Large Potential to Increase By-Products in Feed

UK - By-products from the sharply increasing production of bioethanol and biodiesel can be used as feed for dairy cows to a far greater extent than is currently the case. The by-products could have a potentially beneficial effect in terms of economy and feed quality.
calendar icon 16 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Aarhus University

Despite their potentially large contribution to milk production, by-products from the production of bioenergy are only a minor ingredient in the feed ration of dairy cows. This is particularly because of the very variable quality and the uncertainty about their effect on the animal and the milk quality when used in larger quantities. This lack of knowledge is something that scientists at Aarhus University will be doing something about in a new project.

"The aim of the project is to create new knowledge that may enable milk producers to boost the quantities in the ration of the by-products from the production of bioethanol and biodiesel," says Jakob Sehested, associate professor at Aarhus University.

The by-products on offer come from an ever-increasing group of international suppliers, but the quality and composition is often very variable. This creates uncertainty about the effect of the products on the animals and on the production and quality of the milk when using larger quantities. As a result, the quantities currently being used are only a small fraction of the total ration.

If larger relative quantities of by-products are to be used, more knowledge is needed in the area, particularly on the type and quantity of by-products available on the market and their suitability in practice. In concrete terms, the project participants will define standards for by-product quality. They will analyse the variation in by-product quality and carry out experiments with by-products of varying quality in order to generate knowledge about their optimal use.

There is a large potential in using by-products for feeding. It is a cheap alternative to other feedstuffs and if used in the optimal way they can lead to a higher milk production.

"Better knowledge and quality standards will lead to a more optimal utilisation of, for example, distillation residues for cattle with the prospect of increasing the production of milk and meat and reducing the cost of the feed and the environmental impact while maintaining milk quality and taste," says Jakob Sehested.

TheCattleSite News Desk
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.