The Alltech Feeding Times Issue 36 - Winter 2021 Winter 2021 - Page 22

that extend down tens of feet into the soil , so they ’ re capturing carbon by maintaining that grass .
They ’ re also protecting wildlife habitats as well , because when you ( cover ) that up , the deer and the rabbits and the other little wildlife pastures are suddenly misplaced . And then , ultimately , they can take this grass , these grasses , and they can convert it into nutrient-dense beef . And on top of that , they ’ re reducing the spread of wildfires because they are eating the brush and eliminating that dead brush and promoting new growth .
And I could go on and on . But this phenomenon that we see — that cattle do with this grass one — is an important piece , because we simply think that we can replace it and do something else , but truly , that beef cow does something very unique and very important to managing our natural resources and producing enough to adequately provide for humanity .
Well , from your perspective as a producer , what do you wish consumers understood about the difference between protein derived from meat versus that derived from plants ?
I ’ m really proud to raise beef that is jam-packed full of nutrients . And so , the nutrients found in beef are very bioavailable , meaning they are readily absorbed by the body . Beef includes ten central nutrients , including zinc , iron and protein .
And what ’ s really cool about beef is a 3-ounce serving provides 180 calories . And in that 180-calorie serving , you get 25 grams of protein . Now , to get that same amount of protein from a plant-based source , like broccoli or peanut butter or quinoa , you ’ d have to eat several cups or 600- plus calories of these feed item or food items to get that same 25 grams of protein .
And so , calorie for calorie , ( beef ) is truly a super food , and that ’ s where it gets really frustrating when we talk about eliminating meat from the equation , because it simply ignores the fact that it is a nutritious , wholesome food product that benefits people here and around the world as far as providing , you know , adequate protein to meet their needs .
In a synopsis of the panel discussion , Alltech suggested that calls for reduction in animal agriculture could create a protein deficit that , due to the limitations of available arable land and water , cannot be overcome by growing crops . Are the implications of this trend not fully understood or recognized by consumers ?
Yeah . I think that is a big misconception that people have , that we can simply replace animal agriculture and , you know , plow the land and plant something entirely different . And the reality is that there ’ s a large percentage of land around the world that is too steep , hilly or rocky for modernizing or farming . And so , what my cattle can do — and cattle around the world can do — is they can go into these steep and rocky and hilly landscapes — for example , like the rolling hills outside my back window here in South Dakota that are home to native grasses that have been growing here for hundreds of years — and they can go into that landscape , and they can graze the brush , which reduces the spread of wildfires and promote new growth . They aerate the soil with their hooves . They naturally fertilize these lands with their manure . And they protect the wildlife habitat simply by maintaining that grassland . And on top of that , they can upcycle the cellulosic material that is grass , and they can convert it into that nutrient-dense beef .
And so , cattle and ruminant animals really play a critical role in utilizing these lands that would otherwise go wasted . And so , it is truly a beautiful thing to see , and I wish every consumer had the opportunity to visit a cattle ranch and see cattle in action on the ranch amidst the wildlife and the rolling hills and see what they can do to really , really make the most out of the landscape .
That ’ s what the animals can do . In what ways have cattle ranchers excelled in conserving resources ?
There are so many principles of soil health that we follow that aren ’ t celebrated or aren ’ t greatly understood or even acknowledged as being not just sustainable but truly improving the landscape , year after year .
And so , some of these principles of soil health that we follow is , you know , trying to mimic nature and keeping a cover on the soil as much as we can . And so , not only by maintaining grasslands do we do that , but on our crop fields , where we might plant corn , in between the corn rows , we ’ re planting what ’ s called cover crops , which includes a variety of plants , like radishes , turnips , alfalfa , etc . And then , after the fall harvest , when we ’ ve harvested that corn , our cattle can go in and graze the cover crops , as well as the corn stalks , and it becomes a really great cycle where we ’ re adding nitrogen back to the soil and we ’ re creating feed for our cattle , and then , our cattle are then fertilizing our cornfields as well .
We plant — we not only do those kinds of things , but we practice things like rotational grazing , where we create smaller paddocks in our pastures , and we ’ ll move the cows from paddock to paddock in order to avoid overgrazing and to stimulate new growth and allow for some of that , ( for ) those plants to recover after the cattle have come through and grazed .
Farther out West , where pastures are large and it ’ s a little bit tougher to practice rotational grazing , producers will
TAKING CROPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL The following is an edited transcript of the Ag Future podcast episode, hosted by Tom Martin, featuring Dave Schumacher and Steve Borst. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. HELM Agro and Alltech Crop Science are aiming to take crop yields and quality to the next level. Dave Schumacher, president of HELM Agro, and Alltech Crop Science manager Steve Borst joined Ag Future to discuss the partnership, which bridges the gap between traditional and biological crop input solutions in the U.S. J oining me for this edition of Ag Future are Dave Schumacher, president of HELM Agro, and Alltech Crop Science manager Steve Borst. These two entrepreneurial, family-owned businesses have formed a new partnership, and we’re going to get the details. Welcome to Ag Future, Dave and Steve. Dave: Thank you, Tom. Steve: Thanks for having us. And I’d like to get your perspectives on this partnership. Dave, let’s start with you. If you could, tell us about HELM and what it brings to the arrangement. D: Sure. Well, thanks, Tom, for a chance to share more about our relationship. Like Alltech, HELM is a family-owned business. And we’ve actually been in business for 121 years. So, we have a deep commitment to serving our customers. Within our business, HELM Agro, we are involved in the crop protection business in the U.S. So, we provide solutions to help farmers grow better crops and (are) really helping them reach their crops’ full genetic potential. HELM also has the fertilizer business (and) crop nutrient business in the U.S., and they’re committed to bringing crop nutrients to the market and to help farmers achieve that high yield potential. So, we’re excited about bringing our capabilities around customers and market knowledge and our 22 crop protection footprint and fertilizer footprints to this partnership. So, we’ll be bringing sales and marketing, as well as salespeople in the field, to support and grow the Alltech Crop Science portfolio. Okay. Let’s bring you in, Steve. Same question: What is the role of Alltech Crop Science in this partnership, which I understand is unique? S: Thank you, Tom. Yeah, very much so. We’re just really excited about working with Dave, the HELM team, and having the ability to bridge two companies that have the same culture — the same entrepreneurial culture — of figuring out ways to do more with less. And I would say, from our standpoint, as Dave was mentioning, you know, what HELM brings — on the crop science side, our focus is on the innovation, technologies, and the R&D and the science behind getting these technologies through HELM to the marketplace. Our founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, always maintained a very entrepreneurial mindset to coming up with solutions and looking at solutions from a forward-thinking perspective. And now, his son — Dr. Mark Lyons — has carried on that same mindset and really has pushed us to figure out ways to partner and to work collectively with key groups within the ag space to better service our clientele and better service our customers. So, as far as the uniqueness of this partnership — and, again, it’s a testament to the initiative that Dr. Pearse Lyons had set out for us. So, our Planet of Plenty™ vision looks at ways to build these partnerships and to get these types of technologies into the ag space. So, the uniqueness here is that it is a THE FEEDING TIMES WINTER ISSUE – DECEMBER 2021 23