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why should we segregate soybean precision nutrition meals by origin in poultry feed formulation?



In times of high market volatility, precision nutrition gets special attention. One of the main aspects of precision nutrition is to improve the information needed for decisionmaking, planning, and optimization.

Feedstuff and feed costs drive a significant portion of production costs in poultry.

Variability in feedstuff nutrient content is a crucial factor to control when attempting to reduce feed costs, improve feed quality, and optimize animal performance and company profitability results.

A logical and relatively easy way to reduce variability is to segregate ingredients by origin, provider, or quality.

Then, nutritionists should cluster feedstuff descriptive information according to more relevant factors to have more uniform products for the mix. We should also manage them separately until feed batching.

This practice could be a challenge in logistics, personnel, and business management. The implementation may require diverse feed bins or silos to store ingredients of diverse origins.

These difficulties in feed manufacturing limit the number of groups we can have for every feedstuff.

However, recognizing the differences in nutrient composition, energy value, and quality will make the feed formulation more precise and minimize feed costs if the feedstuff selected has a good nutrient quality and energy value.

Segregating by origin mitigates risks of producing feed that does not meet the expected specifications.

Treating key feedstuffs as average ingredients or commodities instead of differentiated products could cause overestimation or underestimation of their nutrient and energy values.

Amy Moss et al. (2021) calculated that overestimating the nutrient content of feedstuffs could result in broiler performance reduction and a 63% reduction in gross margin.

This equates to a loss of up to $6.3 million US dollars for every 10 million broilers. Consequently, proper sampling methods of all feed ingredients are needed to estimate their nutrient and energy value.


The most expensive components in chicken diets are energy and protein or amino acids. Soybean meal (SBM) is the most important source of amino acids in poultry diets worldwide.

The SBM also provides between 20 and 30% of the metabolizable energy (ME) in most poultry diets.

Consequently, accurate estimation of the amino acid and caloric value of this ingredient is critical for precise feed formulation.

The SBM market prices are frequently determined based on trading rules specifying minimum crude protein (CP) content.

However, it is essential to consider that the dietary value depends on many other nutritional and processing quality factors in poultry, and it is almost impossible to segregate SBM only by CP content in a feed mill.

A recent economic evaluation by Pope et al. (2023) quantified the value of SBM in poultry and swine diets affected by their nutrient content. Their data was obtained using five SBM CP contents (44, 45, 46, 47, and 48%).

They calculated ME, amino acid content, and digestibility values with linear regressions or standardized equations for those five levels of CP concentration.

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