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Reduction of the soy imports by the use of protected soybean and rapeseed meal in cattle feed (MELKSOJA)

Main research question/goal
This project will investigate whether rumen protected protein sources, such as soybean meal which has been manipulated to be digested in the intestines and not in the rumen of the cow, can lead to reduced import of soybean meal for the dairy cattle industry. The use of soybean meal for livestock is under pressure, because of increased prices, deforestation in response to increasing demand for soybean in South America, and competition between livestock nutrition and human food production. Rumen-protected soybean meal provides more protein than the same amount of unprotected soybean meal; if so, this might reduct the import of soybean meal.

Research approach
The protein from rumen-protected soybean meal can better be utilized in the intestines of cattle than protein from non-treated soybean meal. The result of such treatment is a high protein value of the soybean meal. This project compares two sources of rumen-protected soybean meal with an unprotected source. The first one was treated with heat, while the second one underwent a process with formaldehyde. There are three phases in this project. 1) Determination of the in vivo protein value of the control and both forms of protected soybean meal in rumen fistulated cows. 2) Comparison of the three sources of soybean meal (control, heat and formaldehyde treated) in a scientific experiment in dairy cattle, in which the three treatments are compared in a Latin Square set-up. 3) Use of the three soybean meal types on six high-producing dairy farms in Flanders with evaluation of the zootechnical results.

The advantages of using rumen-protected soybean meal are reduced protein use and soybean import, but can also lead to cheaper DPI (true protein digested in the small intestines) and to lower feed costs, owing to the rising price of protein. Alternatively, the use of rumen-protected soybean meal means lower rough protein input as well as lower RDPB (rumen degraded protein balance) and both can result in decreased N excretion.

Funding provider(s)

External partner(s)
Hooibeekhoeve - proefbedrijf voor veehouderij
PVL - Proef- en Vormingscentrum voor de Landbouw vzw
Date:1 May 2011 →  30 Apr 2013