Biotech Updates

Biodiesel By-product Glycerin to Replace Forage and Corn in Feeds

April 4, 2012

Glycerin, a by-product of biodiesel production was found to be of good use in livestock feeds in studies conducted at Texas AgriLife Research and West Texas A&M University. Jim MacDonald, AgriLife Research beef cattle nutritionist in Amarillo, said that glycerin, once separated from biodiesel feedstocks is a potential ingredient in livestock feed because of its flowability in low temperatures and non-corrosive property. In addition, glycerin is low in phosphorous, protein and sulfur elements.

In the past two years, the team conducted four experiments designed to determine the value of feeding crude glycerin in beef growing and finishing diets. They found that replacing corn in the feed meal by glycerin at 2.5 to 7.5 percent is optimal. Replacing forage by 5 to 10 percent improved feeding efficiency.

When forage was replaced in one study, they saw no change in average daily gain, but the cattle consumed less feed and so feed efficiency was improved. The feed efficiency was improved when either 5 percent or 10 percent glycerin was fed. There is also less bulky ration, an increase in microbial protein and a reduction in rumen ammonia.

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