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SDDDC· Ten Lessons | Lesson 8 Feed and fodder

2021-2-8 17:27:43 Comments:0 Views:166 category:SDDDC News

“Who feeds a hungry animal, feeds his own soul”.       ——Charlie Chaplin

More and more countries have intensive farming: large-scale farms that do not produce their own feed and/or do not apply outdoor grazing. Some of these regions have problems with the supply of feed and fodder, especially when these have to be imported from abroad. Countries having their own feed and fodder production or outdoor grazing seem to be less vulnerable. In the Netherlands, the overall effect of COVID-19on the farm milk price is estimated to be around minus 1 euro per 100 kg milk (ca. -3% of the farm-gate price).
COVID-19 has significantly affected China’s feed industry. In the first months of 2020, the impact of the epidemic mainly manifested itself in a blocked international trade, increased import costs and prices, and unstable market expectations. For the long term, this will lead to increased uncertainty with respect to imports of feed materials, such as soybeans, fish meat, and whey powder. Some international ports have been closed and more than 10 countries have suspended the export of agricultural products like soybeans and corn to China. The changes have caused a significant price increase on feed and fodder and in several cases, milk was not collected at all.

Dual suppliership 

Most of the more traditional farming models, such as the grass-based models (e.g. the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Ireland)experienced less trouble as these farms often have storage of fodder for almost a full year additional to having the animals graze outdoors from spring to autumn. Some ingredients, such as soy, became more difficult to obtain or more expensive. During the first half-year, a lot of potato growers in the Netherlands were not able to sell their potatoes. The out-of-home business, including restaurants and large catering services, usually make up the main part of the customers, but this route to market came to a standstill during the lockdown. As a result of this, the potatoes were sold to dairy farmers for cattle feed. Other solutions were dual supplier ships, the geographical spread of the origin of the products, and different departing harbors.

There are various lessons to be learned from this, such as being fully dependent on feed import leads to reduced reliability and robustness in case of a crisis affecting transport and logistics.

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