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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arrival in Asia

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam late on Monday night after a layover in Hong Kong. Upon arrival, we could already feel the humidity but were excited to step foot on Asian soil and begin our adventure.

After a short night of sleep and a great breakfast featuring signature Vietnamese food at the hotel, we began our day by taking a boat ride down one of the many canals connecting to the Mekong River. We took the boat about two hours up river to our first stop, a local fish farm. At this stop, the importance of aquaculture was extremely evident. Aquaculture is the second largest agricultural industry in the country, trailing only swine production. Since 2006, there has been a big boom in fish farming, and it has created over 100,000 jobs.One of the things we observed at the local fish farm was that they have started to include U.S. DDGS in their feed ration. The U.S. Grains Council has done a great deal of work to make the feeding of DDGS a reality. We learned more about these efforts to include DDGS in fish feed rations by visiting Vinh Hoan, the 2nd largest fish feed mill in Vietnam. The U.S. Grains Council has been conducting a feed trial at this facility to answer producers' questions about how DDGS will affect the quality of their fish. Through this feed trial, they have discovered that including DDGS in the ration does not cause a discoloration in the meat, and it increases feed intake by 150%. Including DDGS in the fish feed ration at a 15% inclusion rate has proven to be very cost effective for the producer.

We very much enjoyed our first full day in Vietnam and have already learned so much. We are looking forward to tomorrow when we will see Interflour Port and experience the local market place.

Michelle Euken, Iowa State University
Andy Prignitz, Iowa State University


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