Innovative ways of feeding dairy cows and other ruminants are to be explored following the launch of a new partnership between nutrition and supplement company, UFAC-UK, and the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Dairy Science Innovation.
The research project, supported by the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), will focus on the development of a new approach to feeding ruminants. It aims to improve productivity and sustainability and enhance animal health and welfare.
It is anticipated that the project will be completed in the first half of 2022. It will look at various new products from UFAC (UK) aimed to improve product quality performance and bring total supply chain benefits to producers and consumers, including animal feed manufacturers, producers and processors, food manufacturers and consumers.
The research work will be led by a professor of dairy science, Professor Phil Garnsworthy, who is renowned for his work on dairy cow nutrition and the efficiency of feed utilisation for milk production.
Garnsworthy is currently also involved in research for Tesco and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) around trialling as a dietary supplement that aims to cut cows’ methane emissions in the hope of reducing the dairy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Methane emitted by cows belching is being measured by sensors on food bins and milking stalls at the university’s farm. It successful, it is hoped the supplement could reduce methane emissions by as much as 30%.
CIEL believes the project aligns with 4 of 6 ‘grand challenges’ facing livestock production at present, which are:
“…drive a sustainable and productive future”
Lyndsay Chapman, CEO of CIEL, said she was delighted to be involved in the initiative: “The research project covers areas we believe are critical to helping drive a sustainable and productive future for the agri-food sector, while also being highly innovative.”
She added, “CIEL is passionate about championing industry-led research and working with our members to promote and deliver innovation in livestock production systems. As an industry, we face many challenges, but it’s also a very exciting time as projects like this bring advances to feeding and nutrition.”
UFAC (UK) is a 40-year-old family-owned company, specialising in the innovation and development of blending liquid nutrient resources and dry products, combining high-quality protein sources with enhanced nutrient availability and a range of omega-3 supplements. It has its production base in Woolfox, Leicestershire.