Aqua Programs Ramp Up Across The World

During 2023, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) offices around the world have continued to focus on the growing market for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in the aquaculture sector. Education plays a key role in the Council’s DDGS promotion strategy, and this past year the Council worked closely with those in the aquaculture fields in Southeast Asia and Oceania (SEA&O), Latin America (LTA) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to offer more information on the benefits of DDGS use in the industry.

The Council’s aquaculture work in Southeast Asia has continued to grow over the years, and this year Council staff conducted an aquaculture roadshow to reach more industry representatives in the region. Presentations in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia focused on the global shrimp outlook; aquafeed extrusion techniques; and opportunities for DDGS in those diets, among other topics.

The Council’s SEA&O team continues to partner with research universities and organizations, including the Petambak Muda Indonesia (Young Shrimp Farmers Association) and World Aquaculture Society, to build the recognition of coarse grain product use in aquaculture while it conducts additional research on the performance of DDGS in shrimp and tilapia diets.

In LTA, the Council invited five relevant shrimp feed producers based in Ecuador, producing shrimp feed for Ecuador, Peru and Central America, to take part in the Distillers Grains Technology Council’s Distillers Conference in 2023. Those companies represented 48 percent of the shrimp feed produced in Ecuador in 2021.

In addition to taking part in the symposium, the team was able to visit several ethanol plants and a corn operation. Through these visits, the group was able to hear firsthand about the trials taking place and research being conducted in the aquaculture sector on the use of corn-fermented proteins and DDGS in aqua feed. The participants highlighted the relevance of the site visits in gaining a better understanding of the different products available, research taking place and for networking with potential suppliers.

The Council’s EMEA office has also been hard at work promoting the benefits of DDGS use in aqua feed, conducting a feeding trial in Turkey and hosting the International Aquaculture Conference in Morocco in 2023.

The aquaculture feeding trial sponsored by the Council and its partners is the second of its kind conducted at Aydin Adnan Menderes University, focusing on the nutritional health of seabass and seabream when corn co-products are added to their diets. The results of the trial will be formally unveiled at the Barcelona Aqua Conference, held April 23-25, 2024.

During the Council’s International Aquaculture Conference, attendees heard about topics including the nutrition of various aquaculture species; raw material procurement; aquafeed ingredient properties; biosecurity; pellet quality and extrusion technologies. The workshop not only acted as an educational opportunity for aqua professionals, but it also allowed the Council to strengthen its ties with Moroccan aqua feed industry professionals. The Council sees the aquaculture industry as a catalyst to leverage and raise demand for U.S. corn co-products.