The Alltech Feeding Times Issue 34 - Summer 2021 Summer 2021 - Page 20

partial replacement of vegetable protein with Optigen exhibited a consistent improvement in the liveweight gain and feed efficiency of beef cattle . The many positive effects included an average higher liveweight gain ( by 8 %) and better feed efficiency ( by 8 %), with the inclusion of corn silage enhancing the effects of Optigen . A simulation analysis based on these benefits indicated that feeding Optigen to gain 440 lbs . in 1,000 cattle would :
• Reduce the time to slaughter by 9 days .
• Reduce feed costs by $ 18,000 .
• Support a reduction in the carbon footprint of the beef unit by 111 tons of CO2e . Those carbon savings are the same as taking 73 cars off the road or reducing 75 houses worth of electricity usage .
Sustainability does not have to come at a cost
Lowering the environmental impact of animal feed does not mean lowering revenues for food system stakeholders . From the large dairy farms in the U . S . to the 300 million dairy cows predominantly spread across small farms in India , Alltech has seen firsthand that sustainable solutions have become the nonnegotiable in animal nutrition . Profitable farming understandably leads this agenda . With animal feed typically representing the most significant variable cost in producing animal products , there is a business responsibility to ensure that we minimize food loss and waste .
Animal feed production has humbly underpinned the food system that has enabled global population growth over the last 150 years . It is now time to recognize this unique contribution and how it also serves in the discovering and implemention of technologies that lower the environmental impact of animal products and supports the circular economy .
Considering sustainability efforts need to make both environmental and economic sense , don ’ t miss our related blog six tips to stretch your protein supplies and lower your feed costs .
Neil Keane is the commercial director for the Alltech Rumen Function Platform across Europe . His primary interest is in supporting sustainability and profitability goals in ruminant production systems .
Neil first joined Alltech in 2005 as part of the Alltech U . K . team , responsible for Scotland and Northern England . His work there focused on joint projects to deliver optimal efficiencies for end-user clients .
Neil was promoted into the
Alltech European team in 2010 and , following several product , species and sales roles , moved into his current position in 2015 .
EFFECTS OF NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY IN PLANT PRODUCTION Like with all living things, there are many aspects that need to be taken into account when aiming for the best possible crop growth and performance. Only when these factors are all accounted for can we begin to see optimal plant production. Proper nutrition plays a key role here, giving the plant metabolism everything it needs to function efficiently. But producers need to find the right balance, as having a deficiency in any of the crop’s essential nutrients can leave the plant susceptible to disease and other debilitating issues. In crop management, The production potential of every plant depends solely on its genetic characteristics. In order to reach this potential, plants have specific requirements that must be met. Finally, we supply the specific nutritional quantities and balances required for each phenological phase of the crop and the productive potential of the chosen genetic material. These criteria include: There are several specific mineral elements considered essential for plant nutrition. They participate in some structural or physiological functions of the plant. Without these elements, development and productivity are compromised. • Temperature • Light • Water • Nutrients Furthermore, each of these factors must be provided to the plant in the quantities and proportions suited to each stage of development, from germination to harvest. In crop management, we use practices that provide the best conditions for plant development. Among these, we ensure that the plant is provided with: • • • • Adequate irrigation Phytosanitary and weed control The physical preparation of the soil The correct adjustment of fertility 20 In terms of macronutrients: • • • • Nitrogen provides more vigorous growth and boosts productivity. Phosphorus maximizes root development and plant longevity. Potassium, magnesium and sulfur intensify photosynthesis and the transport of photoassimilates, favoring a greater filling and maturation of fruits, tubers, pods, stems and grains. Calcium participates directly in the development and growth of plant tissue structures. THE FEEDING TIMES