MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — A group of 28 dairy producers from China visited the U.S. this past month in order to explore the impact of using soybeans and soybean products as a source of nutrition in dairy herds.

This team was led by Jack Cheng of American Soybean Association-International Marketing (ASA-IM). Their visit to the included field trips to various dairy farms and feed mills, attendance of the World Dairy Exposition in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., and a workshop on feed manufacturing and the use of soybeans as a source for dairy nutrition at Kansas State University’s (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP), Sept. 26-27.

The workshop at IGP was beneficial to the participants because it helped them learn the technical aspects of feed manufacturing and dairy nutrition, Cheng said.

“The team members learned much technical information on how to use soy products such as full-fat soybeans, roasted soybeans and expelled soybean meal in dairy feeds,” he said.

According to Cheng, one of the objectives of this trip was for team members to “have the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with U.S. feed producers, dairy extension specialists and related key industry personnel for improving their operations in China.”

At IGP, this was accomplished through careful planning and utilization of KSU personnel, said Jay O’Neil, course coordinator and IGP senior agricultural economist.

“We brought together the appropriate experts from KSU — both from the grain science and animal sciences and industry departments — to teach at this workshop. These key experts in feed manufacturing, dairy nutrition and dairy herd management provided focused presentations on dairy management practices through the use of U.S. soybeans and soybean products,” he said.

While IGP regularly holds feed manufacturing short courses, this one was different because of its specific focus, said O’Neil. “This course had some general similarities to other feed manufacturing and animal nutrition courses conducted at IGP, but was singularly focused on dairy nutrition and herd management and the use of soybean products.”