Alltech is partnering with Nestlé in the creation of a training centre, the Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang province, China.
The In Vitro Fermentation Model (IFM), a diagnostic tool that simulates rumen fermentation and evaluates the nutritive value of total mixed rations (TMR), will be featured in the Institute and will be one of the ways that Alltech helps to support the continued growth and transformation of the Chinese dairy industry.
"With IFM, we are now able to measure real-time gas production, which can help identify TMR inefficiencies, provide in-depth information on the nutritive value of the feed and allow us to evaluate agricultural by-product-based diets," said Anne Koontz, leading research scientist at Alltech China's IFM laboratory.
Koontz, who holds a doctorate in animal science from the University of Kentucky, was instrumental in starting the first IFM laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota, USA. Since the South Dakota IFM laboratory started offering its commercial services in 2012, the lab has analyzed more than 800 samples from across the globe.
Using IFM technology, feed samples are incubated within a standardised rumen fluid and a buffer system to mimic natural rumen fermentation in an oxygen-free environment. IFM then measures gas production, identifies TMR inefficiencies and provides additional information on the nutritive value of the feed. The Carbon Trust, an organisation that measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, supply chains and products, recently verified that IFM is an effective tool for estimating farm-specific enteric methane emission from specific feeds.
The Institute, which officially opened on the 15th October, will be offering a number of services to further develop future farm managers and professionals within the dairy industry. Through the IFM diagnostics, Chinese dairy nutritionists and farmers will not only be able to get evaluations and recommendations for dairy rations to maximise feed efficiency and combat ever-rising feed costs, but also obtain estimates of the amount of energy lost as methane and methane emissions per animal. In the rapidly developing Chinese dairy industry, such new technology helps dairy productivity to continue to improve while providing insight into new and more precise ways to evaluate feedstuffs and reduce environmental impact.
"We are proud to be part of Nestlé's magnificent project in one of the most important regions of the Chinese dairy industry," said Dr Mark Lyons, global vice president, Alltech and director of Alltech China business operations.