Global Feed Software Market - Segmented by Geography - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)
These limits are set by the animal’s nutritional requirements and the ingredients cost. The common input variables for feed formulation include ingredients cost, nutrient content of these ingredients, the nutritional requirement of the animal, nutrient availability to the animal and the minimum/maximum limits. Feed formulation requires the use of the linear-programming software. Software using animal simulation models are also gaining ground in recent years. The end-users of this software are the feed mills and manufacturers. They utilize this software to gain a scientific and precise understanding of the necessary product. Such techniques help in the optimization of the feed production process. Some of this software can also be used to understand the livestock behavior and identifying sick animals, at a low-cost.
Potential Growth of Animal Simulation Models
The growth of the feed software market is closely tied to the extent of integration that happens between all the components of livestock management with recent technology. We already notice the vast number of products in the market such as feed formulation software, recipe management tools, grain and other raw-material trackers, information sharing tools and logistic support software. The importance of such tools is tremendous, but is limited by certain key questions such as: what happens if a livestock disease occurs or what fraction of feed does an animal takes in (feed intake potential). Questions such as these cannot be answered by formulation tools alone as they require more complex understanding of the animal. Simulation models are well suited to answer such mission-critical questions.
The opportunity lies in the fact that these models can give an accurate or highly probable picture of the end-result of an animal herd. Through the use of animal simulation models, a farmer could predict feed intake potential, how much energy is spent in various bodily functions, what fraction of food taken will result in livestock weight gain and how livestock would respond to certain feed ingredients and microbes or pathogens. Unpreparedness in such issues is bound to cause monetary loss otherwise.
Increased R&D spending on such models is critical in developing such tools at affordable prices. Apart from the direct amount a farmer has to put in to buy such software, the year-on-year software upgrades can also add a continuous monetary benefit. As seen in other industries these upgrades would be necessary to properly accommodate the rapidly growing knowledge about animals and feed additives.
Developing Regions: Low Awareness among Feed Producers
Adoption of advanced software solutions depends on various factors such as:
The level of industrialization of the livestock sector: Type of farming, the extent of mechanization, etc.
Access and knowledge of such software’s: level of technical proficiency, distributors, etc.
Willingness to spend money on such tools: awareness about the advantages of such models, Knowledge about how subtle changes in diet and environment can alter the animal body composition and weight.
Since many of the developing countries practice livelihood-oriented farming, business-oriented livestock keepers occupy a relatively small portion of the overall market. In industrialized countries, it is estimated that livestock farming accounts for over 50-60% of the total agriculture value added, while the same fraction is much lower in the developing world. These smallholdings are not sufficiently mechanized and lack the resources to adopt sophisticated software. For instance, India stood as one of the major feed producers in Asia-Pacific while in the utilization of feed software, the country has taken a backseat, standing in the 10th position.
Large-scale commercial operations in such regions like poultry farms that are not part of agriculture lands, do use compound feed and feed additives and are ideal areas for the use of the software. However, the awareness among these producers is relatively lower, and even if present, is mostly limited to simple linear programs.
The other cause of concern is the availability of such software and technical proficiency required to use such tools. The input variables for many of the producers are the basic energy levels, i.e. input of feed and fodder levels, and vitamin levels. Such rudimentary inputs may not require the use of complex multi-criteria software packages.
The level of awareness, mainly in APAC, is gradually on the rise due to certain governmental campaigns at the grassroots level. The National Diary Development Board’s (NDDB) ration balancing program which operates through a local resource person (LRP) in India is one such example. Through this program, the board intends to educate cattle farmers in India about the benefits of adequate ration balancing through certain software tools.
All the same, low awareness and the resulting barriers, primarily in the major feed-producing countries of Asia Pacific, are currently an impediment to the expected growth of the global feed software market.
Key Developments in the Market:
Feburary 2017: Two companies, New Planted Technologies and Zoetis, recently, announced a new software called, Aureomycin, to help veterinarians manage the increased paperwork from the Veterinary Feed Directive.
December 2015: Cargill expands feed formulation expertise through the acquisition of Format International Ltd.
Major Players include - ADIFO SOFTWARE, AGROVISION, FEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CARGILL), MTECH-SYSTEMS, amongst others.
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