MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- To help customers manage the risk of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) on their shrimp farms and improve profitability, Cargill's animal nutrition business has launched the SmartShield™ program, a holistic approach combining specialized feed and technical services proven to combat the disease and increase production by an average of 30 percent. EMS, now technically known as Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND), is caused by certain strains of the bacteria Vibrio and has caused devastating production losses in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico, and has recently been suspected in disease outbreaks in other Central American countries. Outbreaks of EMS have caused mortality rates as high as 100 percent.
The new SmartShield™ program is comprised of three components:
- On-Farm risk assessment uses a specialized tool that provides customized reports including specific biosecurity and farm management recommendations to reduce disease risk
- Targeted feed solutions with advanced nutrition including a functional additives package delivered through a complete feeding program that improves growth performance and boosts the shrimp immunity to increase survival
- Specialized technical support package includes on-site performance evaluation tools and rapid diagnostics in water quality and disease resulting in early detection and preventative recommendations saving time and money
"Disease is one of the major causes of low farm productivity and loss of revenue," said Ryan Lane, global aquaculture technology director. "Our experience has shown us that targeting only one aspect of production is not enough. A holistic approach – improved biosecurity, a specialized feeding program and customized technical services for ongoing disease prevention and management – is best for effectively reducing disease outbreaks on the farm."
The SmartShield™ program is the result of two years of research at Cargill's Global Animal Nutrition Innovation Center in Elk River, Minn., USA to design and select the best possible combination of additives and nutrients for promoting growth performance and animal survival.
"One of the key learnings from our research is that not all additive combinations are equally effective, and some even have negative effects," said Daniel Barziza, Cargill's global aquaculture research and development director. "We validated our additive choices using disease challenge models and growth trials."
Field trials conducted with key customers in Mexico proved that the SmartShield™ program can provide customers:
- An average of 59 percent higher production yield
- An average of 20 percent improvement in Feed Conversion Rate (FCR)
- Up to $3,850 per hectare return on investment
In partnership with customers, researchers, industry and government, Cargill has been investigating strategies to help shrimp producers reduce the risk of EMS outbreaks for more than two years. In addition to R&D, scientific studies and field trials, the SmartShield™ program builds on feedback and learnings from EMS-affected countries, including a workshop that Cargill hosted in Mexico in November 2013 that brought together a wide range of academic researchers, government representatives and industry experts to share experiences and explore strategies to deal with the disease.
"This program is a huge step forward in our journey to help mitigate the devastating effects of EMS on the industry," said Mario Chong, business development manager for Cargill's aquaculture business in Central America. "We have listened to our customers and reacted with a strong, research-based solution to combat this devastating disease."
"The Cargill technical team continues to work to pioneer effective ways to combat disease and believes that coupling farm management best practices with innovative feeds and proper diagnostics is the best way we can help our customers be successful and increase their profitability," added Lane.
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About Cargill Animal Nutrition
Cargill's animal nutrition business has more than 18,000 employees at more than 250 facilities in 37 countries offering a range of products and services to feed manufacturers, animal producers, and feed retailers around the world. In 2011, Cargill completed the acquisition of Provimi, a global leader in premix and animal nutrition solutions, adding to Cargill's portfolio of animal nutrition offerings. Today, Cargill's animal nutrition business offers a range of compound feed, premixes, feed additives, supply chain and risk management solutions, software tools and animal nutrition expertise that is unmatched in the industry. For more information about Cargill Animal Nutrition, visit: http://www.cargill.com/feed.