The Swiss feed additive manufacturer Pancosma recently organised a seminar dealing with the future of the ruminants sector and of its competitiveness. For this opportunity, several external speakers were invited to exchange with the members of the Pancosma’s distributor network from Europe, Africa and Middle East.
In a context of high volatility and increase of the cost of the raw materials, especially proteins, the first speaker Ms. Lara Del Rio from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture kicked off the seminar stating that we have to expect a severe change in the market conditions once the current milk quota system of the Common Agriculture Policy in the EU will end in April 2015.
According to Prof. Sergio Calsamiglia, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the best answer to react on the future market challenges is to improve feed efficiency. To reach higher feed efficiency by improving genetics is relatively limited today whereas herd management and special feeding strategies still have big potentials of improvement. Plant extracts were presented as one of the most profitable, fastest and safest solution to increase productivity of the dairy herd but also of the beef cattle. Prof. Calsamiglia demonstrated, through his personal work and scientific publications, how specific plant extracts blends offered by Pancosma have proven their beneficial impact on improved digestibility and a reduction of maintenance requirements in ruminants which are both key factors for optimized energy and proteins utilisation..
Also beef production needs to implement adapted feeding concepts to be more efficient and – what is more and more required by governments and consumers – to be less detrimental for the environment and safe for the consumer. Mr. F. Hagg (Technical Manager – Allied Nutrition – SA) explained how the plant extracts benefits on the rumen can be good alternatives for beef cattle too. South Africa counts among the major feedlots worldwide. Based on his 9 years-experience, Mr. Hagg explained how Pancosma’s phytonutrients can take part in complete nutritional and veterinary programs, together or replacing ionophores and with buffering products.
To conclude the seminar, totally new outlooks for the ruminant nutrition were discussed thanks to the talk of Dr. E. Wall (Pancosma R&D Deputy Director for Ruminants) who gave a detailed insight in the scientific work of Pancosma. Dr. Wall reported that Pancosma’s philosophy & research interests are different from the competitors. She pointed out that up to now ruminant nutritionists focused only on the rumen. In contrast, Pancosma discovered recently that the lower gut plays a decisive role for feed efficiency but also for the health status and stress resistance of dairy cows. Therefore, the Swiss company aims at using insights gained of basic fundamental research to improve animal performance and success of its customers.
The worldwide scientific community is now ready to extrapolate the observation done on monogastrics animals to ruminants thanks to comparative physiology disciplines. First results will be presented at the next Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) in Kansas, USA in July 2014.