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How Technology Helps Improve Animal Feed Quality and Efficiency

by Bea Van Deynse
12 Jul 2018

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In the age of technology, technology touches everything, even in agricultural settings and situations. Technology in recent years has been used to make things like swine production more efficient, building better livestock facilities with new capabilities, and even in growing the grain necessary for sustaining livestock raising. Technology also has a major hand in improving the quality and efficiency of animal feed.

Over the years, a greater understanding has emerged in how and what should be fed to different forms of livestock to best support their health and growth, and technological processes are helping exponentially. There are multiple ways technology is constantly improving animal feed and feeding processes.

Feed-Formulation Software Allows Ideal Conveniences

Keeping costs low, profits high, and animals healthy are the three primary points of feed for anyone in the livestock business, but this can be a challenge in itself. Too much use of a high-demand grain or ingredient in your feed compilation, and you are left scouring the market to find an affordable replacement once your company's grown reserves are used. Too little use of another ingredient leaves your livestock in poor health and not ready for market. Feed-formulation software is helping reduce these issues and has been doing the same for many years.

Feed-formulation software is ideal for use in feed mills to control and manage things like:

  • Creating perfected multi-blends for customers
  • Properly allocating ingredients according to cost or recipe
  • Blending bulk feed supplies according to the typical in-store demand
  • Providing precision ingredient blends to prevent current livestock health issues

Because this software manages the use of raw materials, it helps feed stores and mills keep closer tabs on materials used, costs of those materials, and the overall quality of the end product. Mixing "by hand" was once the norm a long time ago, but the software programs, such as Adifo Software, leave little room for error, which can be a huge advantage for these businesses.

Technology Helps Overcome Specific Feed Industry Challenges

The recent situation with China's tariff on soybeans produced in the U.S. is a good example of how federal ideas and politics can affect agricultural processes. While the soybean issue is affecting exporting farmers more so than those raising livestock, it could also affect those raising livestock down the line. For example, if the low demand for the crop forces changes in pricing of soybeans grown this year, farmers are naturally going to want to use more soy-based feed ingredients to take advantage of the low costs. Technology, such as feed-formulation software, can make that an easier process by utilizing milled soy in feed recipes in place of more expensive ingredients.

Technology Boosts Overall Nutritional Value of Feed

Where quality is concerned, it is critical that the feed has the adequate nutritional value, and that can be difficult to achieve when nutritional value lies in the quality of the grain or ingredient crop being used. Too many farmers who rely on hand-mixed feeds waste a lot of the available resources to feed the animals something other than what they nutritionally need.

Technology allows for proper analyzing of the ingredients in real-time to allow quick adjustments at feed mills to manipulate and change ingredients. Therefore, precision feeding, which involves supplying animals with what they need to reach optimum production without unnecessary ingredient waste, becomes a possibility.

Overall, technology and agriculture may seem like they are worlds apart, but technology is intertwined with the agricultural industry much like it is everything else. There are bound to be many new ways technology is implemented and used for different farming processes as time goes by.