A workshop training program using the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database (IAFFD) will be expanded to global regions beyond Southeast Asia in 2019, according to the International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), which has been involved in development and training of this database since its inception in 2014.

The IAFFD, a joint venture of academia and commercial interests and made possible with seed funding from USAID and USSEC, is the first standardized, publicly available tool for feed formulators in the global aquaculture industry.  Since 2015, training workshops on the database have been held for feed formulators in Southeast Asia. In the first half of 2019, USSEC will start hosting IAFFD workshops in Latin America, the Middle East, China and India as well.

“As we move away from fishmeal and fish oil to more complex formulations, we want the industry to consider a nutrient basis rather than ingredient basis for feeds,” says Lukas Manomaitis, USSEC’s Aquaculture Program Lead Technical Consultant. “Even though the IAFFD is not a USSEC database, by focusing on nutrients we can show the value of high quality U.S. soy and how it benefits aquaculture species.”

As the IAFFD continually expands and improves with the addition of new species and ingredients, and is tested in training workshops, it is becoming a valuable tool that adds value to feed companies’ own proprietary databases. It can be used by feed mills to train their own staff, and gives new formulators to the industry a basic database from which to work.

Now in Stage IV of development, the IAFFD currently includes 29 farmed species and over 460 ingredients, including all commodity basic ingredients such as soy, corn and wheat. The formulations coming out of the workshops now are commercially viable.

“Considering how far this database has progressed we’re looking at what we want to do with this important tool,” says Manomaitis. “Beyond continuously updating the database, we’d like to do demonstrations, and show how shadow pricing on an ingredient basis can show the intrinsic value of U.S. soy – an approach which has already been successful with terrestrial animal feed. “

The two-day workshops in expanded regions in 2019 will be open to key aquaculture formulators, who can usually also bring one observer. The first day typically features technical presentations targeting the feed industry with topics such as digestibility, shadow pricing, and use of enzymes. The formulators then participate in guided formulation exercises on the second day using the IAFFD database and a trial version of a commercial feed formulation program.

For more information on the IAFFD database, please visit the website www.IAFFD.com.  For information on workshops in Latin America, the Middle East, China and India, please contact the local USSEC aquaculture national and regional representatives.

About USSEC– The U.S. Soybean Export Council connects U.S. soybean farmers with opportunities to improve human nutrition, livestock production and aquaculture. This mission is accomplished with a science-based technical foundation and a global network of partnerships including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusiness and agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies. USSEC operates internationally and works with aquaculture programs in different nations to help ensure sustainability and profitability for industry producers. USSEC programs are partially funded by the United Soybean Board (USB).