Eurotier 2022

Köckler calls for guard rails for livestock farming

With regard to energy supply, Agravis CEO Dr. Dirk Köckler is also considering whether and how energy-intensive feedstuff sites can continue to be operated.
Agravis
With regard to energy supply, Agravis CEO Dr. Dirk Köckler is also considering whether and how energy-intensive feedstuff sites can continue to be operated.

Times are tough - not only for livestock farmers, but also for upstream operations. For example, Agravis is thinking about bundling feed production and abandoning the pelleting of feed. However, Agravis CEO Dr. Dirk Köckler believes that politicians have a duty to preserve the finishing industry in Germany.

"We are currently experiencing a political turn of the times," Agravis CEO Dr. Dirk Köckler said this week at Eurotier, referring to the Ukraine war and its consequences. Cost increases across the board, the difficult situation with supply chains and logistics characterize this phase of scarcity. "This is a massive transformation, and for this, policy makers must set stable guardrails to provide lasting economic prospects for the upstream and downstream sectors." He said action is needed to preserve the finishing industry in Germany, especially with regard to pig farmers. Köckler expects production capacities to decline by around one-third. Integration concepts and adequate financing are needed here, Köckler said.

Further bundling of feed production

The decline also has implications for feed production and demand. He expects further consolidation and reduction of capacities in the compound feed segment. New thinking is also needed in view of the high energy costs, he said. For example, transport distances between feed mill and farmer would have to become shorter. Agravis is therefore thinking about bundling feed production and is examining the sites, especially old units, and their location with regard to truck routes, rail and water connections. A decision would be made in the next 24 months, Köckler said when asked by Kraftfutter/Feedmagazine.

Run on fuel oil

He added that the energy supply for the feed sites is also crucial. A temporary abandonment of pelleting of cattle, pig and poultry feed is conceivable, he said, even if flowability suffers as a result. This is because pelleting requires heating, i.e. energy. Agravis has therefore reduced its reliance on gas and switched supplies to fuel oil where possible. "We are experiencing a real run on heating oil. This is certainly not the desired development from a climate policy point of view, but for social and economic reasons we have no other choice," says Köckler.

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