The conclusion of the recent InnoVision conference was that increasing the efficiency with which farm animals utilise the nutrients they absorb from their feed will be the next important step in increasing farm productivity.
Current research is revealing that there is often potential to double the efficiency with which nutrients are metabolised by farm animals following absorption through the gut wall. Achieving that potential would contribute significantly to meeting the rising demand for animal protein for the growing global population. Importantly, it would do this without increasing the use of limited feed raw material resources.
On average worldwide, the productivity of farm animals is 30-40% below their genetic potential. Innovations in animal nutrition resulting from the latest science and technology are targeted towards optimising performance on farm to narrow that gap. The InnoVision scientists concluded that “Innovations in ‘post-absorptive efficiency’ can help close the gap between genetic potential of animals and their performance on farm, thereby contributing to sustainably increasing animal protein production: producing more from less.”
At InnoVision, Nutreco scientists met top animal science researchers from New Zealand, the USA, France and the Netherlands. During what proved to be an inspirational gathering, Nutreco R&D professionals gained new insights in opportunities to improve ‘post-absorptive nutrient efficiency’. Professor Den Hartog, director R&D and Quality Affairs at Nutreco: “At our previous InnoVision meeting in 2011, we concluded that nutrition targeting animal health would boost productivity and sustainability. Since then we have seen great research results leading to successful concepts and products in the positive influence of functional ingredients on the health status of the animal gut and the role of its microbial population in animal performance. This year at InnoVision we identified a similarly promising research area. There are still many unknowns in the key factors and mechanisms that drive post-absorptive efficiency. We now have clear focus points for our research to go forward, such as functional ingredients to modulate and support metabolism and to balance the nutrient cost of events such as immune responses.”
During his speech at the multi-stakeholder AgriVision conference that follows InnoVision, Professor Leo den Hartog, speaks about Nutreco’s focus areas in animal nutrition. In addition to feed efficiency, key focus areas are young animal nutrition, preventive gut health and precision feeding. Innovations in all these areas contribute to sustainable animal protein production.
The biennial science gathering, on 18 June 2013, was organised by Nutreco.