British pig and poultry feed producer ABN has been encouraged by the carbon reductions achieved during the first phase of its latest study.
The manufacturer has set about searching for a more sustainable replacement for the soya used in pig diets.
Soyabean meal is one of the main drivers of carbon emissions in pig feed production, with the research project focused on using pre-processed pulse and rape blends as an alternative.
There are currently two trials underway involving more than 1,000 weaning pigs and 4,000 finishing pigs. To date, there has been an estimated 40% reduction in carbon emissions associated with the experimental feeds, when compared to soyabean meal.
The finishing pig trial is looking at four levels of soyabean meal replacement, ranging from full inclusion to complete removal. The first stage has yielded positive results, with equal performance between the diets.
“During the three growth stages different pre-process pulse rape blends were utilised in the full replacement of soya,” said Dr Steve Jagger, ABN senior pig nutritionist.
Meanwhile, the weaning pig trial is analysing a separate pre-processed rape blend, where strong performance has been achieved despite a significant reduction in soya use.
Extremely encouraging results
“There has been some work across the industry considering the use of pulses as an alternative to soya in monogastric diets, but these latest trials are looking at the next step, considering whether a pre-processed pulse and rape blend can either replace or significantly reduce the use of soya in pig rations,” added Dr Jagger.
“These are significant reductions, and extremely encouraging. We are very enthused to see these trials through to their culmination, and will then combine and analyse the total results.”
In other news, AB Agri has completed the purchase of National Milk Records.