GrainCorp gives dairy farmers easy access to canola meal to boost production
GrainCorp Feeds is now importing high quality non-GM canola meal into New Zealand, via a robust supply chain and supported with GrainCorp Feeds’ local knowledge and distribution infrastructure.
GrainCorp Feeds General Manager Daniel Calcinai says GrainCorp has worked with canola meal extensively in Australia and his team is looking forward to sharing that knowledge and expertise with New Zealand dairy farmers, across the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
“Canola meal is the major protein meal consumed within the Australian livestock industry. We have seen first-hand the benefits this feed can deliver, both in terms of animal health and milk production. This initiative provides an opportunity to help New Zealand farmers benefit from the value canola meal could add to their business and make accessing it even easier.”
Canola meal has been proven to deliver a measurable increase in milk quality and production in typical New Zealand pasture-based diets. Trials¹ indicate that feeding canola meal led to an increase in herd milk solids by almost 9 per cent and milk volumes by up to 6.5 per cent.
Weaned calves have also been shown to perform effectively in reaching target weight at mating when canola meal is used as a protein supplement.
Daniel says this development is particularly timely as the drier summer months loom and pasture protein levels start to drop.
“Canola meal is a high-quality source of protein and is globally recognised as an ideal supplementary feed for dairy herds whose protein needs are elevated. This is particularly important at certain times during the season when you can’t rely on pasture alone to give them what they need. The cost per unit of protein also makes this feed exceptional value for money.
“What makes canola meal so effective is its amino acid profile, and combination of rumen-degradable and undegradable proteins. This means the protein can be used by the animal a lot more effectively than some other protein-dense products.”
Daniel says canola meal also has another significant advantage.
“Compared to cereal grains, canola meal provides a sugar and oil source of energy that does not ferment as quickly within the rumen. This helps stabilise rumen fermentation and lessens the acid load and potential rumen pH depression, which increases digestible energy.”
Daniel says while every farm system is different, canola meal has been proven to have a lesser impact on Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) than Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE).
The canola meal supply chain is relatively short, with the product grown and processed in Australia under strict quality assurance standards. Daniel says it is an extremely safe and versatile feed for dairy cows.
“As a quality source of protein, canola meal can be fed in multiple ways just like other supplementary feeds, including via a mixer wagon or in-shed feeding system. Depending on the nutritional needs of the herd, it can also be added to blended feeds to form part of a nutritionally balanced diet, to help complement pasture and other on farm feeds.”
Canola meal is available nationwide. Farmers can buy directly from GrainCorp Feeds or from their usual feed merchant or feed retailer. For technical information about how your farm business could benefit from canola meal, talk to your local GrainCorp Technical Support Manager.
¹ This research was carried out in 2011 by Dr Jean Margerison of Dairy Systems Research at Massey University