The big news is the weather. The national and farm news has been dominated by the effects of the abnormally hot and dry weather of the growing season on crop yields. The final impact of the hot, dry summer is still not completely known and will not be known until after the crop is harvested.

As of August 10th, the USDA was still reporting a 2.692 million bushel soybean crop based on 76.1 million acres planted and a harvest of 74.6 million acres that yield 38.1 bushels per acre. Impact of the adverse weather will significantly reduce the soybean tonnage available for crush and export. Domestic soybean meal use will also be reduced some. The total impact of this year’s soybean crop will be reported in a later Soybean Meal INFOcenter newsletter. These charts reflect USDA estimates as of early August.

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First-limiting Amino Acids in a Layer Diet
A team of Brazilian researchers determined the order of limiting amino acids in a low crude corn-soybean meal diet (LCP) compared with normal crude protein (NCP) diet. A total of 324 hens were randomly placed in 54 pens. The NCP diet (16.2% crude protein, 0.71% methionine plus cystine, 0.78% lysine, 0.59% threonine, 0.18% tryptophan, 0.74% valine, 0.59% isoleucine) was compared to a LCP diet (14.2% crude protein, 0.42% methionine plus cystine, 0.60% lysine, 0.48% threonine, 0.15% tryptophan, and 0.60% valine, 0.53% isoleucine) that was supplemented with several amino acids to produce the experimental treatments. The hens were fed for eight weeks and the diets were evaluated for four weeks. The birds fed LCP diet had poorer (P<0.05) feed conversion per egg mass (2.269 vs. 1.922 kg/kg) and lower feed intake (100.9 vs. 111.6 g), egg production (74.7 vs. 89.2%), egg weight (59.6 vs. 65.2 g), and albumen weight (37.4 vs. 42.4 g) than birds fed NCP.

Results indicated that the order of limiting amino acid in the Corn-SBM based LCP diet containing 14.2% CP was methionine (as sulfur amino acid), lysine was the second, threonine was the third, tryptophan was the fourth and an isoleucine-valine mix was the fifth limiting amino acid. Layer hens fed 14.2% crude protein diet had a similar performance that those fed 16.2% when methionine alone or a mixture of methionine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, valine and isoleucine were supplemented. The daily amino acid requirements of laying hens were determined to be 790 mg of methionine, 870 mg of lysine, 658 mg of threonine and 200 mg of tryptophan, 658 mg of isoleucine and 825 mg of valine.

Da Silva, J.H.V. and co-workers. 2012. A determination of order of limiting amino acids in a low crude protein diet for laying hens. Poultry Sci. 91(Suppl. 1), P329, page 113.

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