New feed techniques can improve beef production

Agricultural commodity producers can improve their production levels by up to 30% through maximising the nutritional value obtained from animal feed, new research has shown.

An improvement in feed conversion efficiency (FCE) will have significant global implications and will reduce the volume of animal feed, agricultural land and farm animals that are required to produce 700m tonnes of milk each year for the global population.

The research was revealed at the first Global Dairy Feed Efficiency and Food Sustainability Summit, which took place simultaneously in Dublin, Paris, Washington, London, Berlin and The Hague yesterday (Wednesday).

Over 300 world leaders in the food and agriculture sectors attended the Summit, which was organised by the Irish-based feed technology company, Richard Keenan & Company and Enterprise Ireland.

The new study, initiated by Keenan and conducted at leading research organisations including The Universities of Manchester, Reading, Illinois and Iowa State (USA), examines how the implementation of a new approach to feeding livestock, focused on optimising physical nutrition, can increase milk and beef production by up to 30%.

Proper nutrition and management protocols combined with a new technology called the Keenan Mech-fiber System, which manages the physical nutrition, are the key elements of this productivity jump, the research has said.

Professor Robert Jolly, Department of Economics, Iowa State University, said: "This significant announcement could have major implications for the agricultural sector. The ability to produce more milk and beef from the same resources will significantly help the agricultural community overcome the challenge of meeting the future global demand for these commodities. A 25% increase in efficiency could reduce the land area needed for dairy feed production by more than 51m acres at a cost saving at current feed prices of nearly US$46bn (€37bn). Increased feed efficiency would also significantly reduce the environmental impact of dairy production through better land use and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

Speaking at the Summit, Gerard Keenan, group executive chairman of Richard Keenan & Company, added: “The agriculture sector has a responsibility to take a major lead in improving global food sustainability. Our technology, combined with the proper nutrition and protocols, allows farmers to increase food production while preserving the precious resources of feed, land, water and the environment. The Keenan Mech-fiber System is an established practical solution that allows producers to deliver more milk and beef from the same resources.”

The research concluded that in order to realise a 20% increase in FCE, an integrated approach which incorporates chemical nutrition and physical nutrition with disciplined best nutrition management practices must be undertaken. Keenan has partnered with five leading nutrition companies, ADM (USA), Agrifirm (Netherlands), BOCM Pauls (UK), MSG (China) and Sanders (France), to collaborate and deliver an economic and environmentally sustainable solution for livestock producers.

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