“Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has asked the feeding companies to produce feed in western Japan to supply the east, but the transport system is a mess, with very little fuel in the Tohoku region,” Echle reported. “No one can say yet how much time will be needed to recover," he said. “The Japanese system relies on the infrastructure with the grain silo company running the port and the feed mills and crushing plants just behind them. They were not badly hurt by the earthquake, but were by the tsunami.”

Japan’s container-shipping industry was seen as the worst affected by the disaster. The tsunami also destroyed and grounded dozens of vessels. Echle reported that the Japan Oilseeds Processors Association (JOPA) predicts it will take some time to get the full report on all the processing plants, but that JOPA is working on that with all of its members.

There are many reports of serious damage, but, because of a lack of electricity, they can't complete their assessments. The Kashima area is the only area where processing plants were really affected; all others are in either Yokohama or western Japan.

“Another concern we have is for the animal population, as that coastal area had a lot of large pig and chicken farms,” Echle said. “They are now without power and normally have only three days of feed on hand. They have a hard time feeding and watering manually, but of course are trying. If the feed companies are not producing feed, these animals will die in a week, as the subsistence ration to keep them alive would not go much longer.”