Newsletter No. 30 – September 2005 Item 2
Dr. Thomas E. Elam
Dr. Elam is a scientist from the United States who spent 23 years working as an agricultural economist for Elanco Division of Ely Lily. His areas of expertise are Agricultural Production, Agricultural Marketing and Prices, Strategic Planning and Forecasting. This newsletter is going to focus on two papers, the opportunities they offer in the development of our ostrich industry and why it is important to recognise that our competition are the other specie.
Dr. Elam also wrote an article "World Meat Challenge - demand to increase by 50% by 2025" that was published in the Australian Farm Journal in June, 2004. This article was a summary of the two papers we will discuss. Our thanks to Bert Rayner, the Country Liaison for Australia, for faxing the article as that led me to researching Dr. Elam and his work. The following is quoted from "World Meat Challenge"
Quote: "By 2025 total demand for animal protein will be more than 50% higher than it is today. In an era when many meat producers and their feed suppliers have struggled with periods of low prices and surpluses this kind of growth in demand is no doubt welcome “Challenge”. In fact, the challenge in recent times has been more one of survival, not increasing production. But underneath the short-term difficulties facing us today there remains a global dynamic of steady growth in meat demand (and supply) the long-term effects of which should not be underestimated. The “Challenge” is how to produce all that extra meat with roughly the same feed and animal production land base that we have today. It will not be easy, but if we choose to expand cropped acreage and land used for meat production it would mean clearing forests, draining wetlands and disturbing other natural areas, bringing conservationists, environmentalists and others into even more conflict with farmers. It would also mean denying future generations the benefits of natural areas we enjoy today." End quote
The issues raised are:
- 50% Increase in human demand for meat protein
- Feed Production to support that production
- Impact on Environment
- Keeping Prices Affordable
- Livestock Production
- Improved Feed Conversion
- Natural Systems of Production
- The impact of Efficiency Failures
Dr. Elam's arguments, as coming from a pharmaceutical viewpoint, are that pharmaceuticals provide the solutions. Is this the only way?
There are no single fixes.
The contribution of pharmaceuticals to agriculture to reduce costs of products by fighting disease and controlling parasites has been very significant. Some of the contributions are now recognised as negatives and unacceptable long term risks to human health - such as hormones for increased production and routine use of antibiotics to overcome poor management practices. The advances made in the greater understanding of all the interrelationships of Vitamins and Minerals and the ability to produce these products to improve nutrient utilisation and treat many conditions have enabled the reduction in use of these negatives. This new technology is best known as Optimum Nutrition.
Twice Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Linus Pauling is quoted as saying "Optimum nutrition is the medicine of the future". That statement has been proven to be true with livestock also. With livestock, Optimum Nutrition covers not only basic health but also optimum production and product quality. Improved health, optimising production and producing high quality end products result in improved profitability for all in the "Value Chain".