Cattle Feed With A Kick

1 decade 1 year 4 months ago Friday, May 25 2007 May 25, 2007 Friday, May 25, 2007 5:15:34 PM CDT May 25, 2007 in News
A new MU study looks at how it may help calves grow faster. The concept starts with a feed mixture, adds supplement, and finally the glycerin, a byproduct from biodiesel fuel plants. Biodiesel fuel is made from vegetable oil, like soybean oil. The vegetable oil breaks down into 90 percent biodiesel fuel and 10 percent glycerin or glycerol. The leftover Glycerin is what interests researchers.

Missouri has several biodiesel plants including one in Mexico, which can produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel a year.

"For each gallon of biodiesel production, there's about 3/4 of a pound of crude glycerol that's produced so the plants that make biodiesel have to find an outlet for the crude glycerol," said Monty Kerley, MU Professor. "One of the best outlets for crude glycerol is using as an animal feed."

Different amounts of glycerin are added to the cattle feed. The calves eat 0, 5, 10 or 20 percent glycerin in their daily diet. Researchers want to find out how glycerin affects the growth of calves. In the MU study, calves will eat feed mixed with glycerin for 120 days, to determine the optimal amount of glycerin to maximize animal growth.

"What we're doing with our research is we're looking at different levels of glycerol so what we'll be able to do is tell producers who are raising cattle the best level of glycerol to use and what the value of glycerol is compared to other feed stuffs," Kerley said.

Kerley says Europe already mixes glycerin with cattle feed. Researchers will also see if Glycerin improves meat quality. Study results will come out in late fall of next year.

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