On Day 2 of Feed Additives 2018, Omarh Mendoza, Associate Director of Nutrition for The Maschhoffs, will be joining our integrators panel Understanding Challenges in Livestock Farming. Feed Additives recently spoke with Omarh about his views on the industry.

[Feed Additives] What do you think are the biggest challenge in swine nutrition?

[Omarh Mendoza] Historically we have thought about swine nutrition in isolation in terms of studying and quantifying ingredient and or nutrient to growth performance relationships. However, in designing feeding programs for pigs in the real world, a good understanding of the different factors that interact when a population of pigs is reared in a commercial environment, is needed, such as health, genetics, environmental, management and feed processing factors. It is in this area, where one of the major challenges presents itself, which is the ability to optimize lifetime productivity of a swine herd and to be able to be predictable in terms of biological and economic performance. Therefore, it is important to integrate other scientific disciplines in addition to nutrition to be able to optimize the performance of a population of pigs.

[Feed Additives] How do you evaluate feed additives companies and products?

[Omarh Mendoza] In our company we utilize a systematic approach that allows us to be disciplined in terms of evaluation of feed additives and other technologies (i.e. nutritional, management, health, genetics, reproduction, housing, etc.) to ensure value creation at a system level. In terms of nutritional products I utilize a screening process that includes understanding of: 1) mechanism of action through scientifically derived data, and 2) applicability in a production environment that needs to be backed by data generated utilizing sound scientific principles. After a technology passes the initial screening, a prioritization matrix is then used to help us determine allocation of research resources to all potential technologies independent of functional area to be evaluate within our system utilizing our research and development platform. The criteria used to prioritize includes: economic value, probability of success, implementation difficulty, timeline to profit among others.

[Feed Additives] How has American legislation impacted your role in the recent years?

[Omarh Mendoza] There has been impact to some extent, especially in the area of feed additives used for growth promotion. This has led us to explore alternative technologies aimed at improving performance of the pig that are not deemed antimicrobials.

[Feed Additives] In your view, what is the animal nutrition sector doing wrong today?

[Omarh Mendoza] One of the critical areas that the animal nutrition sector needs to continue to develop, is the delivery of complete solutions to the producer in terms of proven and tested additives under the environment where the technology is going to be applied. Discovery type research is key and needed, but validation of technologies under field conditions that take into account a multifactorial approach would allow animal producers to develop strategic implementation of technologies.

[Feed Additives] A key theme of this conference is innovation and disruption. What part of the industry do you think ready for a new entrant to disrupt?

[Omarh Mendoza] I believe that the use and application of “big data” in animal agriculture has the ability to disrupt how we think about conventional rearing of animals for food production. Having the ability to obtain real-time information and base decisions using these data can definitely equip producers to continue to enhance animal agriculture and get us ready to feed a growing population with optimum use of resources.