Partially replacing concentrate cow feed with industry by-products: an efficient way to reduce feed costs & reinforce local sovereignty.
A contribution from Danone Ecosystem Fund
Why does it matter?
Importing concentrate feed is costly for farmers and contributes to GHG emissions, due to transport. Depending on a famers location, food industry by-products can be used to partially replace concentrate feed. Introducing local by-products in animals’ feed not only encourages a circular economy, is less expensive and can have positive effects on cow productivity.
How did we solve this?
In Algeria, two main food industry by-products are: olive by-products (solid residue made of olives’ skin, pulp residues and pieces of stones) and tomato pulp. The trial showcased the possibility of successfully adjusting feed rations by introducing olive by-products or tomato pulp to replace part of the concentrate feed (up to 4kg/cow/day).
The feed costs reduction were immediate: around 255€/cow/year was saved, as the by-products are purchased at a very low price or gifted to the farmers. The effect on milk production was also quite interesting: cows fed with tomato pulp almost doubled their milk production and those fed on olive by-products maintained their production but fat content in the milk increased.
Opportunities for other farms?
Introducing by-products into the basic ration of cows encourages circular economy and it has positive effects on farm productivity. This approach may be replicated on all farms, taking into account the availability of local by-products and nutritional requirements.
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