A fish silage for feeding livestock is next in line to be commercialised from processed fish offal. United Fisheries recently introduced two liquid fish fertilisers and researchers at Lincoln university are currently working with fish silage in a 50-50 project in partneship with Seafood Innovation.
The biological and organic liquid fish fertilisers that are manufactured under the Bio Marinus brand are made in an enzymatic hydrolysis process by United Fisheries fish processing plant in Christchurch.
The company produces 600,000 tonnes of fish waste every year from the processing of one million tonnes of fish every year, and most of the waste had been used in energy-heavy fish meal, but United Fisheries founder Kypros Kotzikas believes these products can be better used being transformed into natural fertilisers for livestock, to replace chemical ones.
"My ambition is to get the fish industry and the dairy industry to work together and help each other to create an environment that produces products that people can eat without getting harmed,” Kotzikas stated. "We know that by putting Bio Marinus into the soil we create a healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy animals and, hopefully, healthy people."
The liquid fish fertilisers are already being applied on farms in Canterbury, the West Coast, Central Otago and Southland. They work best and absorb the most nitrogen according to experiments at Springston and Greenpark dairy farms by Lincoln independent research company Land Research Services when 7.5 litres was applied on pastures containing 18kg of nitrogen to the ha.
Studies have shown that the liquid fish fertilisers can enhance the health of soils and help reduce the leeching of nitrates, as plants more frequently used more nitrogen when Bio Marinus was combined with urea. Calcium and magnesium content in the grass was 10% higher than urea-only treatments.
There are two years left of a study at Lincoln University on fish silage for feeding animals, such as dairy cows mostly in milking sheds, and probably combined with palm kernel. The trials are expected to extended to commercial farms.
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