Alltech Feed Survey Reports Slight Increase

logo-alltechResults from the 2014 Global Feed Tonnage Survey released by Alltech revealed a one percent increase in feed production, with global feed tonnage reporting in at 963 million metric tons, up from 954 million metric tons last year. Alltech assessed the compound feed production of 130 countries in Dec. 2013 through information obtained in partnership with local feed associations and Alltech’s sales team, who visit more than 28,000 feed mills annually.

Among the 130 countries assessed in Alltech’s survey, China was once again the number one country producing feed at 189 million metric tons and an estimated 9,500 feed mills. The United States and Brazil ranked second and third respectively, with the U.S. producing 169 million metric tons from 5,236 feed mills and Brazil generating 67 million metric tons from 1,237 feed mills. There was an observed decline in the number of feed mills in China, likely driven by government policy, which favors a smaller number of larger feedmills to facilitate traceability and improvements in quality, and the continued demand by urban consumers for further processed proteins from larger farms.

In terms of percent growth in comparison to the Dec. 2012 figures, Africa was reaffirmed as the fastest growing region. Countries such as South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mauritius and Namibia all experienced production increases, boosting Africa’s combined tonnage seven percent to just short of 31 million metric tons in 2013. Asia, of the six regions surveyed, is once again the leading overall region in terms of production of animal feed, with 348 million metric tons or more than one-third of global feed, but did not grow in 2013. The Middle East is estimated to have the largest feed mills by average tons per year. Globally, feedmills produced an average of 34,000 metric tons.

When analyzed by species:

  • Poultry: 46 percent share of global production at 444 million tons.
  • Pig feed: increased by 11 percent, moving to 243 million metric tons globally.
  • The ruminant feed market: decreased in tonnage demand between late 2012 and December 2013.
  • Equine feed: tonnage increased 14 percent to 12.4 million metric tons.
  • Aquaculture: 17 percent increase in 2013 to 34.4 million metric tons.
  • Pet food: tonnage increased just slightly from 20.5 to 20.7 million tons.

The Survey found that the total value of the feed industry exceeds $500 billion, higher than the previous estimate of $350 billion. This has been fueled by high feed prices but also the more accurate information collected by this survey. With an expected fall in feed prices in 2014, this value of the feed industry will likely not be as high in 2014.

Humorous Words of Wisdom at O.H. Kruse

Damian MasonKeynote speaker and comedian, Damian Mason, graced attendees of O.H. Kruse Grand Opportunity event with his quick humor and motivational words.

Chuck has had the chance to speak with Damian before, but wanted to capture the take home message for those not able to hear his inspiring and comical words of wisdom.

“For these people at O.H. Kruse they obviously sell feed who sell it to retail customers. So, what I thought about my whole flight here was what would I want to know, what would I want an outsider to tell me if I was in the business as an independent feed dealer. I want to tell a few stories here today that are about customer service with an ag theme and it’s going to be funny. I’m going to talk about me as a small business person because what I do is sell presentations to corporate events where I can get up, make people laugh and make people think.”

Damian stated that these dealers don’t sell bags of feed, but they sell solutions. They sell piece of mind and many other things that aren’t simply bags of feed.

Being funny is easy for Damian, but being funny isn’t the true purpose of his words. He focuses on how his words can become relevant to each and every audience member. Just because his audience is often those involved in the agriculture community doesn’t mean they all need to hear the same thing.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Damian here: Interview with Damian Mason

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Red Wine & Good Laughs at O.H. Kruse Reception

Nicholas and Cody FloresO.H. Kruse Grand Opportunities event finished up with a festive reception and dinner. Nicholas and Cody Flores of Las Flores Winery were honored to provide their vineyards wine for the event. There wine can be ordered online, but their Cabernet is only offered in their tasting rooms.

Not passing up the opportunity to taste wine and grab an interview, Chuck chatted with the husband and wife team while he tried the prized Cabernet. The couple met while attending San Diego State and their passion of drinking wine led into a hobby of making wine and soon a business.

“It’s such a fun business. We really enjoy meeting all the people, socializing and sharing great wine and great laughs. Everyone that drinks wine is pretty much happy. We just love the people. We are growing. We are increasing our volume we produce every year, but we are also expanding into doing a lot of events, anniversaries, weddings. We have done a lot with landscaping our winery and vineyard. Starting this year we are also making a state wine.”

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Nicholas and Cody here: Interview with Nicholas & Cody Flores

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

A Local Business Supplying Local Feed

Jeff and Jen WiseMeet the Wise family. A family of five who randomly found a demand for a niche market and jumped at the opportunity with O.H. Kruse.

I visited with Jen & Jeff Wise of Wise Acre Feed and Supplies, in Sanger, CA. Jen is a radio personality on KMJ, Fresno, CA. Locals might know her as Jennifer Lipp. In just 10 months, Jen shares how they went from two chickens to 144. After an O.H. Kruse employee heard Jen talking about her chickens on the radio, he asked her to try their feed. She explained how excited she became when she opened the bag and it smelled like real food, not grain. After a month on the feed, the eggs were creamier, the coops smelled less and a hen who never grew feathers, grew them.

Jen and Jeff were hooked on the product, but soon found out that it wasn’t carried by local feed stores. They quickly decided that they needed to open a feed store and provide customers with the same connection to their food as they had found. But the business they opened was unique, they decided that they would exclusively carry O.H. Kruse products.

A local business supplying local feed. Jen says, “I am interested in everything local. I’m interested in what people in the community are doing and I am very interested in finding out how people tick.”

You can find out more about the Wise family and their new business venture on their Facebook page.

You can listen to my interview with Jen and Jeff here: Interview with Jen and Jeff Wise

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

O.H. Kruse Takes Time to Listen

Chad PinterThere is no doubt the Great Opportunities event O.H. Kruse held was customers focused. But it was more than simply honoring customers, it was a chance to listen to their opinions on products and strive to help them overcome their farming challenges.

I caught up with Chad Pinter, CFO, O.H. Kruse, and he shared what it mean’t to put on a customer appreciation event and what feedback they have received from such valued customers.

“It’s a way for us to get close to our customers and understand what challenges they are facing, educate them on the trends in the industry that we see and make sure we have a lot of opportunities to interact with them while charting a path forward that works for both of us.”

Customers were able to share their opinion on what products moved faster than others and why. Employees also got to ask questions about what draws customers to specific products. O.H. Kruse takes pride in the chance to listen to their customers and actually act on the response they receive.

“We have gone through a very challenging time over the last number of years because a lot of our customer base hasn’t been profitable. That’s changing. Feed prices have come off and we are seeing people come back to profits and that’s healthy for everybody. It’s going to take a long time to recover the loses that occurred by our customers, but every step in the right direction is positive.”

You can listen to my interview with Chad here: Interview with Chad Pinter

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

R&D LifeSciences Supplementing O.H. Kruse Feeds

R&D Life SciencesOne of the companies that exhibited at the O.H. Kruse Grand Opportunities event this week was R&D LifeSciences. I visited with David Zehendner, President/CEO, pictured on right with Michael DuBois.

The mission of R&D LifeSciences is to produce highly specific, proprietary feed ingredients and formulations, while solving producer problems and offering alternatives to increase their bottom line. As a base manufacturer of enzymes and direct fed microbials (DFMs), the ever growing R&D LifeSciences line is manufactured in the United States and offers nutritionists, feed mills and livestock producers a wide variety of feed-enhancement and health products.

David says the company is producing products that O.H. Kruse is now adding to their show feeds. He says that the feed dealers attending the event wanted to know how their product compares to others in the marketplace and how well it performs. He was happy to say that orders were taken!

You can listen to my interview with David here: Interview with David Zehendner

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Templeton Feed & Grain Rolls w/Changes

Tom JerminOne of the many dealers attending today’s O.H. Kruse Grand Opportunities event is Tom Jermin, Templeton Feed & Grain. He’s seen here speaking with Clint Cummings, O.H. Kruse, in the buying showcase.

Templeton Feed & Grain is a real family success story. We’re up to the fourth generation working in the company if you count Tom’s grandson who is only ten years old but comes into the business to help with tickets and change! It’s a great story and I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation.

When it comes to the relationship with O.H. Kruse, Tom says “It’s a really good relationship with everyone pulling together.” One of the areas that has contributed a lot to Tom’s business is the pet food produced by O.H. Kruse in their state of the art facility. He even keeps a poster of the plant in his store above the Kruse dog food to point out exactly where it comes from. He’s seen a lot of changes in the feed industry over the years and he’s no fan of government regulation!

You can listen to my interview with Tom here: Interview with Tom Jermin

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

ADM at O.H. Kruse Buying Showcase

ADM at O.H. Kruse EventDuring the O.H. Kruse Grand Opportunities event the company showcases its products in a Buying Showcase. This trade show also includes a number of companies who work with the Kruse as I’ve heard several call it. O.H. Kruse either uses their products or represents them in the western U.S. marketplace.

One of those companies is ADM. I visited with Scott Vetter, District Sales Manager, about participating in today’s event. He says he’s here to talk with O.H. Kruse dealers about their equine and show feed lines. Scott says they want to know what products are available, what the quality is like and what quantities are available. Hear more about ADM in my interview with Scott.

You can listen to my interview with Scott here: Interview with Scott Vetter

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

The O.H. Kruse Family Get Together

O.H. Kruse EventO.H. Kruse Grain & Milling is a family business and Ashli Cole, Marketing/Customer Care Mgr., says that they consider all of their customers part of the Kruse family. I spoke with her at the start of today’s Grand Opportunities event to get a preview of what attendees will find.

During the day we have the Buying Show which is located inside the Heritage Center here at the International Agri-Center. There are also several educational sessions taking place this morning and repeating this afternoon. Then we get social with a banquet featuring Damian Mason.

You can listen to my interview with Ashli here: Interview with Ashli Cole

2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Customer Appreciation with O.H. Kruse

O.H. Kruse Grain & MillingHello and welcome to the 2013 O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling Customer Appreciation Day. There are some “Grand Opportunities” awaiting the attendees today and I’m going to let you know about them throughout the day. This is my second trip to Tulare, CA with O.H. Kruse. We’re located in the International Agri-Center once again.

The O.H. Kruse story is a fascinating family one and today we have some of that family here that could not make it last year. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories as I collect them to share with you.

Everyone loves photos and I’ve got ‘em. During today’s event I’ll be adding photos to this photo album: 2013 O.H. Kruse Photo Album

See you again soon. We’re about to start today’s educational sessions.

Improving Digestibility Can Reduce Feed Costs

wpx13-novus-escobarApplying nutrient digestibility concepts and the use of certain enzymes can help hog producers reduce waste and lower feed costs.

Dr. Jeffrey Escobar of Novus International talked about that during a presentation at World Pork Expo this week, explaining the benefits of their feed additive Cibenza DP100. “It’s a heat-stable protease … that will digest proteins to release amino acids,” he explains. “So what Cibenza DP100 will do is help the enzymes already present in the pig and increase the digestibility of the proteins present in the feed with a net gain of more amino acids believed delivered to the animal.”

Listen to my interview with Jeffrey and/or watch a video of his presentation below: Interview with Novus' Jeffrey Escobar

2013 World Pork Expo photo album.

EPA Denies Ethanol Waiver Request

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition by the governors of poultry producing states that would have waived the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its requirement for ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.

In its decision to deny the request, EPA said Friday that the RFS itself is not causing economic harm and that suspending the standard would reduce corn prices by only 1%. “We recognize that this year’s drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers,” said EPA’s Gina McCarthy in a statement. “But our extensive analysis makes clear that congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact.”

The ethanol industry is obviously pleased with the decision and so are corn farmers. “The National Corn Growers Association supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny the Renewable Fuel Standard waiver request,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson “We believe Administrator Jackson appropriately recognized petitioners did not properly prove severe nationwide economic harm had occurred thereby creating no justification for a waiver of the RFS.”

“The RFS is working as designed,” said Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen. “The flexibility that is built into the RFS allows the marketplace to ration demand, not the government. Indeed, the ethanol industry has responded to the market by reducing output by approximately 12%.”

Listen to or download interview with Bob Dinneen. RFA reacts to RFS Waiver Denial

Livestock and poultry producers, however, are not so happy. A coalition of livestock, poultry and dairy organizations issued a statement expressing “extreme disappointment” with the denial.

“We are extremely frustrated and discouraged that EPA chose to ignore the clear economic argument from tens of thousands of family farmers and livestock and poultry producers that the food-to-fuel policy is causing and will cause severe harm to regions in which those farmers and producers operate,” the coalition said.

In fact, dozens of poultry, pork, beef and dairy operations have filed for bankruptcy, been sold or simply gone out of business over the past several months because of rising feed grain prices.

“How many more jobs and family farms have to be lost before we change this misguided policy and create a level playing field on the free market for the end users of corn?” the coalition asked. “It is now abundantly clear that this law is broken, and we will explore remedies to fix it.”

Customer Satisfaction with O.H. Kruse

It’s one thing to think you’ve had a successful event. It’s another to hear from your customers that it was a successful event.

At the end of last week’s first ever O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling dealer appreciation day I asked a couple of the attendees what they thought. You can listen to Manuel and Tim, Royal Oaks Feed, who were very enthused and appreciative of the effort that O.H. Kruse put into this educational and entertaining event. They said they’ll be taking back a lot of information they can use. One example they said was how effective the new communication tools have become.

Listen to my interview with Royal Oaks Feed here: Interview with Royal Oaks Feed

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Some O.H. Kruse Memories

When you’ve got a company that is three generations old you can bet there are lots of memories. I captured some of those memories of O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling by talking with Richard Kruse, Kruse Feed & Supply. Richard is pictured on the left with his nephew, Kevin Kruse.

Richard started out working in his father’s business and it is all he’s known his whole life. He says that as a boy he remembers waking up to the sound of a grinder going off at about five in the morning. He says it has been a great ride because of the people they have been associated with and who believed in them. Richard says a key to their success is having a belief in all members of their working “family.” There’s nothing he likes better than seeing his customers grow and prosper because that helps them do the same.

Listen to my interview with Richard here: Interview with Richard Kruse

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

What Advertising Works for Ag Retailers

Want to have a successful ag retail advertising campaign? Let David Stanley, ConvergeMark, give you some ideas. David was one of the presenters at the O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling dealer appreciation day.

David says “You have to realize you can’t be all things to all people. Really figure out who you can serve best and then find out, What are their interests? What motivates them? What causes them to buy? and then when you understand that you can tailor your advertising message to reach what your customer cares about.” He says so many businesses advertise what he calls “chest thumping” ads that are about the business and not what the customer wants. The focus needs to be outward not inward.

Listen to my interview with David here and learn more from him about deciding what advertising options to use: Interview with David Stanley

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Marketing Ag Retail Online

If you’re in the retail ag business how do you stand out from the crowd, especially when we’re talking about online. Yep. The internet.

That question is one that Terrell Miller, Cattlesoft, Inc. founder, provided answers for during the O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling dealer appreciation day. Terrell conducted two presentations during the day on this subject. The big message is having a presence online and not just a one page website. You need to have information that’s timely and relevant to your customers. Terrell says he’s also been encouraging retailers to provide educational resources online too. We also talked about social media since that ties in to what a retailer is doing online.

Listen to my interview with Terrell here: Interview with Terrell Miller

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

O.H. Kruse is a Family Business

When O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling decided to hold a dealer appreciation day they viewed it as an investment in their dealers and their brand name according to Kevin Kruse, President/CEO. He says it is an opportunity to re-present their brand. Kevin spoke to attendees during the evening dinner.

I spoke with Kevin before dinner and asked him what message he wanted to share with the folks attending. He said, “We’re a family business and that they’re part of our family. We really appreciate and are proud to be doing business with these people. It’s a thank you and it’s a discussion of how we can work together to improve both our businesses. That’s the focus.” Kevin also spoke about the challenges in the feed industry and what he sees in the future for the company.

Listen to my interview with Kevin here: Interview with Kevin Kruse

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

O.H. Kruse is Support System for Dealers

Here’s the happy winner of a new iPad courtesy of O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling. He is just one of the door prize winners at the company dealer appreciation day. In fact, there were a lot of winners. If you signed up for the event text messages we were being updated on winners throughout the day. This prize was awarded during the evening meal.

Presenting this prize on the left is Ashli Cole, Marketing & Customer Care Manager. Ashli was part of the staff that worked so hard to make this a special day for customers. She says that the dealer appreciation day is a sort of culmination of a number of changes and efforts within the company during the last year. She says it’s all about being relevant to their customers in the dynamic market that exists right now. Ashli says dealers were shocked when they arrived at the event expecting to receive a hard core sales pitch. Instead they were greeted in a friendly social atmosphere that included excellent meals, educational seminars, product displays and evening entertainment. So new relationships were formed and old ones developed further. Ashli hopes they came away thinking, “That we don’t just sell feed. That we’re a support system for them.”

Listen to my interview with Ashli here: Interview with Ashli Cole

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

Feed Company Success Drivers

The O.H Kruse Dealer Appreciation Day included a series of educational and information presentations throughout the day. Besides inviting dealer customers to an event to say thank you the company wanted them to come away with valuable information that will help them in their businesses.

One of the presenters is David Parker, Adayana Business Group. David talked on the subjects of “Selling Value in a Commodity World” and “Key Success Drivers of the 21st Century.” I talked with him to learn what he wanted attendees to take away from his presentations. One of those things is how retailers differentiate themselves from all the others to create an advantage in a very crowded market. When it comes to success drivers David says some of them include a focus on operational efficiency, doing an annual strategic plan, a focus on people and a real sales focus.

Listen to my interview with David here: Interview with David Parker

O.H. Kruse Photo Album

O.H. Kruse is Pet Food Can-Do Company

O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling customers not only toured their Goshen, CA feed mill but also the new nearby pet food facility. Our tour guide was Ed Cooper, VP, Operations, Perfection Pet Foods.

Ed says they broke ground on the plant only a little over a year ago. Their goal is to build the most state of the art pet food production facilities with a focus on food safety and good quality products. They make a wide variety of products that are made to meet the specific needs of their customers. Ed says they are proud of how they handle the food safety issue and being a can-do instead of a can’t-do company. The facility is being built in two different phases and ultimately will be able to produce up to 320 thousand tons per year.

Listen to my interview with Ed here: Interview with Ed Cooper

O.H. Kruse Photo Album