Biofuels: More options for rations

UK - The growth in the domestic biofuels industry could be a blessing in disguise for livestock production in the UK.
calendar icon 30 July 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Much has been made of rising animal feed costs, partly driven by demand from the emerging industry, but co-products from that same industry could be used as animal feed.

Whether or not these benefits are actually seen depends on one key factor - the price charged for the co-products.

A study has just been completed by ADAS, funded by the HGCA, BPEX and EBLEX looking at both biodiesel and bioethanol. Report author, Dr Bruce Cottrill says that by 2010 it its estimated that there will be an additional 150,000 tonnes of rape seed meal (RSM) and 10,000 tonnes of glycerol available from UK crushed oil seed rape.

"Predicting wheat distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is more difficult but, based on current planned production, some 940,000 tonnes may be available for use as animal feed," said Dr Cottrill.

Based on current estimates of production, it is likely that the UK livestock industry could absorb all the additional RSM and glycerol produced and that could replace imported feed.

Dr Cottrill said that there had been little research on the amount of DDGS derived from wheat, which could be included in feed and more work was needed as processing cereals would also produce co-products with a feeding value.

BPEX Chief Executive Mick, Sloyan said that although the amount will fluctuate as the biofuel market matures, there was undoubtedly an opportunity for the British pig industry and feed manufacturers to include these co-product into their diets.

Alastair Dickie of Home Grown Cereals Authority said that the UK is in deficit in protein for its animal feed. "Expanding source of rapemeal and DDG will help the Balance of Payments and reduce the livestock industry's import costs," he added.

The full report can be seen here

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