Enzymes and other feed enhancers are increasingly viewed as an important safeguard that offers critical peace of mind in a fast-evolving industry

What are you feeding?

It used to be a simple question and the answer didn’t change much from year to year.

Now times have shifted dramatically.

“We are seeing a fluid situation on several levels,” says Rob Patterson, Technical Services Manager with Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. “New feed sources are coming into play. Diets are based on a greater diversity of formulations. There are disease threats that pose a risk to feed quality. There is greater pressure than ever to respond rapidly to change, to stay ahead of the curve.”

Upgrading peace of mind

It’s a competitive environment where standing still is not an option. But the good news is there are more tools becoming available to help manage risk – both when using traditional approaches or trying new options.

These tools – such as enzymes and other natural feed enhancers – not only help get the most bang for the buck from feed, they offer a peace of mind on results that has never been more important, says Mark Peters, CBS Inc. Manager of Sales and Marketing.

“What typically excites customers with these products is the added performance – getting more energy, protein and other forms of value from feed; and the big results such as improvement in feed intake, conversion efficiency and average daily gain,” says Peters, who covers Canada and U.S. markets. “Those are huge benefits, obviously. But’s there is also what I would call the ‘insurance policy’ side of the equation. I hear more and more every year from customers who are thinking this way.”

The concept boils down to viewing these products essentially as feedstuff management tools that help to safeguard an expected level of results, says Patterson. “They strip away risk no matter what type of operation, livestock diet or numerous other variables producers are managing.”

Stripping away risk

Case in point are two products from the CBS Inc. lineup. is a leading example of the company’s unique multi-carbohydrase enzyme approach. The product, geared to pork and poultry industries, features a comprehensive blend of seven enzyme activities. It is effective on a wide range of feed ingredients including: wheat, barley, oats, corn, soybean meal, canola meal, flax, peas, DDGS and wheat by-products. Because it includes a number of different enzymes that target different hard-to-digest components, it has broad flexibility to work well with different diet combinations.

NutraMix is a top example of a product more specifically focused on insurance policy benefits. It is designed to ensure ‘clean’ grain by eliminating specific unwanted components. This safeguards the feed value of the grain and protects the animals from any potential detrimental effects on health or performance. (Learn more in this ((link to story 2)) Q and A).

“Superzyme and NutraMix are a great example of a combination that works well together,” says Peters. “You get the value added. You get the safeguarding. It’s an approach that fits well with today’s industry and the direction it is headed.”

This is especially true in response to increasing limitations on traditional antimicrobials, along with ongoing and expanding concerns about diseases such as fusarium head blight that have the potential to impact feed source quality, says Patterson.

“In all of this, one of the most important aspects is to get good advice and know the science basis of the products,” he says. “Not all enzymes and other enhancers are created equal. But no question the toolbox is expanding and that bodes well for the future”