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Research Call

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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11 S 122 UCD (Teagasc) 959,837

Project Title:

Feed evaluation for accurate nutrition (FEFAN)

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Tommy Boland

Project Abstract

Increasing world population and economic prosperity are driving increased demand for food, including animal products. This increased demand is set against a backdrop of reduced resource availability and legislation to minimise the environmental impact of agricultural systems. At the centre of this conundrum is the issue of efficient nutrient utilisation by the animal, a major driver of sustainable animal production systems. Irish ruminant animal production systems are based on grazed grass and to a lesser extent concentrate feeds while concentrate feeds comprise the total diet in pig systems. There is a lack of accurate information on the nutrient content of these feeds in a number of instances. This leads to major difficulties in accurately formulating diets for optimum animal production. The increased demand for food is placing pressure on the inclusion of cereal grains in animal diets. The potential of cereal by-products to provide a source of nutrients in animal diets merits additional investigation also. This project will use a combination of traditional wet chemistry techniques, NIR, in vivo digestibility measurements and large scale animal performance studies to determine the chemical composition, available nutrients and for a subset of feeds their impact on animal performance, product quality and nutrient excretion. The objectives of this project are: To characterise the nutrient content of the main feed sources used in animal diets including grazed grass, cereal grains and by-products; To determine the available nutrients (Net Energy for ruminants and pigs plus PDI for ruminants) in a range of commonly fed feedstuffs; To formulate diets/concentrates based on the available nutrient content of byproduct ingredients to determine their impact on animal performance, nutrient excretion and product quality; To develop NIR equations to predict nutrient content of the most commonly used feedstuffs; To disseminate this new knowledge to industry and farmers to promote the accurate nutrition of farm animals.

Final Report:

Not available yet.