction process judging by the performance results reported by Lee at al. (1991) with turkeys fed SBM custom over-processed at a commercial oilseed processing plant in North Carolina.

Directly associated with overprocessing of SBM was the work by Araba and Dale (1990) demonstrating that an in vitro technique, the solubility of SBM protein in KOH was correlated with in vivo performance of poultry enabling nutritionists and formulators in the industry anticipation to deal with the variability of commercial SBM quality. These observations which were corroborated by independent laboratories (Parsons et al., 1991; Lee et al., 1991) closed the cycle for the quantitative assessment of SBM quality: On one hand, trypsin inhibitors, as discussed elsewhere in this paper correlates with underprocessing, on the other hand, protein solubility in KOH correlates with overprocessing. Certainly, the industry has come a long way, particularly the US soy processing industry, in terms of understanding protein quality. According to Hayward (1975), in the 1950 report by the Soybean Research Council on a survey in which a total of 53 samples (28 expeller SBMs and 25 solvent extracted) were evaluated from 40 participating brands, 87% of the expeller meals and 28% of the solvent extracted were overprocessed.  In contrast, Sotak-Peper and co-workers (2015) demonstrated that of 22 samples of SBM collected from United States processors, none were underprocessed and none were overprocessed.

Heat-labile antinutritional factors

Although Osborne and Mendel (1917) discovered that heat treatment was necessary to improve the nutritional value of soybeans to be used as food, the exact reason behind that need  was not obvious. In fact, it was not until 1945 that Kunitz crystallized for the first time a trypsin inhibitor from soybeans (Kunitz trypsin inhibitor). A second protease inhibitor also present in soybeans was partially crystallized by Bowman in 1944, and better defined in 1961 by Birk, therefore the Bowman-Birk inhibitor was solidly established in 1961. Each of these protease inhibitors displays  a number of electrophoretic  forms or variants (Hwang et al., 1977; Kim et al., 1985). Therefore, today the term "trypsin inhibitors" in soybeans includes several variants of Kunitz and Bowman-Birk inhibitors with antitrypsin and anti-chymotrypsin activity. However, because the mechanism of  the inhibition was not clearly understood by the 1950's,  the actual role of the inhibitors in retarding of growth of poultry and swine was still debated. For instance, Borchers (1958) agreed with Liener (1958) that there was good evidence that the growth-retarding  effect of raw SBM on rats and mice was not due to anti-tryptic activity. Rather, they thought it was lower amino acid digestibility, particularly methionine in raw soybeans due to a specific interference with the enzymatic release of methionine. But Almquist and Merritt (1953) had a different interpretation of the experimental data and concluded that trypsin inhibitors were indeed responsible, not only for a methionine deficiency caused by feeding 20% raw SBM to chicks, but also for the accentuated deficiency of  tryptophan in the case of a chick diet marginal in this amino acid. These authors reported similar observations for lysine, arginine, and isoleucine. It is currently accepted that pancreatic secretion is controlled by a negative feedback mechanism by which the secretory activity of the pancreas is regulated by the level of trypsin in the small intestine (Green and Lyman, 1972). Consequently, as the level of trypsin in the duodenum is reduced due to formation of the trypsin inhibitor − trypsin complex, the pancreas is stimulated to produce more enzyme in order to compensate for the loss.  This trypsin inhibitor − trypsin complex is the reason for the growth depression induced by the trypsin inhibitor because trypsin cannot effectively hydrolyze dietary protein, resulting in a N exogenous loss, and also in an endogenous loss of amino acids because trypsin is lost in the excreta (Schulze, 1994; Grala et al., 1998; Liener, 2000). In chickens, mice and rats, excess trypsin inhibitor intake results in the pancreas producing  more trypsin, which in turn leads to pancreatic hypertrophy (Chernick et al., 1948; Miles and Featherston, 1976; Yanatori and Fujita, 1976). However, this is not always the case in swine (Schulze, 1994) although high trypsin inhibitor concentrations results in dramatically reduced amino acid digestibility in pigs (Yen et al., 1974; Schulze, 1994; Goebel and Stein, 2011a).

 Lectins (previously called hemagglutinins) are the second most abundant heat-labile anti-nutritional factors in soybeans (Liener, 2000). The soybean lectin was first reported by Liener in 1953. The discovery of lectin-free cultivars of soybeans (Pull et al., 1978) along with a similar discovery of a variant free of the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor (Bernard and Hymowitz, 1986), provided a unique opportunity to compare the relative contribution of these two anti-nutritional factors against conventional raw soybeans (Douglas et al., 1999).  Chicks fed  a diet containing raw Kunitz-free soybeans had better growth than those fed a diet containing raw lectin-free soybeans when both were compared with conventional raw soybeans. These results indicate that the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor is a more important anti-nutritional factor than are the lectins (Liener, 2000). If the ever-present Bowman-Birk inhibitor is also taken into account, then it is clear that trypsin inhibitors are the most relevant of the heat-labile anti-nutritional factors in soybeans.

Since the 1990s the poultry industry (particularly outside the United States) has faced a syndrome called the "rapid feed passage syndrome" which is correlated with residual trypsin inhibitor content of specific lots of commercial SBM (Ruiz and Belalcázar, 2005). Rapid feed passage ("transito rapido" in both Spanish and Portuguese)  is defined as the condition in which broiler droppings lose their normal shape and consistency, do not display the characteristic white uric acid cover, contain undigested feed that is visible to the naked eye, usually have a yellowish-orange color, are frequently watery and contain reddish sloughed intestinal tissue. Broilers in a flock experiencing a rapid feed passage outbreak have dirty feathers, lack body weight uniformity and display poor pigmentation. As a consequence, the litter becomes wet and slippery, foot pad lesions often develop, feed conversion is negatively affected, body weights are lower than the desired standard and considerable economic losses may be realized (Ruiz and Belalcázar, 2005; Ruiz 2012a).

This brings a new discussion into the role of residual anti-nutritional factors in SBM, specifically trypsin inhibitors. Because the important question is what is the maximum residual heat-labile anti-nutritional factors in commercial SBM (and other soy products such as full-fat soybeans) that is tolerable to animals. Historically, the issue of "adequacy" was settled at the end of the 1940s with the measurement of an indirect analyte, urease activity (Caskey and Knapp, 1944; Bird et al, 1947) with the range of adequacy established between 0.05-0.20 pH units or delta pH. A urease value above 0.20 indicated SBM was underprocessed (insufficient heat treatment) although an acceptable delta pH value of 0.30 was also suggested (Hayward, 1975). In contrast, a delta pH value below 0.05 indicated that SBM was likely overcooked. Despite the fact that a high correlation exists between trypsin inhibitors and urease activity in solvent-extracted SBM (Mustakas et al., 1981; Ruiz, 2012b) the actual measurement of residual trypsin inhibitors in the industry does not often occur. In other words, urease activity became "the test". An absolute, when in reality it was just an indirect measurement of heat-labile antinutritional factors, specifically for trypsin inhibitors. Because rapid feed passage outbreaks may occur in broiler chickens in different geographies with feeds containing 25-30% SBM whose urease activity is well within the range of "adequacy", it becomes imperative to reinterpret the range of adequacy and to connect it to actual measurements of trypsin inhibitors in SBM. Ruiz (2012b) has suggested a new range of adequacy for urease activity of 0.000 - 0.050 delta pH which correlates with approximately 1.65 - 2.35 mg of trypsin inhibitors per gram (3.0-4.0 TIU/mg) of SBM. 

Alcohol-extracted soybean meal and nutritional implications of oligosaccharides in poultry

Soybean meal, just as any other natural feed ingredient, serves only as a “vehicle” responsible for carrying nutrients and energy into an animal’s diet.  Since energy and protein are the two most costly components of an animal’s diet, respectively, it is easy to understand why the three previously mentioned areas of research with SBM have been investigated intensively through the years and continue to be the focus of researchers. The chemical composition of SBM, especially the carbohydrate composition, anti-nutritive factors and protein/amino acids are known to be influenced by several factors such as geographical origin, genotype, soybean processing and the environmental and agronomic conditions under which the soybeans are grown (Parsons et al., 2000; Grieshop and Fahey, 2001; Grieshop et al., 2003; Karr-Lilienthal et al. 2005; Goldflus et al., 2006; Thakur and Hurburgh, 2007; Frikha et al., 2012).  Excellent discussions of the anti-nutritional and toxic factors present in soybean products can be found in the publications of Liener and Kakade (1969), Liener (1981, 1994), Balloun (1980), Wright (1981), Hsiao et al. (2006), Choct et al. (2010), and Dourado et al., (2011).

Comprehensive reviews by Kar-Lilienthal et al. (2005), Choct et al. (2010) and Choct (2015) provide a detailed discussion of the composition and chemical structures of the anti-nutritional carbohydrates.  Despite the nutritional knowledge gained since the 50-year review of the use of SBM in animal feeding was published (Hayward, 1970) the carbohydrate composition remains the least understood constituent in SBM (Choct et al., 2010) and continued research in this area is needed. As referenced by Choct et al., (2010), following solvent extraction from the soybean, the meal contains approximately 48% crude protein, 35-40% carbohydrates, 10-12% water, 5-6% minerals and 1-1.5% lipids.  Of the 35-40% carbohydrates present, the majority consists of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) and free sugars such as the mono-, di-and oligosaccharides with starch present at less than 1% (Choct, 1997; Cervantes-Pahm and Stein, 2010).    

The soluble NSP and the oligosaccharides (mostly raffinose and stachyose) have been studied extensively because they contribute to the gross energy component of SBM but cannot be utilized directly as a source of calories by monogastric animals. Because there is no endogenous enzyme (alpha-galactosidase) that can hydrolyze the glycosidic bonds between the monosaccharides in oligosaccharides and NSP they remain in the digesta entering the hind gut where they may eventually be fermented by the microbes.  As pointed out by Barzegar et al., (2019), a major reason SBM has a lower apparent metabolizable energy content in poultry than corn and wheat is due to the presence of poorly digested NSPs and the oligosaccharides.  The metabolizable energy value of SBM is listed as being higher for swine (NRC, 1979, 1998, 2012) than for poultry (NRC, 1984, 1994) (McGinnis, 1983; Perryman and Dozier, 2012).  Coon et al. (1988, 1990) presented an explanation of why the metabolizable energy of dehulled solvent extracted 48.5% protein SBM was 1,045 Kcal/Kg higher for swine than poultry.  Due to the anatomical differences in the lower digestive tract, species differences exist in the physiology of digestion with swine having more capacity and a better opportunity due to a longer digesta transit time (Choct et al., 2010) to ferment the NSPs and oligosaccharides in SBM.

The SBM oligosaccharides have been extensively studied with regards to their nutritional implications and have been reported to promote positive as well as negative effects (Chow, 2002; Karr-Lilienthal et al., 2005; Jankowski, et al., 2009;  Choct et al., 2010; Faber et al., 2012).  Positive effects have been related to promoting and maintaining populations of beneficial bacteria by serving as a prebiotic.  It is these bacteria and their products of fermentation that are related to promoting intestinal development, proper gut and immune function and a healthy digestive tract overall.  As mentioned by Choct et al., (2010), it must not be forgotten that elevated levels of oligosaccharides in poultry diets have been reported to increase fluid retention, hydrogen production, and diarrhea leading to impaired nutrient utilization, wet droppings and leg disorders.  Also, the overall effect of oligosaccharides is related to the sources, type and dietary concentrations.

During the heat processing of SBM only the heat labile anti-nutritional components are inactivated.  Therefore, SBM contains soy antigens, phytate, small amounts of insoluble fiber, soluble NSPs and the oligosaccharides (Liener, 2000; Choct et al., 2010).  This limits the use of SBM in diets of young poultry and swine as discussed in detail by Stein et al., (2008) and Nahashon and Kilonzo-Nthenge (2011). Improving the utilization of phytate phosphorus in SBM by addition of supplemental phytase to the diet has been studied extensively in poultry as discussed in the publication of Denbow et al., (1995). Since the oligosaccharides are not able to be enzymatically attacked in poultry and swine due to the lack of an endogenous alpha-galactosidase their presence results in a dilution effect and minimizes the amount of metabolizable energy able to be derived from the meal.  Therefore, removal of the oligosaccharides would result in a higher protein SBM product that would also have a higher metabolizable energy value.

Today, oligosaccharide removal is common practice with alcohol (ethanol) extraction thanks to the initial research conducted by Dr. Craig Coon and his research team at the University of Minnesota and first reported at a Symposium for Alternative Crops & Products at the University of Minnesota in February 1988 (Coon et al., 1988) and again at the Poultry Science Association meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA) that same year.  Following publication of this research (Coon et al., 1990) a series of other publications by these investigators arising from research conducted with oligosaccharide-free SBM revealed more about the effect of alcohol extraction on poultry performance (Leske et al., 1991; Leske et al., 1993ab; Leske et al., 1995; Leske and Coon, 1999ab). The research discussed by the Minnesota group in these publications provided some of the earliest data indicating that 1) the removal of oligosaccharides from SBM by alcohol extraction slows down the rate of digesta passage allowing more time for digestion resulting in an improvement in hemicellulose digestion and the digestibility of nutrients, 2) the oligosaccharides are not utilized in the area of the small intestine but are utilized extensively in the area posterior to the ileum, 3) the addition of pure oligosaccharides, originally removed from conventional SBM, back to alcohol extracted SBM (oligosaccharide-free) resulted in TMEn and PER values being reduced back to that of the conventional SBM, 4) the amino acid availability of the oligosaccharide-free SBM is improved by 3 percentage points over conventional SBM and is a plausible reason explaining the higher PER value and 5) a dose response gradient for effects of raffinose and stachyose on TMEn provided evidence that stachyose with its 2 galactose units is more detrimental than raffinose which contains only one galactose unit and if substantial improvement in nutrient utilization is to be expected, at least 80 to 90% of the oligosaccharides should be removed from conventional SBM.        

 Alcohol extraction of conventional SBM results in a product referred to as soy protein concentrate which contains at least 65% crude protein (DM basis), but still contains substantial amounts of insoluble fiber. Through further processing, the insoluble fiber portion can be removed resulting in a product known as soy protein isolate containing at least 90% crude protein on a dry matter basis.  Soy protein concentrate and isolate have been fed to swine and poultry with good results (Cervantes-Pahm and Stein, 2008; Oliveira and Stein, 2016; Batal and Parsons, 2003), but soy protein isolate is usually too expensive to be used in practical production of pigs and poultry. In contrast, there are a number of soy protein concentrates on the market and many of these are included in diets fed to young pigs. Other means of removing the nutrient and metabolizable energy diluting factors in SBM are through enzymatic treatment using a blend of enzymes in order to decrease the concentrations of oligosaccharides and allergenic proteins (Stein et al., 2013).  Producing a fermented SBM by treating conventional SBM with a mold (e.g. Aspergillus oryzae) or bacteria (e.g. lactobacillus, Bacillus, etc.) is also another effective method of eliminating the oligosaccharides and antigens (Cervantes-Pahm and Stein, 2010). Later in this review these methods of SBM treatment will be discussed in more detail as related to swine. As pointed out by Waldroup and Smith (2018), plant breeders have made exceptional progress on improving yield and better disease resistance in soybeans and in the future more focus will be on improving the nutritive value of soybeans.  Since these authors stated it is unlikely that the soybean processing industry in the decades ahead will make extreme changes in its processing procedures, breeding programs focused on lowering the oligosaccharide concentrations in soybeans will be the most desirable route.  Of course, in the future, the use by the animal industry of these lower anti-nutritional, higher protein, higher metabolizable energy products derived from conventional SBM will depend on their composition, availability and cost.

How research during the last 50 years has increased our understanding of the nutritional value of SBM fed to pigs

Research with SBM fed to pigs over the last 50 years has primarily focused on the following areas: (1) Measurements of the ileal digestibility of amino acids in SBM. (2) Determination of the energy value of SBM. (3) Determination of the digestible phosphorus value of SBM. (4) Growth performance of pigs fed diets based on SBM, and (5) Developments of soy products that may be fed to young pigs. An understanding of these areas has not only benefited the swine industry, it has also assisted in an understanding of the feeding of SBM to other animals.

Amino acid digestibility

Procedures to determine the ileal digestibility of amino acids (AA) in pigs were developed in the early 1970’s (Easter and Tanksley, 1973; Furuya et al., 1974). During the following decades several procedures were used, but by the turn of the century, most laboratories in the world used the so-called “T-cannula” procedure, or modifications to this procedure, that was first described by Furyua et al. (1974). The procedure can be used in weanling pigs, in growing-finishing pigs, and in sows and values for the apparent ileal digestibility of AA were published for a number of feed ingredients including SBM. However, in the 1990’s it became clear that values for apparent ileal digestibility obtained in individual feed ingredients were not always additive in mixed diets and the concept of calculating standardized ileal digestibility (SID) was introduced (Stein et al., 2001; 2005). Subsequently, SID values for AA in SB products have been published from a large number of experiments and it has generally been demonstrated that SID of AA in SBM is greater than in most other plant proteins (Gonzalez-Vega and Stein, 2012; Berrocoso et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2016). It was also demonstrated that the SID of some AA in SBM from the United States is greater than in SBM produced from soybeans grown in some other countries (Lagos and Stein, 2017). However the SID of AA in SBM produced in different areas of the United States does not differ (Sotak-Peper et al., 2017), which may be a result of the fact that the soybean crushing industry in the United States usually does a good job of avoiding under-processing and over-processing of the meals.

Thus, the major achievements during the last 50 years in terms of understanding the AA value of SBM was the development of a procedure to determine ileal digestibility of individual AA, understanding of the concept of using SID AA in diet formulation, and realization that the SID of AA in SBM is greater than the SID of AA in most other plant proteins. Combined, these developments have led to SBM being the gold standard in terms of providing AA in diets used in the global feed industry.

Energy value of SBM

The energy value of SBM can be expressed as the concentration of digestible energy (DE), metabolizable energy (ME), or the net energy (NE). Values for DE and ME are determined as described by Atwater more than 100 years ago (Carpenter, 1994). That means that DE values are determined by subtracting fecal energy from gross energy, and ME values are determined by subtracting energy in both feces and urine from gross energy. Values for DE and ME in many different sources of SBM have been published in recent years (Li et al., 2015; Sotak-Peper et al., 2015; Oliveira and Stein, 2016). Whereas it was thought for many years that DE and ME in SBM was less than in corn, it is now well established that values for DE and ME in dehulled toasted SBM are not different from values in corn (Sotak-Peper et al., 2015).

However, it has been known for more than a century that the heat increment associated with digestion and fermentation of diets differ among feed ingredients and values for NE are therefore often used in diet formulation. In the 1970s and 1980s, systems based on NE values for feed ingredients fed to pigs were developed in several European countries, and a classical paper to determine NE values in diets fed to pigs was published in 1994 (Noblet et al., 1994). Most NE values in the industry have been calculated based on the prediction equations published in this paper. These equations add a large negative value on crude protein in ingredients because it is assumed that crude protein provides a limited energy value to the animal. The NE of SBM calculated using this system is, therefore, only 78% of the NE in corn. However, recent research has questioned this approach and newer data indicate that the NE of SBM may be close to the value in corn (Cemin et al., 2019; Munoz, 2019). Because energy is the economically most important component in the diet, this topic is very important and more research in this area will be required in order to determine the exact NE value of SBM.

Determination of the digestible phosphorus value of SBM

The importance of determining P-digestibility in feed ingredients was recognized in the 1980’es and systems for determining apparent total tract digestibility of P were developed (Jongbloed, 1987; Kemme et al., 1997). However, it was later realized that to obtain digestibility values that are additive in mixed diets, a correction for the endogenous losses of P is required and a system based on the standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of P was introduced (Almeida and Stein, 2010). This system is now recommended and used in North America (NRC, 2012), Brazil, (Rostagno et al., 2011), and several countries in Asia. Values for the STTD of P in most feed ingredients used in diets for pigs have been published in the last decade. Most P in SBM is bound in phytate as is the case for most other feed ingredients of plant origin and only around one third of P in SBM is not bound to phytate (Rojas and Stein, 2012; Sotak-Peper et al., 2016). It has been believed that because pigs do not secrete endogenous phytase, the phytate bound P cannot be digested. However, it is now recognized that pigs do digest a small part of the phytate bound P and STTD values for P in SBM between 40 and 60% have been reported (Rodriguez et al., 2013; Sotak-Peper et al., 2016; She et al., 2017). However, because of the phytate bound P in SBM, the STTD can be increased if microbial phytase is added to the diets, and STTD values in SBM in diets containing microbial phytase is often between 70 and 80% (Sotak-Peper et al., 2016).

Growth performance of pigs fed diets based on SBM

Diets that are balanced in all indispensable AA are easily formulated based on cereal grains and SBM. However, alternative protein sources such as canola meal, distillers dried grains with solubles, field peas, or rice bran may also be used to supply the needed AA in the diets. A large number of experiments have been conducted specifically in the last two decades to determine growth performance of pigs fed diets containing alternative proteins rather than SBM. The standard for assessment of alternative proteins, therefore, often is that the protein needs to support the same growth performance as diets based on SBM. So again, SBM clearly is considered the gold standard for AA supply in diets for pigs. However, whereas there have been reports of other protein sources being able to partially or fully replace SBM without negatively impacting growth performance of growing-finishing pigs (Stein et al., 2006; Widmer et al., 2008; Little et al., 2015; Parr et al., 2015; Overholt et al., 2016; Casas et al., 2018), there are no other protein sources that have been proven to be better than SBM. The reasons for these observations are related to the excellent AA balance and digestibility in SBM, but the success of SBM as a source of AA in diets for pigs likely is also a result of the low fiber concentration and the general lack of variability among sources of SBM.

Developments of soy products that may be fed to young pigs

It has been long recognized that young pigs generally do not tolerate large quantities of SBM in their diets, which may be a result of the oligosaccharides in SBM as well as other anti-nutritional factors. However, during the last three to four decades, a number of specialized soybean products have been developed and common for these products is that they have very low concentrations of oligosaccharides. As mentioned earlier, oligosaccharides may be removed via alcohol extraction, which also removes other soluble carbohydrates, and results in production of soy protein concentrate (Lusas and Rhee, 1995; Endres, 2001). In the United States, a product can only be sold as soy protein concentrate if it contains 65% crude protein on a DM basis. There are a number of soy protein concentrates on the market, and in general, the SID of AA, the DE and ME, and the STTD of P is either similar to SBM or greater (Cervantes-Pahm and Stein, 2008; Navarro et al., 2017; Oliveira and Stein, 2016; Casas et al., 2017). A different way of removing oligosaccharides from SBM is to ferment or enzyme treat the meals after SBM has been produced. These technologies are widely used and a number of commercial products are currently being marketed throughout the world. Enzyme treated or fermented soybean products contain no oligosaccharides, and all sucrose is also removed, and the concentration of trypsin inhibitors is sometimes also reduced. The digestibility of AA and energy in enzyme treated or fermented SBM is usually close to that in regular soybean meal, although ME values are sometimes slightly reduced due to the elimination of sucrose (Rojas and Stein, 2013). However, because much of the phytate bound P is released during fermentation or enzyme treatment, the digestibility of P is greater in fermented or enzyme treated SBM than in conventional SBM (Goebel and Stein, 2011b; Rojas and Stein, 2013).

The main objective of developing soy protein concentrate or fermented or enzyme treated SBM is to use these products as replacements for animal proteins, that are typically added to diets for young pigs. Indeed, in a number of experiments, it has been demonstrated that these added value soy products may replace animal proteins in weanling pig diets without negatively impacting growth performance (Kim et al., 2010; Jones et al., 2010; Rojas and Stein, 2015; Casas et al., 2017). It is therefore likely that more work will be  conducted in this area in the future.

The role of soybean meal in ruminant nutrition.

The inclusion of SBM in ruminant diets is lower than that in monogastric diets. Of the total US SBM usage approximately 9.0 % is used in dairy diets and a much smaller proportions in beef (0.8 %) and small ruminant diets (0.1 %) (DIS, 2018).  At 2018/2019 soybean production levels and dairy cow numbers (USDA, 2019), this suggest an average use of around 650 kg SBM/cow/yr or approximately 8.0 % of the dairy ration in the US. In countries that do not produce soybeans, the SBM inclusion level is lower due to a more important use of other protein sources such as sunflower, rapeseed (Canola) among others. Nevertheless, under many practical and research situations, SBM – used as either an ingredient or supplement - is considered “the reference” for protein ingredients. This position has been gradually achieved in the first part of the 20th century (covered by Hayward’s review) and solidly confirmed over the past 50 years. SBM palatability, energy content, amino acid profile and rumen-degradation characteristics make it an excellent, competitive and widely available protein source for ruminants.

SBM, originally referred to as soybean cakes, was used for the fattening of cattle in China well before the 20th century (Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 2016). The first literature references to SBM as a protein source in ruminant diets in Western countries dates back to the early 1900s with a series of reports by Lindsey (1904); Lindsey et al. (1909) from the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station. In the first studies Lindsey (1904) evaluated soybean meal (originally defined as “ground soybean seeds”) in digestibility trials with sheep. This was followed by several other studies terminating with a study evaluating the effect of “soybean cake” and soy bean oil on milk quality. Interest in Europe paralleled these developments and shortly after Lindsey’s work in dairy cows, Hansson (1910) – referring to a 1909 Swedish study – reported in a German publication on the value of soybean cake or soybean meal for “milch cows”.  These first nutritional evaluations of soy products in ruminant diets follow the importation and spread of soybean in the United States and Western European countries from China. 

The original use of SBM in ruminant rations was primarily as a top-feed or supplement to forage rations (grazed or stall-fed) in which SBM was generally mixed with grains. The level of SBM feeding was originally based on fixed ratios between SBM and grain (1:4) providing a roughly balanced concentrate (20 % crude protein) supplement to forage diets. The ensuing recognition of the benefit of more balanced - and thus formulated - diets led to additional research of the nutritional composition of SBM for dairy and beef animals.  Interest and subsequent research went crescendo after the early “rudimentary” evaluations. The Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) saw publications with “soybean meal” evaluation as the main objective increase steadily.  Since 1910 - the first issues of the JDS - there have been 1277 articles with “Soybean meal” in the Title, the Abstract or among the Keywords. The fist article on SBM in the JDS appeared in 1922 entitled: “Coconut Meal, Gluten Feed, Peanut Meal and Soybean Meal as Protein Supplements for Dairy Cows” (McCandlish and Weaver, 1922) suggested that SBM was approximately of similar value to the other protein ingredients. Subsequent research publications changed that opinion and determined the relative advantageous use of SBM for ruminants.

In the Journal of Animal Science (JAS) a total of 329 research articles on SBM have been published in the Ruminant nutrition section since 1967 (publication of the first article referring to “Soybean meal” or “SBM”).  Nine articles on SBM for ruminants were published in the JAS between 1967 and 1970.  With increasing numbers afterwards (72, 91, 96 and 40, respectively in each subsequent 10-year period).

Nutrient composition of “soybean oil meal” was included in the earliest Dairy and Beef NRC tables (1950 onwards) under the heading of “Concentrate composition”. In the first published tables the emphasis was on mechanical extracted SBM with 41, 43 and 44% crude protein with values provided for digestible crude protein (no Crude Protein) and TDN and only a very limited number of additional nutrient specifications. Subsequent editions of Dairy and Beef NRC tables followed the general processing and production tendency to switch from mechanically extracted SBM to solvent extracted SBM, and expanded on the nutrient description. Table composition of SBM in terms of crude protein and TDN differed considerable (3 – 10 %) between editions reflecting the increase in the database and the composition (as well as changing committee members and their opinions presented in the different editions). Similar evolutions over time can be found in other international tables. In all of these feeding tables and nutritional guidelines for ruminants, references to anti-nutritional factors (ANF) are limited. This is in part due to the relatively low sensitivity of growing and mature ruminants primarily due to the “neutralizing effect” of the rumen on ANF. Only in pre-ruminant calves residual ANF from soy products may exert a negative effect (Lalles et al., 1996).

The changes over time in ruminant nutrient values for SBM in the different feedstuff tables reflects progress in a more precise description of nutrient characteristics of feed ingredients and the requirements of the animal. The TDN system was replaced by the more precise net energy system and Crude Protein by a more detailed description of the protein fraction (down to its non-protein N and amino acid composition) and its fate in the rumen or post-ruminally. The associated system changes that came about at the beginning of the 1990's led to a re-evaluation of the potential of SBM. The more precise and higher nutrient density of SBM, especially in terms of energy and amino acids, relative to other protein ingredients had an undeniable positive effect on the increase in SBM utilization in ruminant diets. The different forms of SBM, notably expeller versus solvent extracted SBM (e.g. Broderick et al., 1990) and rumen protected soy products were re-visited or developed (Santos et al., 1998) and added to the increase in use of SBM.  Practical results confirmed what a large number of research trials had shown namely that expeller or heat treated SBM (or additional types of treatment to improve rumen by-pass protein from SBM) can play a key role in improving animal performance and reducing N-load/excretion associated with normal solvent extracted SBM or alternative ingredients. 

From the early nutrient descriptions and simple formulation packages to the more recent models (empirical or mechanistic) estimating supply of metabolizable AAs, SBM in its many types and specifications has played an important role in establishing rations for dairy and meat animals; especially where high levels of performance are the objective. As such, SBM has contributed greatly to our understanding of nutrient requirements for ruminants, be this dairy cows, beef animals or sheep and goats.  The large data base on SBM composition, rumen- degradation, microbial protein production or digestibility and intermediary metabolism of AA make it an exceptionally well known and suited ingredient for reliable ration formulations and (estimating) essential nutrient supply. These considerations allow for a better prediction of performance on SBM -based diets relative to many other ingredients.

Summary and conclusions

This paper has briefly summarized the major nutritional developments during the last 100 years of SBM as an animal feed ingredient. Also, emphasis was placed on discussing the anti-nutritional factors in SBM and why their removal or inactivation are fundamental to improving animal performance, especially in poultry and swine. Using as a reference and a starting point the paper by Hayward (1970), we have highlighted the last 50 years. SBM is today the number one supplier of digestible amino acids for poultry and swine world-wide. Also, an important supplier of metabolizable and net energy. As Hymowitz (1990) wrote in reference to the success of soybeans as a crop in the U.S. highlighting that it was not an instant success, but rather the result of a long process, a summation of efforts and hard work, the same can be said about the success story of SBM as an animal feed ingredient.

About the authors

1 Nelson Ruiz Nutrition, LLC

   2 Professor, University of Illinois

   3 Professor, University of Arkansas

   4 Global Animal Nutrition Solutions, Inc.

   5 Emeritus Professor, University of Florida



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Livestock & poultry cash market comparisons, 1/22/20

Livestock and meat ($)

Jan. 22

Jan. 15

6 mos. ago

Year ago

Steers, Choice, carcass, 550-700 lb., cwt., Omaha





Steers, Choice, 1,050-1,200 lb., cwt. southern Plains





Feeder steers, 600-700 lb., cwt., Oklahoma City





Lean hogs, carcass, Iowa-Minn. 167-187 lb.(1)





Feeder pigs, 40 lb. national direct delivered(2)





SEW pigs, 10 lb., national direct delivered (per head)





Choice beef, cutout, cwt.





Pork loin, 185 lb. 51-52% lean, cutout, cwt.(3)





Hog corn ratio





Steer corn ratio





Poultry and eggs (cents)





Chickens, Grade A, fresh lb. Chicago





Hen turkeys, Grade A, frozen, lb., Chicago





Young tom turkeys, Grade A. frozen lb. Chicago





Eggs, Grade A, large, doz., Chicago





NA: not available.          A: average.

(1) Replaces live hogs; live hogs are 0.755 of quote.
(2) Replaces Sioux Falls, 50-60 lb. (2/26/07)
(3) National FOB plant, replaces national daily carlot.
Livestock, meat, poultry and egg prices from USDA.

Brassica co-products may support laying hen performance

zlikovec/iStock/Thinkstock Brown eggs on a production facility conveyor belt

Solvent-extracted canola (Brassica napus) meal can be fed as a nutritious and cost-effective dietary supplemental protein source to laying hens, but the inclusion level of canola meal in layer diets is limited by a relatively high fiber content and anti-nutritional factors, according to a paper recently published in Poultry Science by M.A. Oryschak, M.N. Smit and E. Beltranena with Alberta Agriculture & Forestry.

Solvent-extracted meal produced from Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), which is closely related to B. napus, has greater energy value and protein content and lower fiber content compared to canola but greater total glucosinolate content, the researchers said.

Oryschak et al. reported that there has been an increase in the last few years in the amount of farm-scale canola crushing in western Canada, which serves as an alternative marketing stream for suboptimal-quality oilseed. The resulting oilseed cake, which typically ranges from 10% to 15% remaining oil, is then marketed as a higher-energy alternative to solvent-extracted oilseed meals, they said.

Despite increasing availability of these co-products, Oryschak et al. pointed out that there is "comparatively little information to support [feeding these co-products] to laying hens. Further, there is no information available regarding the variation in nutrient content of small-scale crushing plant co-products comparable to the information available for commercially available, solvent-extracted co-products."

Also, the said they were not aware of any previous research comparing the feeding value of B. juncea and B. napus co-products generated by small-scale oil pressing compared with large-scale solvent-extraction for laying hens.

The researchers conducted two experiments to evaluate feeding B. napus or B. juncea co-products to brown-shelled egg-laying hens.

In experiment 1, diets including 20% B. napus or B. juncea extruded-expelled cakes or solvent-extracted meals were compared to a control diet with no brassica co-products and were fed to 120 hens -- four hens per cage and six cages per treatment -- for 36 weeks. In experiment 2, dry matter, gross energy, crude protein (CP) and amino acid retention/digestibility were determined by feeding diets containing 30% B. napus or B. juncea cakes or meals and a basal diet to 240 hens -- eight hens per pair of cages and six cage-pairs per treatment -- for seven days.

Oryschak et al. noted that compared to the meals, the extruded-expelled cakes averaged 40 g/kg lower moisture, 28 g/kg lower CP and 84 g/kg greater fat content.

The researchers reported that in experiment 1, they did not observe any effect of diet on lay percentage or bodyweight throughout the experiment. Feed consumption was 3.5 g per day lower in layers fed the juncea meal compared with controls, and the egg:feed ratio was reduced by 14 mg of egg per gram of feed in layers fed juncea cake (P < 0.01), Oryschak et al. said.

Although eggs from layers fed napus meal were 0.7 g heavier than controls, eggs from layers fed napus cake, juncea meal or juncea cake were 1.4 g lighter than controls (P < 0.01), Oryschak et al. reported.

Furthermore, the researchers said eggs from layers fed brassica diets contained a greater proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids than controls (P < 0.01), and eggs from layers fed B. juncea had a relatively greater proportion of C18:3 compared with layers fed B. napus (P < 0.01).

Feeding brassica diets reduced digestibility of dry matter, gross energy and CP versus basal diets (P < 0.01), the researchers said, and the digestibilities of indispensable amino acids, except tryptophan, were reduced by feeding brassica diets compared to the basal diet (P < 0.01).

Oryschak et al. concluded that feeding hens B. napus and B. juncea extruded-expelled cakes and solvent-extracted meal at 20% of diets supported acceptable lay performance and egg quality over a 36-week production cycle. Additionally, they said their digestibility data for the indispensable amino acids indicated that the brassica co-products had moderately high (75-85%) apparent ileal digestibility.

Study shows biofuels not to blame for deforestation

United Soybean Board biodiesel plant

Since 1990, the U.S. has ramped up its production of biofuels — to about 16 billion gal. of ethanol and 1.6 billion gal. of biodiesel in 2017. At the same time, production of palm oil has increased nearly six-fold, mainly for food production, and with it has come significant deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia.

That overlap has led some analysts to blame the U.S. for deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, suggesting that the expansion in palm oil production is driven by biofuel production in U.S. However, a Purdue University study found that only a scant fraction of the deforestation in those countries can be pinned on U.S. biofuel production and policy.

“Our analysis shows that less than 1% of the land cleared in Indonesia and Malaysia can be tied to U.S. biofuel production,” said Farzad Taheripour, a research associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue. “The amount is not significant. We’re talking about thousands of hectares amidst the millions that have been cleared for oil palm plantations and production of other commodities in Malaysia and Indonesia.”

Taheripour and the late Wally Tyner, who was the James & Lois Ackerman chair in the Purdue department of agricultural economics, published their results in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels based on analysis from the GTAP-BIO model, a Purdue-led economic model of the global economy available to researchers around the world for quantitative analysis of international economic/environmental/energy issues. The model included a more comprehensive look at demand for all types of vegetable oils and fats affected by U.S. biofuel policies rather than focusing on only soy and palm, as past studies have done.

“Those analyses that limit their modeling framework to only palm and soy oils and ignore other types of vegetable oils and fats provide misleading information and exaggerate about the land use implications of the U.S. biofuels for [Malaysia and Indonesia],” the authors wrote.

As the U.S. uses soybeans and corn to produce biofuels, one could expect that less soy and corn will be available for other uses, including exports. That could generate some land use changes and deforestation across the world, including in Malaysia and Indonesia, which clear natural land to plant palm oil trees and other commodities.

On the contrary, Taheripour said, “we’ve not seen that happen. In the U.S., we have lots of unused land available to farmers who can convert it to corn or soybeans. There has been no need to cut forests here. In addition, crop productivity has increased significantly over time, providing more yield on the same amount of land. Because of those, the expected deforestation or conversion of natural land has not had to largely happen to account for U.S. biofuel production.”

Countries that import U.S. corn and soybeans also benefit from yield increases and use of other types of oils, such as canola, sunflower and cottonseed. It’s more likely that growing populations in countries such as India, China and the rest of Asia are mainly fueling the demand for oil palms grown in Malaysia and Indonesia. The U.S. uses little palm oil for food — just under 2% of the palm oil produced worldwide.

When considering all of those factors, U.S. biofuel production accounted for fewer than 60,000 hectares — or 0.5% — of the more than 11.7 million hectares of natural land cleared in Malaysia and Indonesia between 2000 and 2016.

“Production of biofuels in the U.S. generates some land use effects in Malaysia and Indonesia due to market-mediated responses, in particular through the links between markets for vegetable oils,” the authors wrote. “These effects are minor compared to the magnitude of land use change in Malaysia and Indonesia.”

The U.S. National Biodiesel Board Foundation and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration funded the research.

Inside Washington

Can latest water rule withstand court challenges?

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For the last two decades, uncertainty has plagued court systems over which waters are regulated by the federal government and which aren’t. This included the 2015 "waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule. When an Environmental Protection Agency official was asked whether this latest version could stand up in courts, he responded that he is “very confident it can withstand a legal challenge.”

Yet, the track record so far for the federal government’s handling of the Clean Water Act is what got us to where we are today.

Many in the agriculture industry opposed the 2015 WOTUS rule because it was overly broad and had significant technical flaws, including the process EPA used to develop the rule, which violated basic due process and long-standing procedural protections. It was immediately challenged by several groups, including those in agriculture, and eventually created a patchwork of laws in states that allowed the 2015 rule to go into effect while other states put a stay on the rule.

On Aug. 21, 2019, the U.. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia remanded the rule to EPA to redraft, stating that the 2015 WOTUS rule itself violated the Clean Water Act and that the Obama Administration's procedures for enacting the WOTUS rule were in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

In October 2019, a coalition of environmental groups called on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina to undo the Trump Administration's "arbitrary and unlawful" attempt to erase the Obama-era rule from the books.

Initial statements from the agriculture sector welcomed the new rule and its ability to properly balance federal and state oversight of water features.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. president Jennifer Houston said this is the last regulatory step in a long-fought battle to repeal the 2015 rule and replace it with commonsense regulation. “The 2015 WOTUS rule was an illegal effort to assert control over private property, and we fought to have it repealed, but it also needs to be replaced, and today’s action is the last step in that process,” she said in a statement. “Today, we can rest a little easier knowing that some power has been put back in the hands of landowners.”

"We're pleased EPA has finalized a commonsense rule, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, that works with — not against — farmers to protect our nation's waterways," said National Pork Producers Council president David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. "The previous WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal authority over private lands. Today's action balances the role of federal, state and local authorities, protects property rights and provides clarity for farmers like me while providing regulatory certainty to our farmers and businesses."

Agricultural Retailers Assn. president and chief executive officer Daren Coppock stated: “We are pleased the new rule is realistic, practical, consistent with the Clean Water Act and based on science. The rule it replaces was not realistic or practical, and it overstepped the boundaries of its authorizing statute. Under this rule, our members and their farmer customers will be able to operate with much more certainty, and the waters of the United States will continue to be protected as required by Congress, despite the doomsday predictions of some opponents.”

Expect court challenges to come: The National Wildlife Federation promised a fight before even seeing the final rules.

Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement just ahead of the rule’s release: “Since the Administration refuses to protect our waters, we have no choice but to ask the courts to require the EPA to follow the law. We simply cannot afford to lose protections for half of our remaining wetlands, nor can we take any unnecessary chances with our drinking water.”

The Waterkeeper Alliance called the action "unethical and illegal" and said it "will fight this attack with every tool at our disposal."

Kelly Hunter Foster, Waterkeeper Alliance senior attorney, said the "regulation effectively guts a bipartisan law that has protected the public interest since 1972, and it does so solely to satisfy a few powerful corporate interests. We will all bear the burden of this choice with our health, our money and the destruction of the places we love. That is why we will fight to get this illegal regulation overturned.”

For now, the regulation stands to go into effect in 60 days from publication, and courts will likely have to make quick decisions on requested stays.

This ride isn't over yet.