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Amino acids will play a crucial role in diet formulation throughout 2020

With the agricultural industry under increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and environmental concerns around meat and dairy production rapidly rising up the consumer agenda, Premier Nutrition explores the crucial role amino acids could play in livestock diets throughout the next 12 months to help improve sustainability.

17 December 2019, at 4:17pm

“The protected amino acid (AA) market is becoming increasingly more accessible for inclusion in diets for all species,” says Premier’s ruminant nutritionist Anna Dinsdale.

“The market has become significantly more competitively priced which is providing feed manufactures with increased opportunity to replace proteins in all major livestock diets.”

For example, Anna states that the opportunity now exists in the ruminant sector to replace proteins such as soya, with locally sourced alternatives, such as dried distillers’ grains (DDGS) supplemented with the AAs – lysine and methionine.

Steve Pritchard, Premier Nutrition’s poultry specialist adds that with the recent addition of two new crystalline AAs for use in poultry diets the industry is expecting to see a 1% reduction in crude protein usage during 2020.

“We’re now seeing greater availability of crystalline amino acids, which allow us to more accurately match nutritional requirements to the animal, with less waste,” says Steve.

He adds that as with ruminants, the drive to reduce soya use is important for the poultry sector. “The new AAs will not only help to reduce reliance on soya by adding more options to the nutritionist’s toolbox, they should also improve litter conditions, gut health and overall bird performance.”

The new crystalline AAs will also play an important role in pig diets by reducing overall crude protein levels in feeds while cutting nitrogen excretion and improving gut health, potentially reducing the need for medication.

“Importantly, while we currently use lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan and more recently, valine in monogastric diets, the potential for isoleucine, arginine and other amino acids is looking very promising,” says Premier’s pig product director, Mick Hazzledine.

“Therefore, as future market requirements become clearer, thanks to Premier Atlas, a comprehensive description of available ingredients, the industry now has the information required to meet them.”

Ultimately the key message is, as supply increases and prices fall, the industry should have the tools to meet growing requirements for more sustainable diets which are lower in protein and soya, adds Mick.