25 July 2022 – Feed formulation is a crucial piece of the animal production puzzle to get right. Not only is it vital to helping an animal reach its genetic potential and meeting production expectations, but it is also key to safeguarding its health, wellbeing, and resiliency throughout the production cycle. However, according to Daniel Barziza, Cargill’s Nutrition System Director, some feed makers may be overlooking a crucial detail in the formulation process that could impact the nutritional soundness of their feed.
As he explained to Feedinfo during a recent chat, the problem stems from the fact that formulation systems today typically have a linear, additive approach. This means that nutritionists will often look at the diet as just a sum of its individual parts, considering the availability of nutrients at the level of each ingredient.
“In reality, that is not how the animals utilize the ingredients in terms of nutrient availability,” he told us. “When an animal consumes a total diet, there are interactions between the ingredients and the nutrients that impact the availability and usage of those nutrients. If this is not considered there is less precision in nutrition, and poorer accuracy in matching nutrient supply to demand.”
In today’s Industry Perspectives, Mr. Barziza is joined by Mike Jerred, Cargill’s Global Technology Manager for Dairy to talk us through how the company’s new Dynamic Nutrition approach can help nutritionists take into account the diet-level factors that could impact nutrient availability in their formulations. They also explain what this development means for the company’s Cargill Nutrition System, the MAX® System digital animal performance and scenario planning tool that it powers, and, of course, how this impacts Cargill’s own formulations.
[Feedinfo] How big a problem does this static formulation methodology really present for formulators? What are they potentially risking here?
[Daniel Barziza] Nutrition is incredibly complex, and nutritionists are always working to adjust their formulations to supply the needed nutrition more accurately and consistently. However, because classic formulation approaches do not adequately capture what is actually occurring at the diet level, there is the risk of missing nutrient targets. Underpredicting nutrient availability can result in over-formulating for expensive nutrients, unnecessarily increasing the cost of the diets and wasting nutrients.
Similarly, overpredicting the nutrient supply can result in diets which do not deliver the nutrition needed and therefore do not meet expectations for growth, milk production, feed efficiency, or other performance targets. Both under and over-formulating will ultimately reduce the profitability and sustainability of animal production.
[Feedinfo] What exactly is Cargill’s Dynamic Nutrition and how does it present a possible solution here?
[Daniel Barziza] A dynamic nutrition approach brings another level of precision into the diet formulation process by allowing us to take a more holistic look at nutrition at the diet level. By looking at physical aspects of ingredients and the overall diet, we can better predict an animal’s ability to absorb and utilize the nutrients present. With this understanding, we adjust the formulation to meet targets more precisely. These insights allow us to increase or decrease the assigned nutrient availability for an ingredient to better match an animal’s requirements and ensure that we are delivering precisely what is needed.
[Feedinfo] How have you been able to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the Dynamic Nutrition system’s recommendations?
[Mike Jerred] Our Dynamic Nutrition models have been developed and validated through extensive work in our research facilities, incorporating both lab-based and animal research trials as well as our advanced modeling capabilities. By incorporating these data into our animal performance tools like MAX®, we can get real-world feedback and continually evaluate the results of our models.
[Feedinfo] Have you already deployed this system? If so, what can you share with us in terms of the difference(s) its application has made?
[Mike Jerred] We are integrating Dynamic Nutrition into our MAX® System which is driven by Cargill Nutrition System and have started with dairy MAX®. In dairy nutrition, we must navigate biological systems that are impacted by outside inputs. Forages are grown under different environmental conditions every year with many different genetic lines. Cows have different production levels and are managed in different ways from housing to feeding systems. Dynamic Nutrition is all about defining nutrient digestion in the animal in a way that takes these factors into account.
We started with fiber (NDF) because of the key role it plays in ruminant nutrition. By providing lab results that quantify how quickly and completely NDF is digested, we can link this to the rumen rate of passage to predict nutrient bioavailability more accurately.
[Feedinfo] Are you exploring the possibility of extending its application beyond dairy cows? Where are you in this process?
[Daniel Barziza] We are constantly working to improve the precision and accuracy of the Cargill Nutrition System, and this includes looking at the many diet-level interactions that we can model to better meet the animal’s needs. We are currently working in the poultry area on an approach which will allow us to better target amino acid nutrition. We are looking at opportunities in the swine space as well. And we are continuing to build on the great work that has already been started with dairy cows by adding even more components into the dynamic system.
[Feedinfo] Your Cargill Nutrition System provides formulators with real-time nutrient analysis of feed ingredients. What does Dynamic Nutrition mean for this system?
[Mike Jerred] A deep understanding of the nutrient supply in your raw materials is a critical piece to effective formulation. Our real-time analysis provides formulators with the needed information as it pertains to nutrient content, and, in many cases, the quality of their ingredients. This is the foundation upon which the Dynamic Nutrition approach is built. To predict how diet-level interactions will affect the availability and function of the supplied nutrients, you must start with a deep understanding of the nutritional quality of the individual raw materials.
[Feedinfo] What does it mean for Cargill itself? How is it employing this system to benefit its own formulations?
[Daniel Barziza] Our Cargill Nutrition System has always been a very nutrient driven system, and our customers have come to expect the nutritional consistency and accuracy that the system provides in our products. Adding the Dynamic Nutrition calculations into our formulation approach is the next step in the evolution of the Cargill Nutrition System so we continue to more precisely and consistently deliver the nutrition that our customers need for maximum profitability, animal performance, health, and sustainability.
[Feedinfo] What is next in terms of formulation, Dynamic Nutrition, and the Cargill Nutrition System?
[Mike Jerred] Later this year we will be releasing an update to dairy MAX® that provides further insight into sustainability elements which are linked to nutrition. This includes predicted methane output, feed efficiency, nitrogen efficiency, and phosphorus efficiency. Insights from individual diets can be combined to assess these key sustainability measures for a herd and provide insight on overall farm performance. We expect this to launch in North America this fall.
Published in association with Cargill Animal Nutrition