The 2011 survey, covering 128 countries, put the total feed at 873 million tonnes. The 2012 survey, due to be published soon and covering more than 130 countries, is expected to show a further increase. For 2013, however, Connolly, presenting at the IFIF-FAO joint meeting, predicted a contraction in the region of 3% to 5%, driven by the following three factors:
• Continued global recession affecting protein consumption.
• The conversion of large amounts of feed stocks and materials into biofuels.
• Reduced feed supply due to a global drought, specifically in the U.S.
In addition, a mycotoxin survey, also carried out by Alltech, indicates that the surviving U.S. harvest will be highly contaminated with up to 37 different mycotoxins, due to crop vulnerability from adverse weather conditions. The resulting percentage contraction in feed production will then be determined by the ability of integrated food producers, farmers and food companies to pass on the increased feed material cost to consumers without any loss in overall consumption levels.
“We are facing a completely new era for the agriculture industry where, for the first time in history, feed production for 2013 will be lower than for 2012, and it is clear that efficiency in converting feed into food will be more critical to food companies than ever,” said Connolly.