Why we believe in co-products

Feeding co-products is an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective way to bring increased nutrition to the ruminant diet, says Peter Lyon, Managing Director of ForFarmers CirQlar.

Dairy Nutrition
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Co-products such as distillers draff and brewers grains can provide a cost effective and sustainable source of nutrition for the dairy herd. Made from by-products, they are typically lower cost than concentrates meaning reduced feed bills without compromising on nutrition.

“Our co-products can enhance the nutritional diversity of ruminant diets,” says Peter Lyon. “They are high in energy, starch and protein meaning they can complement forage based diets. This diversity can lead to improved overall health and performance of the animals.

“As some products also add bulk, they can become useful forage extenders too – particularly important in years when silage is in short supply. What’s more some of the products are made to order which means availability is excellent.”

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Incorporating co-products into ruminant diets contributes to improved sustainability, he continues. “The by-products are derived from food and beverage processing, making use of materials that would otherwise go to waste. By repurposing them, farmers contribute to reduced food waste and the environmental impact associated with disposal.

“Although this aspect isn’t yet incentivised by the milk processors there is undoubtedly an increased drive to improve sustainability across the food chain so everyone needs to be doing all they can. Of course feed efficiency – and protein use in particular – are already rewarded by some milk contracts and both of these can be improved with co-products.

“Many co-products are rich sources of protein and other nutrients which can improve rumen efficiency and bring other benefits such as improved fertility.

“The benefits are numerous so I would really encourage farmers to investigate further how they could gain. Your ForFarmers account manager will be pleased to discuss the options with you further, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

Introducing CirQlar

Previously known as DML (Dry, Moist and Liquid feeds) ForFarmers’ CirQlar focuses on co-products. Peter joined as MD for the department in 2023. He says: “As an industry we have challenges ahead as we journey towards greater sustainability but I’m really excited about working with the team at ForFarmers to help solve these to mutual benefit.

“The development of CirQlar demonstrates our commitment to this area. We are excited about the future of these products and their ability to deliver sustainable returns throughout the supply chain.”

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Key co-products available from ForFarmers

Co product table
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