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New Product to Reduce Ammonia Emissions? We’ve Covered That Here Before…

Dairy Cow

I noticed recently that an FDA-approved animal drug was being launched to reduce ammonia emissions in beef cattle.  The drug, which may be a feed additive, appears to be the first of its kind to reduce emissions from animal agriculture.

For some time now, we’ve discussed on the Insta-Pro blog about how reducing various losses from animal production is beneficial and becoming more and more relevant.  For example, methane is a by-product of rumen fermentation and represents production losses.  Nitrogen and phosphorus wastes are excreted in manure, like in confinement swine production, and all too often end up off the farm.  And, related to the new product in question here, ammonia loss from livestock farms is a concern as it is positively correlated to human health problems.  Similar reasons, including those related to improving “public health”, are cited for the development of this new drug.

But, as we’ve noted for some time, this very real issue, and others, can be minimized or solved by choosing higher-quality, highly-digestible ingredients and taking care to formulate diets accordingly.  And, this approach avoids the limitations of using a drug.  For example, this new product in question is only approved for beef cattle and only at the end of feeding before market.  In addition, it’s an added input cost – it’s doesn’t appear that anything else from a diet formulation perspective changes with its use.

When higher-quality ingredients are used, typically other inferior ingredients can be removed – often resulting in an overall less-expensive formulation.

What is overwhelmingly clear is that strategies to reduce emissions and losses, including ammonia, waste, and other liquids and gases, will only increase as time goes forward.  Speak with us about the use of high-shear dry extruded ingredients, like ExPress® soy meal, to achieve these and other goals.