News & Events
Aquaculture is a growing sector of agriculture worldwide, with nearly 1 billion people depending on fish as their primary protein source. Even though concerns over sustainability, overfishing and cost of production have complicated the development of more commercial aquaculture operations, the industry continues to look forward.
To help meet the growing demand for fish worldwide, in March 2015 the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) began two independent aquaculture feeding trials using distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in Vietnam.
Animal nutritionists regularly contribute to U.S. Grains Council (USGC) programs and their research findings are often applied to international livestock production systems. The following leading nutritionists shared their insights for this month’s edition of the Grain News.
Gerald Shurson, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Barley is a versatile and useful crop with applications ranging from feed and food production to beverage manufacturing. In the United States, it is grown mostly in the northern states of Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and barley farmers alike are reporting a successful 2015 crop based on favorable weather conditions in the growing region. USDA’s July crop production forecast estimated total barley production at 4.5 million metric tons (206.7 million bushels).
Sorghum, also known as milo, represents the third-largest cereal grain grown in the United States. Even though grain sorghum is grown in a relatively small geographic area of the United States, production is on the rise because of increased demand. In its June acreage report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA’s NASS) estimated planted grain sorghum acres at 8.84 million (3.58 million hectares), an 11 percent increase from its March report and a 24 percent increase compared to 2014.
For U.S. farmers, the month of August is harvest time for barley and a time to monitor corn and sorghum crops and prepare equipment for harvest.
Lacey Ridge Farms in Minnesota began harvesting barley July 21 and finished the first week of August. Once harvested, barley is stored in bins on the farm where the family can check moisture levels and dry it as needed.
Iowa corn farmer Jim Greif is preparing his on-farm drying and storage bins for the upcoming harvest. He is performing performance tests on the drying equipment and cleaning out the storage bins.
Corn (or maize, as it is known throughout much of the world) is the most widely-produced feed grain in the United States. In mid-July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated planted corn acreage at 88.897 million acres (35.9 million hectares), which translates to an estimated total corn supply of 13.7 billion bushels (348 million metric tons). Corn consistently makes its way into rations for beef and dairy cattle, poultry, swine, aquaculture and companion pets because of its high energy content and its availability.
Successful livestock management is dependent in large part upon meeting the nutritional needs of animals by feeding properly formulated diets. There are six basic classes of nutrients that must be considered in ration formulation: water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
The first of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting planting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
The segment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/plant15
The story of the 2015 U.S. corn crop began with widespread cool temperatures across the U.S. Corn Belt that delayed planting.
Be sure to check out updates being posted by U.S. corn farmers on the Facebook page, Growing the 2015 U.S. Corn Crop.
The page features crop progress and condition information, weather updates from farmers and photos from U.S. corn farms.
The page can be found at www.facebook.com/GrowCorn.