The China Feed Study Team became the first group to do hands-on training with the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) Feed Center’s newly upgraded equipment during the Feed Manufacturing Technology course August 18-22 at NCI in Fargo, North Dakota. After three days at NCI, the group traveled to Portland, Oregon, for the wrap-up.
The course was co-sponsored by Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
“China is the largest user of soybeans and the largest manufacturer of animal feed in the world,” said Kim Koch, Ph.D., NCI Feed Center manager and lead instructor for the course. “Their demand for feed is increasing annually by 10-12 percent. China raises 50 percent of all the pigs in the world, but their poultry production is gaining ground on swine, and aquaculture is becoming more important. Chinese domestic production of soybeans and corn has probably peaked, and therefore, they are becoming major importers of soybeans and corn.”
“We strongly believe that the high-quality soybeans produced in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota result in better animal performance,” Koch said. “Regional soybean production will continue to increase in the next five to 10 years. NCI is very grateful to the regional soybean commodity groups who conceived and sponsored this course.”
In addition to providing hands-on demonstrations about size reduction and pelleting at the NCI Feed Center, Koch lectured on efficient use of protein, feed mill efficiency, feed mill design, mixing, particle size reduction, hygienic feed manufacturing, and pelleting.
Additional speakers included Frayne Olson, Ph.D., North Dakota State University, who discussed commodity price outlook; Peter Mishek, president of Mishek Inc. & Associates, Omaha, who introduced essential amino acids in soybeans and soybean meal; David Hahn, Ph.D., NCI director of technical services and business development, who spoke on food and feed safe manufacturing practices; and Robert Thaler, Ph.D., South Dakota State University, who presented information on soybean meal utilization.
The group visited the Scott Gauslow farm near Colfax, North Dakota. The group also toured the EGT Export Terminal in Longview, Washington, and the Wilbur-Ellis Company, a feed ingredient company in Clackamas, Oregon, so participants could see first-hand the quality, efficiency and reliability of U.S. soy and logistics systems.
The NCI Feed Center equipment upgrade includes the installation of a new mixer, a new automation system, and the facility’s first micro-ingredient system. Funding for the upgrade was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Legislature, the feed equipment industry, and regional commodity groups, according to Mark Weber, NCI director.