American feed industry’s effect on the agricultural industry

Last month, American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) Vice President Leah Wilkinson spoke on the organization’s latest research study during Washington Watch, Farm Talk Radio’s event series in Washington, D.C.

First, Wilkinson explained why determining the overall economic value of AFIA’s contributions to the feed and pet food industries can be difficult.

“That’s one of our biggest challenges,” she said. “Everybody sees the feed mill down the road. They know we make feed or pet food, but what is our economic contribution? How many jobs are we providing in that congressional district, or in that state? How much feed are we manufacturing? So we did a study to help us quantify that.”

The yearlong study revealed that the AFIA represents sales of nearly $300 billion of feed and pet food sold in the United States. The top ingredients that comprise their sales are corn (50%), soybean meal (13%), and distiller dried grains (7%). Additionally, the study revealed that their sales represent 236 million tons of feed annually.

According to Wilkinson, the export market is also growing, especially the top two U.S. export markets, Mexico and Canada, which represent 50% of the U.S. export industry. Recent tariffs and export regulations have been very important in this sphere, she said.

Wilkinson also took time to talk about how the AFIA’s goal is to work hard to make sure that feed regulations can be implemented in a fashion that won’t incur an added cost.

“We also have the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations that have gone into place,” she said. “A lot of people only hear about them from a human food aspect, but feed is also a food, so we are caught up in those regulations as well. So, we’ve been working hard to make sure they are regulations we can implement that don’t add cost to the industry.”

If you’d like to listen to Wilkinson’s full interview, it can be found at the Ag News website.

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