Trouw Nutrition Scales Up Investment in Validation Farm Network


22 February 2021, Amersfoort – Trouw Nutrition, Nutreco’s animal nutrition division, is doubling its network of validation farms, from 6 to 12 farms. New validation farms are being added in Latin America, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands. Bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and actual farm practices, validation farms demonstrate the efficacy of novel products, programmes and services in different climates and production environments under commercial circumstances.  


Real world environments: Complementing research at our own research facilities and Universities, farm validation trials evaluate solutions in context with varying climate conditions and production constraints by partnering with local farmers. Researchers evaluate how factors such as genetics, weather conditions, housing, management, and health status impact the efficacy of our nutritional solutions.

Coen Smits, R&D Director at Trouw Nutrition states: “Validation farms are crucial and local trials enable us to verify the practical efficacy and applicability of our innovations.  The results and feedback of the farmers user-experience provide local operating companies evidence-based insights that are highly relevant to local customers. With some minor adaptations at the farms, training of the farm employees, close supervision, and simple study protocols, we can conduct studies that are scientifically sound and have good statistical power to draw clear conclusions.” he says.  


A model for farmer-driven research tailored to local challenges 

When it comes to trusting the efficacy of a product, programme or service, livestock farmers in markets around the globe want proven models that reflect local production challenges.Trouw Nutrition’s global research centres collaborates with operating companies to invest in long-term partnerships with regionally representative commercial farms. Investments in infrastructure support the design and implementation of scientifically sound trials. Operating companies share trial data to support local market staff and their farmer customers. Combining findings from validation farms supports the global value of products, programmes and services. The validation approach is borne of nearly three decades of experience proving the value of customer-centric research.  


Canadian experience – Swine Validation 

We show our customers, which in our market are often big integrators, that we are focused on their needs. We share the results with customers as soon as we have them, says Renald Mercier, agr., Business Manager for swine and poultry in Eastern Canada. 

Trouw Nutrition Canada started using validation farm projects in the early 1990s. Partnerships were set up with several swine farms including, breeding, nursery and grow-finish units. A coast-to-coast testing farm network was setup to execute multi-location studies. Multi-location trials are extremely powerful due to number of replicates and the different housing, feeds, health, and genetics used in each site to compare the same treatments.  

After trials were completedresults were shared with other regions in Canada and the validation farm network became part of Research & Development to further strengthen the project. Proven solutions are the foundation of the way we do business, emphasizes Mercier.  


Data driven solutions with Farm Data Integration 

Farm Data Integration (FDI) strives to power Trouw Nutrition’s animal feed business with data driven solutions in feed, farm and health management. The validation farm project will bundle data per region or customer segment, to provide validation results that match the customer’s circumstances better and are as such more valuable” explains Benny van Haandel, Farm Data Integration Manager at Trouw Nutrition.  

FDI is a digital platform that structures data collection and makes it available for central monitoring and analysis. FDI plans to connect more technology, software systems and sensors across the main species – dairy, beef swine, layers and broilers. These systems will integrate with validation packages to efficiently track and trace animals or animal groups by treatments and make validation trials more accessible. New techniques, including machine learning, will be applied to make more detailed advice possible. A widespread network of validation sites helps inform specific practices related to timing and dosing that apply in varied environments. “At the end, there is nothing more valuable than helping a client make decisions based on data from his region or their own data,” says van Haandel.  


About Trouw Nutrition:  

Trouw Nutrition, the animal nutrition division of Nutreco, has a 90-year history of dedication to innovation and deep experience in developing smarter and more sustainable ways of raising healthy farm animals and companion animals. Our team of 8,300 passionate people in 32 countries is driven to solve the challenges facing our feed-to-food chain and relentlessly help our customers Feed the Future. Our broad portfolio of feed specialties, feed additives, premixes and nutritional models and services, along with our ever-increasing expertise in feed, farm and health make us a one-stop-shop with limitless opportunities to create tailored, integrated solutions suited to each customer’s local situation. And we are everywhere farmers and home-mixers, feed producers, integrators and distributors need us, with a presence in 105 countries, and manufacturing plants in 22. We believe the power of nutrition and good farm management can transform our industry – and even our planet. So, we are challenging how the feed-to-food chain works today, to create a brighter future, from planet to plate. 

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