At the 2012 Poultry Science Association meeting in Athens, Georgia, and the JAM joint annual meeting in Phoenix conference rooms were at capacity—reflecting high interest for the latest feed research. Improving biological availability and use of feed nutrients was the focus of both events. Bruker Optics instruments were cited in multiple presentations and the new Tango for feed mills, and the Matrix F for inline measurement and real-time control of feed production were exhibited at both meetings.
Record temperatures and drought are negatively affecting meat and poultry production as all species naturally reduce feed intake to deal with the stress of elevated temperatures. For poultry producers, heat stress is a controllable factor but significant feed ingredient price increases and volatility are menacing.
Corn is rapidly approaching $8 per bushel again and other feed ingredient prices also are skyrocketing. In recent years, volatility of feed ingredient costs have become pronounced and persistent, making feed and meat production more complex and risky. The situation has drained equity out of some companies and is putting the survival of smaller, less healthy operations into question.
As nutritionists and researchers deal with the complex issue of nutrient availability and the use of enzymes to influence digestibility there is an increasing need for high performing instrumentation. Dr. Cécile Gady of Adisseo, France and S. F. (Sarge) Bilgili of Auburn University were two prominent researchers who presented NIR findings at the Poultry Science Association meeting. Dr. Bilgili presented work on amino acid calibration development. Dr. Gady illustrated correlations and contrast between NIR calibrations. In their work and recent literature, scientists have not used many different brands of NIR as spectra of sufficient range and overall stability of calibrations over time is necessary for obtaining the best results.
By Howard Eubanks – Bruker Business Development Manager – Feed and Grain.