Interview with Elmar Scharfen

Interview with Elmar Scharfen

Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Elmar Scharfen. I am from Paderhorn, Germany. I am 41 years old and have been an independent farmer since 1995. I run the farm together with my wife and 3 employees. We have 500 sows, 5000 fattening pigs and 160 hectares of arable farmland where we build our own crops including CCM. Another part of the company focuses on renewable energy via solar and wind.

Where did you work before your current position?
I have been leasing my parents’ farm since 1995 soon after I became a fully qualified agriculturalist.

What do you like about your job?
I consider it a positive challenge to try and optimize the farm on a daily basis and to improve it whenever possible.

What kind of goals do you want to achieve with Perstorp?
With the advice and products of Perstorp I want to make my company even more efficient, safer and improve the reliability of the results of my company. I am currently using ProPhorce™ AC 600 for feed optimization and to support gut health, and ProSid™ MI 701 for CCM and crop preservation. Organic acid based preservatives enable us to save time during harvesting. Time is short during harvesting, so this is valuable to us. The risk of losing a harvest is reduced and the quality of the feed improves and is more stable the full year round.

Could you tell us something about the industry you're in and how you see its future?
I think the future of my industry will be all about feed safety and the reduction of the use of antibiotics. There will be more focus on treating the feed with probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria for liquid feeding installations that use byproducts.

What is the perception of your customers about the usage of acidifiers and what is the most common usage of these products in your country (especially in swine and broiler farms)?
I believe that the use of acidifiers will increase on swine farms, because of the legislative changes in Germany and the rest of the EU. The use of medicines is reduced and therefore alternatives must be used. Acidifiers are one of these alternatives that is embraced by the industry.

The use of products such as lactic and formic acid are undoubtedly necessary to product pigs humanely in accordance with set standards (e.g. QS/GMP). The use of organic acids in feed is important to get stable animals and consistent performance. Currently I am dosing 3 kg of ProPhorce™ AC 630 in the piglet and in the fattener feed.

Do you have a question for the next person we will interview for this newsletter?
What are your goals and means to bring your family and company forward in the future?

Is there anything else you would like to mention in this interview?
The advice from producers to end-users should be improved further. Communication between the industry and farmers should happen in person, on the farm. The way it is for us. New products should be tested and developed in collaboration with end-users.