Global animal health leader Alltech is partnering with Nestlé in the creation of a world class training center, the Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang province, China.
Along with its participation in numerous educational initiatives and assistance in establishing best practices in Chinese agribusiness, Alltech is bringing its highly successful feed evaluation laboratory to the world’s fastest growing dairy market. 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.
The Institute, which officially opened today, 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 maximize 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. “I am confident that Alltech’s contribution, backed by 34 years of experience, will be significant in helping Chinese farmers sustainably increase their production efficiency and become more profitable.”
Alltech has been operating in China for 20 years and partnering with Nestlé is one of numerous projects included in its “China Now” program. China, as a critical player in global agribusiness, is a priority focus for Alltech, and China Now reflects the resources the company has invested to strengthen its local support within the market. Fundamental to this strategy are partnerships with other businesses as well as universities. Within the last two years, Alltech has finalized formal research alliances with seven Chinese universities and research institutions ― the Chinese National Feed Quality Control Center in Beijing; Northwest A&F University; Zhejiang University; South China Agriculture University; Jiangnan University; Ocean University of China; and the Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre (MAFIC) ― to focus on intensive, solution-driven research in the areas of animal nutrition, food safety, environmental sustainability, nutrigenomics, feed contamination and analytical testing.
The Alltech laboratory at the Nestlé Dairy Farming Institute will deliver Alltech’s research-based solutions to 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 standardized 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 organization that measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organizations, supply chains and products, recently verified that IFM is an effective tool for estimating farm-specific enteric methane emission from specific feeds.
The IFM laboratory is just one of the many different analytical services Alltech provides globally for its growing customer base. Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Laboratory, the Analytical Services Laboratory, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, was recently awarded ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation, an international standard that recognizes the competence of testing laboratories. This objective third-party assessment distinguishes the managerial and technical requirements of the lab and ensures the accuracy and impartiality of analytical results.