World Grain - May 2020 - 31

FEATURE: AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY WEATHERS COVID-19 STORM

30

dent of public policy and education for the American
Feed Industry Association (AFIA), told World Grain
on April 21. "On the ethanol side, feed producers are
XVHGWRWKDWHEEDQGÀRZ´
DDGS make up about 12.6% of total diet composition
for all animal species, according to the 2016 US Animal
Food Consumption Report. That amounted to 29.7 million tonnes of DDGS fed to animals in 2016. A total of
1.3 million tonnes of animal byproduct meals were fed to
the top nine livestock, poultry and aquaculture species.
"There are no major gaps in what we're providing,"
she said. "Corn isn't going to be making ethanol, so we
can use the corn."
With meat processing facilities closing, there's also
the possibility animal production will decline.
"If there's not as many animals to feed, our industry will respond," Wilkinson said. "We want to make
sure our partners get the assistance they need to remain
viable. That's the backbone of our economy. That's
something that is important to all of us, especially to
rural America."
The AFIA has not been made aware of any member
or any feed production facilities shutting down because
of employees testing positive for COVID-19.
"It's something that we are watching," Wilkinson
said. "We're making sure our members have resources
and procedures in place so that if they have any employees who test positive, they're ready."
Due to the way they operate, many facilities already
had social distancing in place, but they have taken extra measures. These include split shifts, rotating shifts,
letting employees who can work from home do so and
eliminating face-to-face interaction with truck drivers
making deliveries.
One of the primary concerns for the industry is ensur-

ing the reliability of ingredients, Wilkinson said. Feed
manufacturers are dependent on imported ingredients,
such as vitamins, amino acids and some minerals.
"We're making sure we have access to those ingredients on all fronts and that the systems we have in place
for the supply chain are going to work," she said.
While it was impossible to predict the early impacts
of COVID-19, the feed industry tried to anticipate as
much as it could, Wilkinson said.
"Manufacturers made sure that the supplies they did
have, especially China-based imported products, were
being managed appropriately," she said.
GRAIN SUPPLIES
Current global grain stocks stand at approximately 850
million tonnes, compared to a stockpile of about 470
million tonnes at the start of the Great Recession. The
low amount of grain stocks, coupled with high demand
for corn in what was then a booming ethanol market,
OHG WR VRDULQJ JUDLQ SULFHV DQG IRRG LQÀDWLRQ WKDW VHverely impacted food security in a number of developing countries for several years.
Grain prices have been driven downward, with corn
futures trading at $3.32 per bushel on April 20, the lowest level in four years and far below the high of $7.58
per bushel in June 2008.
Schmidhuber said there is plenty of grain to meet the
growing demand for durable, inexpensive grain-based
products as much of the global population, including
some who are recently unemployed, isolates at home
and waits for the pandemic to subside.
He noted that grain production, processing and transportation is much less labor intensive compared to the
vegetable or fruit industries, which makes a serious
glitch in the supply chain less likely.
May 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com

©Jim W. Parkin - stock.adobe.com

Nearly half
of ethanol
production is
currently offline
as demand for
fuel plummets.


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World Grain - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - May 2020

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World Grain - May 2020 - 2
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