Afgri takes on a tech approach to the production of animal feed - CNBC Africa

Afgri takes on a tech approach to the production of animal feed


by Trust Matsilele 0

AFGRI’s rumen to achieve high bypass protein value. PHOTOS: jungleseeds/africagreenmedia

The new technology developed utilises canola in addition to soya beans to achieve bypass protein value.

The leading agricultural solutions and industrial foods company developed the technology in partnership with Kansas State University.

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The technology is installed and supports manufacturing at the Afgritech LLP plant in Watertown, New York.

“It is the only product worldwide that utilises canola in addition to soya beans to achieve high bypass protein value in both ingredients and the result is that five to 10 per cent more milk can, for example, be produced by a dairy cow,” said the company.

Chris Venter, chief executive of Afgri said the technology was widely adopted in Europe.

“This technology is widely adopted in Europe through Afgri’s bypass protein partners, Carr’s Milling Industries and in South Africa through feed produced by Afgri Animal Feeds. We are extremely excited about the future of this technology and the products we are able to develop with it. Most of all, it provides a viable solution to our clients.”

Bypass Protein, also known as AminoMax Pro in the USA, was not available in America until 2011 when the Watertown plant was first commissioned.

The plant is a joint venture between Afgri and Carr’s Milling.

Since commissioning the production, AminoMax Pro has increased by 45 per cent and continues to increase annually, based largely on the growing demand from northeast manufacturers like Whitman’s Feed.

AminoMax Pro is a registered animal feeding brand of Carr’s Milling which is a unique, vegetable protein-rich feed that blends both soybean and canola to provide highly consistent levels of lysine, methionine and other essential amino acids to the cow.

Technology within animal feeds has advanced so far that dairy producers should increase their levels of knowledge about the importance of formulating rations for improved milk components.

“AminoMax Pro is by far the most consistent product out there”, said Art Whitman, owner of Whitman’s Feed in North Bennington, whose family-owned business has been serving northeast dairymen since 1945.

“Because we know the amino acid profile, and are assured it’s the same every time, we’re able to very tightly control the protein portion of the mix for our customers. That’s important as the industry moves toward reducing nitrogen excretion in the environment, and increasing milk components.”

Dairy farmers in the States have become more aware of the economic importance of fat, protein and other dairy solids since multiple component pricing was implemented in 2000.

However, the group says many producers are still hard-wired to think in pounds of milk as opposed to components.

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“Our goal is to make all producers aware of the importance of milk components, and that the cheapest load of grain doesn’t always deliver the best ROI,” said Whitman.

Unlike expeller-extruded soybean meal, AminoMax Pro is manufactured via a highly controlled, 400 sensor checkpoint process that reduces soybean and canola particles to a very fine, uniform size.

Whitman added that there was no fudge factor built in with AminoMax Pro.

“By using consistent ingredients, we’re able to tweak the butterfat and protein components of the milk more precisely for each farm.”

Izaak Breitenbach, managing director of Afgri’s Foods Divisions said the group remains proud and committed to its association with Whitman’s Feed and the success of this technology goes to show the leading role Afgri plays in agricultural solutions and support to our customers.

In short the technology was commercialised the first time in South Africa. The first plant was commissioned in 2005 in Eloff, Mpumalanga. From there AFGRI took the technology to the United Kingdom, then Argentina.

In Argentina Afgri has a royalty agreement with GEPSA, one of the largest ruminant feed companies in Argentina.

The first three plants were built on the first production technology.

In 2012 the company commissioned the next generation manufacturing technology in Watertown, New York.

“The great advantage of our technology is that it is a green technology, thus no harm to the environment and safe to work with. We also have the ability to treat any protein source, so we are not only limited to soya oilcake.”