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Dairy Farmers Must Optimise Feed

28 May 2012

CANADA - Dairy farmers will be able to reduce their costs and environmental impact with a new investment from the Harper Government. Member of Parliament James Rajotte (Edmonton-Leduc), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment of over C$133,000 to Alberta Milk to support a pioneering study on how to maintain high milk yields while reducing the use of amino acids in animal feed.

"Our Government is committed to helping Canadian producers earn the best return they can through innovation and improvements in how they feed and care for their animals," said Mr Rajotte. "This research will help the dairy industry better understand the link between a cow's protein intake and milk output and maximize returns for farmers."

Conducted by the University of Alberta Dairy Research and Technology Centre, the study will show how reducing the use of specific amino acids (the basic building block in proteins) in the diet of dairy cows could allow producers to optimise the protein content in their cattle's food intake, resulting in lower feed costs and mitigating the environmental impact on their farms and waterways through reduced excretion of excess nutrients. Nutrient intake and milk yields will be measured throughout the two-year study to eventually enable farmers to strike the right balance between protein intake and milk yields.
,br> "The financial commitment from the federal government and Alberta Milk enabled this project to move forward. This joint investment is an excellent return on investment for Alberta's dairy producers and will advance our industry," said Hennie Bos, Chairman of the Board for Alberta Milk. "We are pleased to partner with the University of Alberta and University of Calgary on this project."

"This project is an excellent example of the importance of research partnerships and how collaboration among multiple stakeholders benefits the lives of Canadians," said Lorne Babiuk, University of Alberta Vice-President (Research). "The University of Alberta is proud to partner with Alberta Milk and the University of Calgary on this project which could have a substantial impact on the dairy industry."

This investment comes from the Government of Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Programme (CAAP). CAAP is a five-year (2009-14), C$163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Alberta, CAAP is delivered by the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta (AFC).

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