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I recently attended a conference in Dubai, and had the pleasure of speaking with people who are working to improve local food and feed production in the region. It was educational for me to learn from our customers about the regional challenges they encounter – all in an effort to improve food security.
Raising animals in hot climates is one of these regional challenges. As air temperature (and body temperature) rises, animals modify their behavior to adapt. As consuming and digesting food results in metabolic heat production, animals reliably decrease feed intake as they start to experience heat stress. As I have outlined in the past, this is a problem for production animals because a certain energy level is required to maximize performance, such as milk production. Simply put, if they don’t have energy from the diet, performance and body condition will fall.
Fortunately, some things can be done with animals in hot climates. Using fans to increase air movement and misting or water-dripping systems will help by increasing evaporative cooling.
In addition, to counteract the decline in energy intake (and performance) that comes along with decreased feed intake, changes in diet formulation can help maintain performance. For some animals species, this could mean reducing the total protein content of the diet and using easy-to-digest, synthetic amino acids to supplement those that are limiting performance. This could be an effective tactic because digesting intact protein is energetically inefficient, especially at higher temperatures (see here).
It may also be necessary to increase the energy density of the diet to make up for the decline in intake. Adding dietary fats or oils, which are concentrated energy sources, are one effective way of accomplishing this.
Finally, the use of high-quality ingredients can help during times of heat stress. For example, ExPress soy meal, with highly-digestible amino acids from protein, and high-quality energy from the higher residual oil in the meal, work well in these situations.
At Insta-Pro Intl, we interact with our customers and prospects from all over the world to help them solve problems they bolster food security in places that they call home. As indicated here, this goes far beyond selling our equipment.
A healthy business practice to repeat at least on an annual basis is a review of your revenue streams. Are you achieving your annual revenues from a narrow group of customers or market segments? Let’s say you have one customer that is responsible for 33% of your annual Sales. All of a sudden, something happened to that customer. Maybe they had a change in ownership, a different buyer, they changed strategies or possibly something happened to their market that forced them to shut down a plant that your company supplied. How are you going to survive with just two thirds of the volume you once had?
We look at individual customers, regions of the world and product segments. For example, from time to time certain issues pop up in certain regions of the world like a recession, war, banking issues, currency issues, etc. To assure that our company stays healthy in the long term, we look to expand our presence in weaker markets so that we have more diversification by regions.
In your situation, you might have one market segment that has been great. It keeps growing and wants more of your product. But as part of your annual strategic planning process, you also need to look at how much of your volume is coming from that one market segment. How do you and your team continue to support this growth in a positive way, but at the same time take some of those added profits and invest in growing other markets or regions? Maybe that market is in the broiler industry and now you decide to more aggressively go after customers in the layer industry. Or possibly there is a developing dairy industry you now want to pursue.
The benefits of this strategic approach is clear. Broadening your sales are definitely part of risk mitigation for your business. It also balances your revenues so that as a market declines, your diversification will bring in other markets which might be going up. Or as one product might be facing extreme pricing pressures, another product might be taking off as competition has faltered. With a broad enough business, you can manage through the ups and downs of any one market, region, customer or product.
Insta-Pro Intl can help support you in the development of a new product or market with experience in many areas. The Sales and Nutrition/Technology teams would be happy to discuss ideas with you to assist in developing a solid strategic plan to diversify your revenue streams.