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NSP enzyme evaluated by corn source

NSP enzyme evaluated by corn source

*John H. Goihl is president of Agri-Nutrition Services Inc., Shakopee, Minn. To expedite answers to questions concerning this article, please direct inquiries to Feedstuffs, Bottom Line of Nutrition, 7900 International Dr., Suite 650, Bloomington, Minn. 55425, or email [email protected]

CEREAL grains are grown in a wide range of moisture conditions, from excess moisture to drought. Grains grown under drought conditions have reduced yields and lower energy density and can affect animal growth performance.

The grains grown under drought conditions generally have fewer and smaller kernels due to reduced endosperm accretion. Kernel number is a major factor influencing yield, whereas kernel size is more likely to influence test weight. Kernel number is determined during pollination.

In drought conditions, embryos are formed during pollination but then are aborted after pollination, which results in a reduced kernel number and, subsequently, reduced crop yield. Kernel development in drought conditions results in reduced kernel weight and reduced endosperm production, which can alter the endosperm:pericarp ratio.

Since the pericarp portion of cereal grains contains high amounts of fiber, the ratio change may change the nutrient composition of the kernels, resulting in higher-fiber components such as non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs).

In order to increase the feeding value of drought cereal grains with reduced endosperm and more NSPs, carbohydrase enzymes may be useful to increase the nutrient availability of carbohydrates bound in the NSP fractions. Past research on the effectiveness of carbohydrase enzymes in corn-based swine diets has been inconsistent.

Swine researchers C.K. Jones, L.L. Frantz and A.C. Bingham at Kansas State University, J.R. Bergstrom of DSM Nutritional Products and J.F. Patience at Iowa State University conducted a study to determine the effects of using drought-affected corn in nursery diets with or without supplementation of commercial carbohydrases on growth performance and nutrient digestibility.

Thirty-four corn samples were collected and analyzed to select the two sources representing "normal" and "drought" corn. Table 1 summarizes various characteristics representative of the two corn sources, which were grown in southwestern Iowa.

The corn was ground in a hammermill to a common particle size and was used to manufacture phase II and III nursery diets. All pigs were fed a phase I diet during the acclimation period of 10 days postweaning.

Within each phase, all diets were manufactured from the same formulations that contained 1.25% (phase II) and 1.20% (phase III) standardized ileal digestible lysine and 3,410 kcal/lb. of metabolizable energy.

The phase II diet contained 54.7% corn plus 27.15% soybean meal, and the phase III diet contained 63.84% corn and 30.40% soybean meal. Each corn source was given equal nutritive value, and the enzymes were included in place of corn.

The study had eight dietary treatments (Table 2).

The 360 barrows used in this study weighed 5.85 kg at 21 days of age. The study ran for 25 days. The pigs were allotted five pigs per pen and nine pens per treatment. Pigs had unlimited access to feed and water through a four-hole dry self-feeder and cup waterer.

The phase II diet was fed for days 10-25, and the phase III diet was fed for days 25-35 postweaning. Pigs and feed were weighed on days 10, 25 and 35.

Feed samples were collected on days 15 and 30, and fecal samples were collected on day 30 for analysis.

Table 3 summarizes the nursery pig growth performance and nutrient (apparent total tract digestibility [ATTD]) digestibility.

The researchers provided the following interpretations of the results from this study:

* The xylan concentration was numerically greater in the diets containing drought corn.

* The carbohydrate analyses of the normal and drought corn were similar.

* The similarities in nutrient composition between the two corn types suggest that water stress occurred before or during silking, thus affecting yield but not necessarily kernel development.

* The water stress during kernel development may have been insufficient to interfere with endosperm accretion or to affect the endosperm:pericarp ratio.

* Corn type (normal versus drought) did not affect any of the growth performance criteria measured or ATTD.

* Pigs fed normal corn diets had greater ATTD of crude fiber than pigs fed drought corn diets, which may be attributed to a greater xylan concentration in the drought corn.

* Enzyme inclusion did not significantly reflect final growth performance criteria or ATTD — except for ash — compared to no enzyme inclusion.

The efficacy of the current generation of carbohydrase enzymes appears to depend on the amount of available substrates for the enzymes to break down. Fiber substrate composition and concentration play a role in carbohydrase enzyme efficacy.


The Bottom Line

In this study, the nutrient composition of the normal and drought corn sources were similar, as was the resultant pig growth performance. The NSP substrates were similar across treatments, except for xylanase, and the inclusion of enzymes showed little benefit in growth performance in this nursery study.



J. Anim. Sci. Vol. 93, No. 3.


1. Representative characteristics of two corn sources selected for study




Actual rainfall, cm



Percent of normal rainfall, cm



Yield, ton/hectare



Test weight, kg/cu. m



Corn moisture, %



Crude protein, %



Crude fat, %



Crude fiber, %



Starch, %



Xylan, %



Beta-glucan, %



Lignin, %




2. Summary of dietary treatments



-Enzyme, mg/kg*-





























*Enzyme A contained 70 units of beta-glucanase, 80 units of cellulase and 270 units of xylanase per kilogram of complete feed. Enzyme B contained 50 units of fungal beta-glucanase, 15,000 units of hemicellulase and 3,000 units of pectinase per gram of complete feed.


3. Nursery pig growth performance and nutrient digestibility


-Treatment (corn type)-

-Treatment (enzyme)-







Bodyweight, kg

Day 10







Day 35







Avg. daily gain, kg/day







Avg. daily feed intake, kg/day















Dry matter














Crude protein






















Volume:87 Issue:16

Q&A about first Food Tank Summit (commentary)

Q&A about first Food Tank Summit (commentary)

*Chuck Jolley is president of Jolley & Associates, a marketing and public relations firm that concentrates on the food industry.

TOO often, American agriculture can be seen as a monolithic structure driven by "leave me alone" politics.

A lot of farmers and ranchers are quick to join a conversation condemning the interminable rules and regulations put out by federal, state and local governments. They don't like non-ag types telling them how to go about their business, either.

The thought is that if you're not ankle deep in mud and manure or piloting a big John Deere 8335, your input is probably spurious and definitely not needed.

But there is a growing movement of people whose exposure to mud and manure is nothing more than a puddle on a low point in their lawn or what the family schnauzer deposited on the sidewalk who insist on having their say. They think not having the slightest idea what an 8335 is should not banish them to the sidelines.

In the parlance of the outside world, these people are commonly known as "consumers." They buy things produced by farmers and ranchers and have the frightening power to not buy anything they don't like, no matter the scientifically justifiable reasons why they might be wrong. The annoying truth is that most people don't buy products, especially food, based on science. Their purchases tend to have a major emotional component, especially for food.

Let's spend some time listening to what the folks in urban/suburban areas have to say for themselves. The issue is not politics that might be centrist or left of center. It's the disconnected discourse that separates Peoria, Ill., from Pittsburgh, Pa., or Las Animas County, Colo., from Los Angeles, Cal., that's becoming the most important bone of contention.

Meet Danielle Nierenberg. As president of Food Tank, she's trying to bridge that gap. An expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues, she co-founded Food Tank two years ago as "an organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters."

Her organization has the backing of some very influential partners like Bioneers, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Christensen Fund, IFPRI, IFAD, the Global Forum on Agriculture Research, Oxfam America, Slow Food USA, UNEP, UNDP, FAO and the Sustainable Food Trust.

She knows global agriculture issues well, too, with her comments sought by major print and broadcast outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, The Guardian (U.K.), The Telegraph (U.K.), Le Monde (France), Mail & Guardian (South Africa), East African (Kenya), TIME, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, Times of India and Australia's SydneyMorning Herald.

In other words, Nierenberg is one of the most influential people you've probably never heard about, and the existence of Food Tank might come as a complete surprise. Sneer at her and her organization if you will, but you have to respect her clout.

To fully understand the politics of eating as she sees it, here is a list of reading material posted on the Food Tank website that Nierenberg has authored or contributed to significantly: Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry (2005), State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet (editor and project director, 2011), Eating Planet 2012 (2012), "Food & Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability" (2012) and "Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming Report."

If you're still not convinced that Nierenberg and her organization are not important, let's talk about her media presence. Her social media and web following surpasses a half-million people, including 150,000 weekly newsletter subscribers from 190 countries, 250,000 combined Facebook fans, 212,000 combined Twitter followers, 10,500 Instagram followers and 6,000 Pinterest followers. Her YouTube videos have garnered several-hundred-thousand combined views as well. Food Tank's website receives nearly 100,000 unique visitors a month.

In January, Food Tank "upped its game" when it partnered with George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to host the First Annual Food Tank Summit. The two-day event featured hours of roundtable discussions with more than 75 participants from the food and agriculture field, including researchers, farmers, chefs, policy-makers, government officials and students discussing urban agriculture, family farmers, farm workers and food waste, according to the organizers.

People of note included Allison Aubrey of National Public Radio, Patricia Beneke of the U.N. Environment Programme, Jane Black and Tim Carman with the Washington Post, Diane Brady of Bloomberg, Emily Broad Leib with Harvard Law School, Tom Colicchio of Food Policy Action, Barbara Ekwall of the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization and Sam Fromartz with the Food & Environmental Reporting Network.

Also participating in roundtable discussions were Chandler Goule of the National Farmers Union, Eric Hansen of the The National Young Farmers Coalition, Jason Huffman with Politico, Jill Isenbarger of the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, Patty Lovera with Food & Water Watch, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine), Paul Willis with Niman Ranch and Jenn Yates with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

I attended the sold-out conference and came away feeling strongly both ways about what I heard. I wholeheartedly agreed with what some people were saying, but several times, I found myself saying "oh, hell no" loudly enough that I was shushed by people sitting nearby. It was an event filled with comments that made sense but occasionally veered into nonsense, as well.

Afterwards, I tracked down Nierenberg (not an easy task because she seems to be constantly in motion) and asked her to sit down with me for a lengthy discussion about Food Tank and what she wants to accomplish with it. We began a long-distance telephone conversation, and here it is, with just minor editing and rephrasing.

Q. Tell me the concept behind Food Tank. Who are you? What are you?

A. Our mission is very simple. We want to cultivate individuals and organizations and research to push for food system change and really create a community of safe, healthy, nourished eaters. So, we do that with our events like the (Food Tank) Summit; we do it with our research reports that we'll put out. We deal with original content two to three times per day, seven days a week. We don't cross-post anything on our website. Our newsletter reaches 150,000 subscribers.

We're always trying to create the conversation and get as many people involved as possible. I think the best part of my job is when we send out that newsletter, and I get hundreds of responses back criticizing me or people telling me they like it or share a suggestion. These are from people from all over the world, so it's like they feel like this is not just a one-way conversation, like the food chain telling people what to do. They feel part of it, and they feel very comfortable criticizing, and I love that. I think that's the whole point.

Q. Tell me about what started the Food Tank Summit. How did you first come up with the idea? What did you want to accomplish?

A. We really wanted to bring together people at a different sort of conference — not where you show a bunch of, sorry, just boring PowerPoints, but where people were actually having conversations, where experts were having conversations on stage with experts in the audience. We thought that was really important because at a lot of these conferences, you just don't get a chance to interact.

We wanted to make the panels short and dynamic and lively so people could really talk about the challenges they face in their work and the solutions they're seeing in the communities they work with or that they're coming up with in their own work.

We were lucky enough to be able to collaborate with the George Washington University and really put together something that we felt was exciting. We had more than 75 speakers, all the panels were moderated by professional journalists from organizations like NPR, National Geographic, Voice of America, Politico and the Washington Post so that we could really dive deeply into these issues and, again, have a fun, dynamic conversation.

Q. I was impressed by the quality and the depth of those speakers. How were you able to pull together all those people?

A. I'm going to be very honest with you. I invited my dream team of speakers, thinking, "Okay, about 30% of these people will say yes." I'm running a one-day program, and everyone said yes. We were very honored that all of these folks could come together and be with us. I haven't even seen anything like that in my years of professional work. I go to a lot of these things, and I wanted it to be different, and I was so honored that all of these people could make it.

Q. I've attended a lot of these things, too. Usually, you invite a lot of people and hope maybe just a few of them will show up. Were you surprised at the turnout?

A. Absolutely, and honestly also by the audience's response to it because as soon as we announced it, it was basically sold out. We had a waiting list of 1,500-plus people who wanted to be there. So, we were just excited that so many people were interested. We were thrilled that the live-stream worked perfectly and that people who couldn't be there could watch it online. It's now archived on our website, so we hope it'll be a useful resource long after the summit.

Q. The social media impact was impressive. I was watching the "Twitterverse," and the response was off the scales, second only to President Barack Obama's "State of the Union" speech the night before.

A. Yes, we were very excited about that. We have a great team, and our communications director, Bernard Pollack, is a master of that. We were really able to have a conversation. The other thing is we wanted to reach people who were comfortable receiving information. So, not everyone is going to watch the whole summit or participate.

Q. Now that you've had a few weeks to think back on this, what was the real impact? What worked for you? Maybe at the same time, what didn't work as well? What would you like to do better next time?

A. Let me address the latter first because we're a very small nonprofit, but we have a huge presence on the internet. We're trying to be everywhere, but we have a very small budget. We tried to do the donation as much as possible. Anyone who flew in paid their own dime: Patrick Holden from the U.K., some folks from New York, everyone paid their own way.

So, I think one of the things that we may have lacked is diversity. We couldn't get a lot of farmers because they're busy. We couldn't get a lot of students and professors because they're in school. I would have liked to have seen more of that. I think it's something, as we plan for next year's summit, that we'll try to either raise money for very early on or figure out a different way to handle it.

In terms of the positive impact, I think it's just what we set out to do. We convened people who might not necessarily meet with one another. We did have a lot of students who were there all day, which is exciting. I think there were a lot of conversations that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

I think people understood that it was the beginning of the conversation, not the end — that we're just starting. There's a lot to be done, but we really wanted to make sure we were highlighting their stories of hope and success and really showing people what's working.

Q. You did mention one thing about not many farmers being there. When I was at your summit, I was talking with Katy Keiffer, who does a show on the Heritage Radio Network on food issues, and we agreed that it was shaping up too much like Mark Bittman's New York Times "Food for Tomorrow" Conference that happened a few weeks earlier. There were too few farmers and ranchers there. Why?

A. To be honest with you, they were busy. They're busy planning for their spring planting season, and to ask them to come on a weekday and spend their time wasn't working. We had more farmers in the audience. I was happy about that, but it's just something I regret. It's something I tried to facilitate because I know a million farmers. I just couldn't fly them in; I couldn't convince them that it was worth their while.

Farmers don't go to conferences usually. They're out in the field; they're doing their thing. So, we have to figure out a different way to do it next year.

Although I will say that at least 25 of our speakers are into farming, it isn't their primary job. That's also true for lots of farmers around the country.

I was talking to people like coach Mark Smallwood from Rodale and Baldemar Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee who were panelists at the conference, and these are people who farm on a regular basis. That might not be their primary job, but they are farmers.

Q. As I was listening to the speakers, some of them charged me up. Some of them weren't so exciting. What speakers, in hindsight, really hit the mark and really got the audience's attention?

A. One was Patrick Holden from the Sustainable Food Trust in the U.K. and his keynote around true cost accounting. He knows how to talk about issues in a really compelling way. I think John Fisk from the Wallace Center at Winrock International was amazing, really talking about how we can democratize the basics, how it's spread, how it's replicated, how it's scaled out, not necessarily scaled up, and really talking about how we need the infrastructure and intellectual capital to make sure farmers are getting the information that they need.

I think Kathleen Merrigan's keynote was amazing. She's such a force of nature and a woman I respect probably more than any other person in this movement. We were really lucky with some of the journalists like Allison Aubrey from NPR who asked the hard questions and didn't let anyone get away with anything. I think Ben Simon from the Food Recovery Network who was funny and charming and able to talk about the need for really reclaiming food that would otherwise be wasted. These were my hand-selected dream team, and I think they were all amazing. It's hard to pick a favorite.

I agree, some speakers are always better than others, but I think these are people who are all big thinkers, (although) maybe not necessarily the best speakers for events. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It's (about) the conversations they were creating, and I'm glad there was a little controversy on both the democratizing innovation and GCA panels, the true cost accounting panels. Not everyone agreed with each other, (but) that's what you want.

We shouldn't all be agreeing with each other. There should be some debate. If we're all just saying the same things with the same people, then we're never going to get anywhere. That's something I want to change in the next summit. I want to invite Hugh Grant from Monsanto, I want to invite Syngenta. I want to get more policy-makers in the room. We were so excited to have (Rep.) Chellie Pingree, another woman I admire. We'll know who some of the Republican candidates for the presidency are and the Democrats, too, so I'd like to invite them to come and really talk about their vision for the future.

I'd just like to see some more back and forth, some more discussing the hard things, like if we're going to be able to manage climate change and protect our soils and preserve water and protect agricultural and biodiversity. What needs to be done on a policy level?

Q. Is there anything else you want to do next year?

A. I want (the summit) to be more of a conversation of panelists challenging one another. I tried to do that when I moderated panels at the Food & Agricultural Organization, the United Nations and other panels.

It's hard to get people to say the difficult things, and when we send out the instructions to next year's panelists, I'm going to make sure that all of them know that they should be talking to each other and questioning one another. I think that's important; it's important to have that sort of back and forth even if it is uncomfortable. The only way we're going to get where we need to go is if we disagree with each other and then come to some sort of mutually acceptable conclusion.

Q. So you are definitely planning a repeat next year? Will it be about the same time, and will it be in Washington, or will you take the show on the road?

A. There's going to be a change next year. We have to change the dates a little, but it will be around the same time with (George Washington University) again and probably in Maris Theater, not in the Jack Morton Auditorium, because it's a little bit bigger.

We're actually in discussions to do a West Coast event. It'll primarily focus on workers in the food system, service workers, farm laborers, but we want to do more of these. We did some smaller summits last year around food waste and just sort of a general mini-summit in Chicago, Ill. We really want to take this elsewhere. I think that's important. And not just one state or one region of the country. It'd be nice to do a smaller summit or at least visit as many states as possible. I think bringing the conversation to the people, having different ones in all of these places, live-streaming them and having people become more involved will be exciting.

I'd love to do one in the Midwest and the South. I live in New Orleans (La.) now. I think these are the neglected regions. I was in a flyover zone my whole life. We forget about the people who are working hard there. I think the South is such an interesting place for a million reasons, including really embedded racism that's still here, but in a place like New Orleans, there's so many exciting food start-ups here and smaller farms that are starting up, along with a lot of African-American-owned farms.

It's a really, really hopeful and exciting place to be in the food world right now, which is one of the reasons we wanted to move here, but, yeah, it can't always be East Coast/West Coast conversation. You've got to go to the people. The real people are not living in New York or San Francisco (Cal.); they're living in the middle of the country and the South.

Q. In fact, that was one of the complaints I heard. People were saying, "Washington? We don't want to go to Washington. No, that's a crazy place."

A. When you're faced with those kind of limitations, it changes the makeup of what your conference looks like. So, again, if we can work with an investor or a small or big donor who can help with some of that, I think we'll be able to make it much, much more diverse.

Economically, I think that's something that I want to stress with the next conference: It's not just about racial diversity or location diversity — regional, I guess — but it's about economic diversity and getting people there who are not all being paid $100,000 a year. We need to hear from the people who are sort of eking by because they're not making a lot of money to eat well, but they're very interested in changing their food system. We didn't have enough of that at our summit, either, but again, that's something I want to change.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Gilt development diets studied

Gilt development diets studied

GILT development diets are often formulated to contain excess amino acid levels plus other nutrients to encourage maximal protein deposition; however, the key for success in gilt development may be to slow down protein deposition and build fat reserves, according to a research report in the "2015 Iowa State University Animal Industry Report."

Fat reserves could be manipulated by altering amino acid intake because inadequate availability of amino acids in the diet restricts lean tissue growth and redirects dietary energy into fat deposition, said researchers Julia A. Calderon Diaz and Kenneth J. Stalder of Iowa State University, Jeffrey L. Vallet of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Terry Prince of Prince Nutrition Service LLC and Christina Phillips and Ashley DeDecker of Murphy-Brown LLC.

Conversely, energy intake can also affect the ratio between fat and protein deposition in pigs, Calderon Diaz et al. said, noting that not many studies comparing gilt development diet compositions fed ad libitum involved large numbers of observations or were done in a commercial setting.

Thus, the researchers conducted a study to manipulate the lean-to-fat ratio of developing gilts by feeding diets ad libitum that differed in lysine and metabolizable energy (ME). A secondary objective was to evaluate lysine and caloric efficiency among dietary treatments fed to developing gilts from 100 to 260 days of age.



The researchers housed 1,221 crossbred Large White x Landrace gilts in groups from 100 days of age until slaughter at approximately 260 days of age and randomly allotted them to one of six corn/soybean diets formulated to two standardized ileal digestible lysine levels — 100% (high) or 85% (low) — and three ME levels — 90% (low), 100% (medium) or 110% (high).

The 100% ME/100% lysine control diet was based on an average from an informal survey conducted by the National Pork Board to provide a consensus on dietary lysine and ME content for gilt development diets commonly utilized by the U.S. swine industry, the researchers explained.

Gilts were provided with ad libitum access to a grower diet from 100 days of age until they reached a bodyweight of approximately 90 kg. Then, the gilts were provided with ad libitum access to a finisher until they were slaughtered.

Gilts were weighed and backfat thickness and loin area were recorded at the beginning of the trial and then every 28 days, Calderon Diaz et al. said. Feed intake was recorded as feed disappearance within the pen at two-week intervals. Warm carcass weight and fat thickness were recorded at slaughter.



According to the researchers, differences in dietary lysine and ME did not alter gilt growth and/or body composition in the present study (P > 0.05) except for backfat thickness, which was slightly greater for gilts fed the high-ME diets. Because the backfat difference among the treatment groups was so small (about 2 mm), the difference is likely to be biologically irrelevant, Calderon Diaz et al. suggested.

Furthermore, they said the lack of differences among dietary treatments for the various growth and body composition traits in the present study can be explained by changes in the gilts' feed intake in response to the various diets.

Results indicate that gilts adjusted their feed intake according to dietary ME content, Calderon Diaz et al. said, noting that gilts fed the low-ME diet had 7.26 kg and 14.9 kg greater feed consumption and 0.06 kg and 0.12 kg greater lysine consumption than gilts fed the medium-ME and high-ME diets, respectively (P < 0.05).

A decrease in dietary energy content has been associated with a compensatory increase in feed intake and a slightly lower energy intake level compared to pigs fed a higher-energy diet, the researchers said. This may be explained by reaching a limit in gastrointestinal capacity before energy demand is met.

Calderon Diaz et al. reported that there was a difference in lysine utilization among treatments, as gilts fed a low-lysine diet consumed 5 g of lysine less per kilogram of bodyweight gain compared with gilts fed a high-lysine diet (P < 0.01). This is related to feed intake per kilogram of bodyweight gain, since the gilts consumed the same amount of feed per kilogram of bodyweight gain even though the amount of lysine present in the feed was different, the researchers said.

Additionally, gilts fed the low-ME diet consumed 0.34 kg and 0.72 kg more feed per kilogram of bodyweight gain than gilts on the medium-ME and high-ME diets, respectively (P < 0.05).

Furthermore, Calderon Diaz et al. added, gilts fed the low-ME diet consumed 2.7 g and 5.7 g more lysine per kilogram of bodyweight gain than gilts fed the medium-ME and high-ME diets, respectively (P < 0.05).

Further research is necessary to examine amino acid needs and amino acid efficiency in developing gilts with the potential to reach heavy bodyweights as studies are limited regarding this topic, the researchers noted.

Warm carcass weight and fat thickness were similar, regardless of dietary lysine treatment (P > 0.05), Calderon Diaz et al. reported. However, carcasses from gilts fed the high-ME diet were 3.3 kg and 2.5 kg heavier than those from gilts fed the low-ME or medium-ME diets, respectively.

Although organ weights were not recorded for this study, Calderon Diaz et al. suggested that the increased carcass weights were related to organ size and weight. Alterations in digestive organs could be advantageous for gilts during subsequent lactations, when it is difficult for some animals to eat enough to meet lactation demands, they noted. Whether diets alter digestive organ weights, and whether this could provide an advantage, warrants further study.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Alltech to acquire Ridley

Alltech to acquire Ridley

ALLTECH and Ridley Inc. announced April 23 that they have entered into an arrangement agreement under which Alltech will acquire 100% of the outstanding stock of Ridley, one of the leading commercial animal nutrition companies in North America, for $40.75 (Canadian) per share.

The total consideration payable to Ridley shareholders is approximately $521 million (Canadian), the announcement said.

The share price represents a premium of approximately 23% to the 20-day volume weighted average price of Ridley's common shares on the Toronto (Ont.) Stock Exchange as of April 22. The closing price of Ridley shares on April 22 was $33.94.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger.

"This transformative transaction that combines two industry leaders allows Alltech to deliver better performance and value to livestock and poultry producers across the globe," said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. "With Ridley's leading animal nutrition supplements, block products, extensive livestock and poultry producer distribution network and on-farm presence, we will be able to bring our advanced nutrition technology to market faster and more effectively. ... This deal underscores our continued momentum in growing our business through strategic acquisitions of best-in-class companies with trusted technology and brand recognition."

Steven J. VanRoekel, president and chief executive officer of Ridley, said, "Joining Ridley with Alltech is about bringing the best nutrition solutions to meat, milk and egg producers around the world. Alltech is the technological leader with a broad global footprint, so by uniting forces, we will create a scalable platform to grow and market solutions to enhance the profitability of producers. We are also joining a financially strong company that is committed to investing in science and innovation so that we can deliver the most advanced animal nutrition solutions."

Ridley manufactures and markets a full range of animal nutrition solutions, including formulated complete feeds, premixes, feed supplements, block supplements, animal health products and feed ingredients. Ridley's customers include livestock producers as well as equine and pet breeders. Its products are sold to producers by direct sales or through distributor and dealer channels.

Alltech confirmed to Feedstuffs that, post-merger, Ridley's international brands will continue in their current form, and the same range of Ridley products and solutions will be available through existing distributor channels.

Alltech spends approximately 10% of its gross revenue on research and development, and Ridley has a strong technical team who will now be working side by side with Alltech's team. Alltech said this deal will allow it to reach a broader range of livestock and poultry producers in the U.S. and bring more advanced animal nutrition solutions to countries across the globe.

The combined company will have a presence in more than 128 countries and 4,200 employees worldwide.

Alltech has more than doubled its sales in the last three years and is on target to achieve $4 billion (U.S.) in sales in the next few years, according to the announcement.


Transaction details

The acquisition will be effected pursuant to a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Corporations Act (Manitoba) subject to the terms and conditions of the arrangement agreement.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., which holds approximately 78% of the outstanding common shares of Ridley, has entered into an irrevocable voting support agreement and agreed to vote its common shares in favor of the arrangement.

The terms and conditions of the arrangement will be disclosed in more detail in Ridley's information circular, which will be filed and mailed to Ridley shareholders in May.

Alltech intends to finance the cash consideration payable under the arrangement from existing cash resources and committed bank facilities fully underwritten by Bank of America N.A. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Founded in 1980, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. With more than 3,500 employees and doing business in 128 countries, the company has strong regional representation in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Ridley, headquartered in Mankato, Minn., serves customers mainly in the U.S. and Canada and employs more than 700 people.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Beef marbling has health benefits

Beef marbling has health benefits

HIGHLY marbled beef has become increasingly popular with consumers globally. As such, industry leaders continue to monitor how to consistently produce a product with these traits.

Recent research, funded by the beef checkoff program, explored the biology and biochemistry of beef marbling and its effects on production systems and carcass and fat quality.

Since the development of a feedlot industry in Australia (to include the production of Japanese Black cattle), Australian consumers have had access to more highly marbled beef, and South Korea has increased the marbling of its native Hanwoo cattle by more than 30% over the last two decades, according to the study.

More recently, China has initiated grain feeding of cattle to satisfy the growing domestic demand for highly marbled "snow" beef. Even in the U.S., where there is a growing interest in pasture-fed (or grass-fed) beef, most consumers still prefer beef that is reasonably marbled and juicy.

"We need fat in beef to improve the eating experience," said Dr. Stephen Smith, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and Regents professor in the university's department of animal science. "We can increase the fat and marbling throughout the production cycle, but for many years, there has been this perception among consumers that too much fat in ground beef isn't a good thing. Against conventional wisdom, ground beef of all kinds actually is healthy for you."

Smith teamed with Dr. Brad Johnson, the Gordon W. Davis Regents chair in the department of animal and food science at Texas Tech University, to co-author a paper, "Marbling: Management of Cattle to Maximize the Deposition of Intramuscular Adipose Tissue."

"In our research, we examined young cattle just before they marbled and were primarily looking at genes related to fatty acid composition," Smith said. "We've always had a strong interest in the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid, which is abundant in olive oil and is a healthful fatty acid. We start out the marbling article relating how increasing the amount of fat in beef is definitely related to palatability. So, we want to increase the fat content to a certain level to provide a good eating experience."

In the research article, Smith and Johnson discuss how as more cattle fatten and put down marbling, the fat becomes healthier because saturated fats are replaced with oleic acid.

"We are very interested in that," Smith said. "What are the cellular processes that regulate this very natural increase in oleic acid in beef?"

Smith said Johnson looked at gene expression associated with fat development. In general terms, in the transition from pasture or grass feeding to feedlot feeding, there is a profound increase in the genes associated with fat development and making more oleic acid, Smith said.

"You can barely detect expression of genes related to marbling and fat composition in cattle on pasture, but much more so when cattle are fed grain," he said. "The longer they are on feed, the more oleic acid they deposit. If you take Korean Hanwoo or Japanese Wagyu, which are fed up to 30 months of age, they have an extraordinary amount of marbling and oleic acid. Hanwoo and Wagyu beef marbling fat is very soft, which provides a juicy mouth feel."

Smith said the article describes published ground beef studies and how ground beef affects cholesterol in people.

"In most studies, ground beef increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the good cholesterol — in men and women," he said.

According to the research, the relationship between fat and overall palatability "underscores the importance of grain feeding and intramuscular lipid in beef quality."

As fat increases, it is accompanied by a decrease in the proportion of saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids with a corresponding increase in oleic acid and other monounsaturated fatty acids.

"The more cattle fatten, (the more) they put down more marbling and the more healthful the beef is," Smith said.

Smith and Johnson said they wondered why that was. Randomized, controlled studies compared individuals who consumed ground beef formulated from long-fed, grain-fed steers for five weeks (five patties per week) to those who consumed regular ground beef that's lower in oleic acid.

In these studies, the men consumed ground beef containing 24% fat, and the women consumed ground beef containing 20% fat. The studies showed that HDL cholesterol increased significantly in normocholesterolemic men and postmenopausal women fed the high-oleic acid ground beef.

The conclusions were that, even at these high levels of fat intake, ground beef had no negative effects on lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in men and women, and ground beef naturally enriched in oleic acid had positive health benefits.

"We hope to convince everyone in the beef production chain, all the way from producers to retailers, that healthy fat in beef not only improves flavor, but you can modify the animal naturally so that the beef contains more oleic acid," Smith said. "This provides a very palatable product that, even though it contains a relatively high level of fat, is not going to have a negative impact on cholesterol metabolism in humans."


Protein Challenge

The National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. beef checkoff program recently launched the 30 Day Protein Challenge for consumers.

Americans currently consume two-thirds of their total daily protein intake at dinner, which the checkoff said doesn't leave much room for protein at other meals or snacks.

"For some time now, research has shown that consuming protein in balanced amounts at each meal is beneficial to improving overall health," the association noted. "Some of the more remarkable benefits of distributing protein throughout the day include feeling satisfied after a meal or snack that features protein, which helps reduce mindless eating. Additionally, meals with high-quality protein help to build muscle and reduce body fat."

The 30 Day Protein Challenge is a step-by-step way to get an optimal amount of protein throughout the day.

"It's simple: Work your way up to eat 30 g of protein at every meal, and feel the difference," said Jo Stanko, co-chair of the checkoff's nutrition and health subcommittee and a producer from Steamboat Springs, Colo. "Whether consumers are seeking to maintain and/or build muscle, looking for craving control or simply striving for better overall health and wellness, the Protein Challenge can help them take control of their appetite and kick-start the benefits from balancing protein consumption."

Consumers interested in joining the challenge can visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com/ProteinChallenge to sign up for daily inspirational emails, beef recipes and tools to help them succeed.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Corn cargo quality report issued

Corn cargo quality report issued

THE U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently released the "2014/2015 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report," the fourth in a series measuring U.S. corn quality by looking at grade factors, moisture, chemical composition and physical composition in corn samples ready to be loaded for overseas shipment.

USGC said the information is valuable for international customers of U.S. corn, many of whom have come to anticipate the report's findings each year.

"The United States is the only country that releases such a comprehensive report on the quality of its corn crop," said USGC manager of global trade Manuel Sanchez, who will use the report's results in his work with overseas customers. "International customers know this and eagerly await its release. This year is no exception."

The latest report is based on 411 samples of yellow commodity corn collected from corn export shipments as they underwent the U.S. government-licensed export sampling and inspection process.

The report covers both waterborne and rail export cargoes, with results reported as U.S. aggregate and with details for three regions: the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Northwest and southern rail.

"Overall, the report indicates that U.S. corn at the point of export meets the requirements for U.S. No. 2 (corn)," Sanchez said. "One thing of note was the hardness of the 2014 U.S. corn crop. We believe this was due to the favorable growing conditions the crop experienced, which led to larger corn kernels than last year, with hard endosperms of 70-100%."

Volume:87 Issue:16

ADSA to update book on large dairy herds

ADSA to update book on large dairy herds

THE American Dairy Science Assn. (ADSA) Foundation will undertake a major initiative to meet the growing information needs of dairy farmers, service professionals and students worldwide.

In 1978, a symposium was held specifically to produce a book, Large Dairy Herd Management (LDHM). Speakers' presentations were developed into book chapters. In 1992, the book was updated under co-editors Jack Van Horn and Charlie Wilcox.

In view of continuing interest and requests for an update, the ADSA Foundation announced that it will undertake publication of a third edition of LDHM, which will be available in e-book or print-on-demand options with completely new content.

The ADSA Foundation will sponsor a conference to facilitate development of the updated third edition. The conference is tentatively planned for May 2016 in the Chicago, Ill., area. Dairy experts from around the world will be selected to prepare and make chapter presentations as a first step in creating the third edition of LDHM. Publication is anticipated in the spring of 2017.

Dr. David Beede will serve as conference chair and editor-in-chief of the third edition. He was an author in the second edition and is currently the C.E. Meadows endowed chair of dairy management and nutrition with the Michigan State University department of animal science.

Nonprofit organizations, companies and individuals are invited to join the ADSA Foundation as co-sponsors of the conference, the e-book or both. For information on sponsorship, contact Larry Miller at [email protected]

Volume:87 Issue:16

ADM expands EU corn processing footprint

ADM expands EU corn processing footprint

ARCHER Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) announced April 21 an agreement to purchase several assets of Eaststarch C.V., ADM's 50/50 joint venture with Tate & Lyle.

Under the terms of the agreement, ADM will take full ownership of corn wet mills in Bulgaria and Turkey and will own a 50% stake in a wet mill in Hungary. Tate & Lyle will receive a cash consideration of 240 million euros — subject to customary closing adjustments, including net cash and working capital — and will take full ownership of the Eaststarch facility in Slovakia.

"Our corn business is creating shareholder value through geographic expansion and the increasing diversification of our product portfolio," Chris Cuddy, president of ADM's corn processing business unit, said. "With the coming end of sugar production quotas in the (European Union), the artificial cap on cereal-based sweeteners will be lifted. There will be tremendous opportunities in the new European sweetener market, including a particularly strong opening in Eastern Europe, where there is less sugar production."

The facilities in Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary have a combined daily grind capacity of approximately 200,000 bu. This will increase ADM's global grind capacity for corn by 7.5% to approximately 3 million bu. per day.

"The value of this transaction reflects the anticipated decline in EU sugar prices," Cuddy added. "We expect this deal to meet our returns objectives."

As part of the transaction, ADM will supply Tate & Lyle with crystalline fructose from the Turkey facility. In addition, Tate & Lyle will appoint ADM as the exclusive agent for the sale of liquid sweeteners and industrial starches produced by its EU plants.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Canada plans AMR measures

Canada plans AMR measures

HEALTH Canada announced April 17 that it intends to propose new measures and strengthen regulations to encourage prudent use of antimicrobial drugs used in food-producing animals, particularly drugs that are considered medically important.

This effort is important to minimize the global emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and conserve the effectiveness of available antimicrobials, the federal agency said. These actions will protect public health and food safety and also align with other countries.

Health Canada said it has already made "substantial progress" in working with the pharmaceutical industry to phase out all growth promotion claims of medically important antimicrobial drugs by December 2016.

In addition, Health Canada plans to propose amendments to the "Food & Drug Regulations" to address personal use importation of veterinary drugs and strengthen control over the importation of veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

It also will continue to work with stakeholders to increase appropriate veterinary oversight with respect to access to all medically important antimicrobial drugs used in the drinking water and feed of livestock. This measure will require further amendments to the "Food & Drug Regulations" and the "Feeds Regulations."

These initiatives are part of Canada's recently released "Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) & Use in Canada," which builds on the "Federal Framework for Action" announced in October 2014.

The department will continue to engage partners and stakeholders while the proposed amendments to the "Food & Drug Regulations" are being developed and further actions on AMR are being implemented.

In response, Chicken Farmers of Canada applauded the federal government for "taking a leadership role on the issue of antimicrobial resistance and for announcing plans to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship controls."

"Chicken Farmers of Canada supports the federal government in their objective of amending these regulations to ensure responsible antimicrobial stewardship," association chair Dave Janzen said. "The chicken industry is continuing to study all facets of antibiotic use in animal agriculture to ensure that responsible, appropriate and safe use of antibiotics can continue while reduction methods are explored at all levels of the industry and with stakeholders and government partners."

The Canadian Cattlemen's Assn. (CCA) said it also supports Health Canada's plan to strengthen oversight and controls for own-use importation of veterinary drugs and the importation of APIs for veterinary use.

CCA general manager Rob McNabb commended Health Canada's Veterinarian Drug Directorate for holding consultations with industry that led to the proposed amendments. The consultations provided a forum to address misperceptions of the amount and types of products that have historically been imported through own-use importation, and the Veterinarian Drug Directorate worked "diligently with industry to clarify what veterinary products are eligible and what aren't," he said.

"Canada's beef cattle industry takes antimicrobial resistance seriously," McNabb said. "The proposed measures will further support the industry's already good record of prudent and judicious use of antimicrobials, as demonstrated through decades of surveillance and research."


Quick Facts

* Antibiotic use in animals plays an important role in ensuring animal welfare and protecting animals and public health.

* Before being authorized for sale in Canada, veterinary antibiotics are assessed by Health Canada for their potential risk of developing antibiotic resistance.

* Health Canada specifies the conditions of use of antibiotics on the product labels and includes warning statements specific to reducing AMR.

* No new antibiotic growth promoters have been authorized by Health Canada in more than a decade.

Volume:87 Issue:16

USDA, ag partner to help cut emissions

USDA, ag partner to help cut emissions

IN a speech at Michigan State University April 23, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack laid out a comprehensive approach for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to partner with agricultural producers to address the threat of climate change.

Building on the creation of USDA's Climate Hubs last year, the new initiatives consist of 10 building blocks that will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

Through these efforts, USDA expects to reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by more than 120 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year — about 2% of economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions — by 2025. USDA will use authorities provided in the 2014 farm bill to offer incentives and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

Livestock partnerships will encourage broader deployment of anaerobic digesters, lagoon covers, composting and solids separators to reduce methane emissions from cattle, dairy and swine operations, including the installation of 500 new digesters over the next 10 years.

The initiative also will support rotational grazing management on an additional 4 million acres to avoid soil carbon loss through improved management of forage, soils and grazing livestock.

Volume:87 Issue:16