Scientists Prepared to Scale Up Processing Straw for Feed to Commercial Levels

CANADA - The Plant Manager with the Canadian Feed Research Centre is confident the method developed for processing straw for use as a feed supplement for gestating sows can be scaled up to commercial levels in the event feeding trials show the product is of value, reports Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 April 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

Scientists with the University of Saskatchewan, working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, are conducting feeding trials to assess the value of wheat straw and oat straw based feed supplements in increasing satiety among group housed gestating sows to reduce the incidence of fighting over feed while helping to avoid over conditioning.

John Smillie, the Pant Manager at the Canadian Feed Research Centre at North Battleford, says the straw is hydraulically compressed at a temperature of about 80 degrees Celsius.

John Smillie-Canadian Feed Research Centre

We ground the straw, initial using a tub grinder at the University of Saskatchewan Rayner Dairy Unit where it was ground into about a quarter inch in length.

We then moved the straw out to North Battleford and, in some scenarios, we reground it to down an eighth or through an eighth inch screen on a hammer mill and we have used a compaction machine which we used to make small briquettes and very much look like hockey pucks.

At this point the scale is relatively small.

We are making about 15 kilograms per hour, really just to prove the concept.

These compaction machines go up greatly in size and there are many larger versions we believe could produce a commercially viable option for processing straw.

But we're producing in quantities at the moment for trial purposes.

Results of the feeding trials are anticipated by late fall or early winter 2017.

Mr Smillie says, depending on the results of the feeding trials, the next step will be to look at commercializing the process.

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