The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) held its 51st annual Liquid Feed Symposium (LFS) last week in New Orleans, LA, where over 160 attendees gathered to hear the latest ingredient, weather and market forecasts and discuss the ways this unique industry segment factors into cattle producers’ sustainability objectives.

“Today’s liquid feed manufacturers are weathering a lot – inflation, ingredient availability challenges, trucking and labor shortages, extended periods of drought – yet there is still a sense of optimism that they will continue moving their businesses forward to deliver sustainable, quality products to America’s beef and dairy cattle producers,” said Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA’s director of quality, animal food safety and education.

LFS attendees heard from several speakers on myriad topics, including on how the Russia-Ukraine war is impacting global markets for agricultural commodities, long-term challenges with growing and maintaining a stable trucking workforce, the political forecast for the November midterm elections, and how tracking and reporting environmental data will be increasingly important for downstream customers.

"The feed industry used to have ‘the first right of refusal’ for many ingredients,” such as molasses, whey and glycerin, given there was “not much competition” for them, said John Cropley, commodity analyst, ED&F Man Liquid Products. Now, “the additional demand from non-feed sectors is tightening the balances,” particularly from the energy sector, where companies “can pay more than most cattle producers can pay unfortunately."

“We are going to experience a death of protein in the U.S. for a bit,” said Joseph Kerns, president, Partners for Production Agriculture. “We will produce less animals to get the feed rates to go down, leading to a reduction in global protein supplies.”

Apart from the educational sessions, the AFIA and Feedstuffs recognized Quality Liquid Feeds’ Comstock Park, Mich., manufacturing facility as the 2022 Liquid Feed Facility of the Year award winner.

The AFIA Liquid Feed Committee also hosted a live auction, which raised a record $17,100 to support the Kenny Berg Research and Education Fund. The fund, which is managed by the Institute for Feed Education and Research, supports liquid feed research projects conducted by agricultural universities.

The AFIA thanks gold sponsors Anipro/Xtraformance Feeds, Huvepharma, Quality Liquid Feeds and Westway Feed Products; silver sponsors Adisseo, Central Life Sciences, DPI Global, DSM Nutrition Products, Global Animal Products, Feed Strategy, Poultry Protein & Fat Council and Sunnyside Feeds; as well as its bronze sponsors Buffalo Molasses, Cerne Calcium Company, ED&F Man, Micronutrients, MGM Marketing, Nutrien, Performix Nutrition Systems, Prinova, Provitas and Zinpro.

Next year’s AFIA Liquid Feed Symposium will take place Sept. 12-14, 2023, in Louisville, KY.