New palm-free fat supplement increases milk yields and helps lower carbon footprint
Launch of envirolac has the potential to transform dairy sector performance and enhance sustainability credentials.
Internationally renowned Professor of Dairy Science Phil Garnsworthy of the University of Nottingham has today helped launch a new palm-free fat supplement which, his research indicates, has the potential to transform the dairy sector and offer a new approach to feeding ruminants.
In a trial project led by Professor Garnsworthy, utilising the research capabilities within the Centre or Dairy Science Innovation (CDSI) at Nottingham University, the rumen inert palm-free fat supplement envirolac has been proven to increase dairy milk yields and quality, while offering a lower carbon footprint when compared with a calcium soap fat supplement derived from palm fat derivatives.
The project compared the new palm-free fat supplement, manufactured from locally sourced vegetable oils together with marine oils, against a palm-oil based control fat supplement.
Supported by The Centre of Innovation in Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), the research set out to determine the effect of the envirolac supplement for dairy cows on milk production, cow health, fertility, feed conversion efficiency and potential implications for healthier milk for human consumption.
Professor Garnsworthy initially presented the results of the trial work at Dairy Tech 2022 in April, and comments, “The aim of our trial was to demonstrate that envirolac performed just as well as a calcium soap, however what we actually discovered was that there was a significant increase in milk yield and butterfat production, with no impact on dry matter intake. Overall, we found an increase in feed conversion efficiency.”
He added, “Targeted and precision feeding of envirolac offers producers significant financial gains through improved quantity and quality of milk produced and reduced cost of concentrate feeding.” Robert Jones, UFAC-UK Managing Director explains, “Backed by scientific research, we are making breakthroughs in feed formulations, removing the need for palm oil and reducing the reliance on soya.
“We are unlocking the door to a more sustainable future that will positively impact the environment while transforming animal health, and increasing performance and profitability.”
The initial results of the trial at Nottingham University indicate a potential financial benefit to the UK dairy herd in excess of £85 million, based on the market prices when the research was unveiled, for the products under trial and liquid milk.
Significantly, the feed carbon footprint of the new fat supplement was approximately one third of the footprint of the control palm-based supplement, reducing the feed carbon footprint per kg of milk by 11%. The reduction in carbon footprint could also help to reduce land use change associated with growing palm trees.
“Although UK fat supplements use palm acid oil from sustainable sources, palm oil production can be associated with deforestation,” adds Professor Garnsworthy.
Dr Harry Kamilaris, Innovation Manager – Sustainability at CIEL says, “We are delighted to have worked with UFAC-UK on this research project. It covers areas we believe are critical to help drive a sustainable and productive future for the agri-food sector, while also being highly innovative.
“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 is also a very exciting time, as projects like this bring advances to feeding and nutrition.”
envirolac is now available to market through UFAC-UK and its distributor network of feed merchants and feed compounders.