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COLUMBIA - An MU researcher said Monday he has a new turkey feed diet that could cut high costs for turkey farmers, and in turn, cut costs to consumers.

Jeff Firman said nearly 20 years of research has gone into the Missouri Ideal Turkey Protein Diet.  Firman said food is a large cost component of raising turkeys. Firman's diet is based off the turkey's tailored protein needs.  "When an animal eats a grain or a feed, it doesn't all get digested. Some of it just goes right on through.  And so, what we did is try to figure out which feeds are highly digestible versus low digestibility," Firman said.

At first sight, Firman's feed looks just like regular feed, but there are actually different amounts of protein, amino acids, and energy content.  Firman said this helps farmers not to over-feed their turkeys, which can also cause price to increase.

According to Firman, farmers could save 8% in feed costs.  "In the world of poultry, that's a huge number," Firman said.  He also said this saving could trickle down to consumers, although, it may take a while.  Farmers using the new feed will see a cost reduction almost immediately, but it could take three to five years for consumers to see any significant change in price.