Today, feed costs account for 50% to 70% of livestock and poultry production. What factors are driving these costs and how are scarce resources for food, feed and fuel going to be allocated in the future as we struggle to feed a growing population? These questions and more are answered in a landmark study reporting on the factors impacting current feed costs.
On July 17, the report Future Patterns of U.S. Feed Grains, Biofuels, and Livestock and Poultry Feeding was presented by American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) president and CEO Joel G. Newman at the Federation of Animal Sciences symposium. The project was financed by the Institute for Feed Education & Research (IFEEDER) on behalf of the AFIA and The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE).
The analysis includes an economic outlook of how industry profitability, production efficiency, and demand will be impacted as it pertains to U.S. feed grains and livestock and poultry feeding. Along with the key driving factors of future livestock and poultry industries, this study outlines variables and potential effects, addresses questions not answered, and covers short-, medium- and long-term horizons.
According to the report, the three main factors impacting feed availability and cost are biofuels, global demand, specific exports and annual crop yields.
“The U.S. livestock and poultry industries are working under significantly different dynamics than they were just five or 10 years ago,” explained Newman. “This changing environment will not slow up in the coming years,” he added.
In the short term, feed availability should improve, provided weather doesn’t impact grain production significantly. Beyond the short term, the livestock and poultry industries need to keep an eye on things such as China’s demand for not only corn and soybeans but ultimately, meat, milk and eggs; the development of biobutanol; and potential growth in production of de-oiled distillers grains.
“The U.S. agriculture and food system is the envy of the world,” stated Newman. “We are the technology leaders and need to continue to be – this is the key to success of feeding the growing population by 2050 – the use of and acceptance of technology to feed more people using fewer natural resources.”
Dr. Robert Wisner, retired University Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, was the principal investigator for the study.
Click here for a link to the full report and here for a link to the report summary only.