The Past: The livestock industry tends to be fast-paced. Day-to-day work is typically focused on the small details. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out if you are doing a good job without looking at the big picture. Now is the time to step back and ask ourselves, how are we doing?
Much has changed in feed formulation over the past two decades. We are in the technology age of nutrition, where scientific discoveries arrive and rapidly become obsolete. Therefore, a twenty-five-year summary wouldn’t be very informative. Even in the past two years, nutrition and livestock feeding philosophies have changed significantly. Rather than give a twenty-year average, here is a Sioux Nation Ag turkey production snapshot of the past two years.
Sioux Nation turkey production over the past 24 months:
|Production System||Age in days||Weight in lbs.||Livability, %|
|West Liberty Foods||130||41||86|
There are hundreds of production parameters that could be reported, but most often, I am asked about age, weight, and livability. This table shows those parameters split out between two different production systems and the processing units those birds feed into.
The Present: It has been a great honor to partner with new and existing customers on product development. Recently the focus has been on working with industry leaders to improve health status in the brooder barn. Sioux Nation was lucky enough to gain access to a new technology that is coming to the market sometime in the next few years. While I cannot yet talk about the specifics of the product, I can say that our initial tests showed 1.5% increased brooder livability, and weights were increased by 1.2 lbs. These were the heaviest birds coming out of the brooder in the farm’s history. We are currently validating the results and hope to bring this technology to all our customers soon.
The Future: It’s hard to say what the future looks like. We plan to continue staying on top of the latest and greatest in turkey production and nutrition. That means getting in at the ground level on product development to bring quality ingredients to the market. The goal is to provide turkey producers with programs that make their farms successful. In doing that, we hope to continue busting average processor parameters by putting our producers in the top 10%.