On-farm algal ponds to provide protein for northern cattle
The On-farm algal ponds to provide protein for northern cattle project investigated producing a cheap protein source in the form of microalgae to supplement cattle in northern Australia during the dry season.
Protein-rich feed supplement for grazing cattle leads to increased weight gain during the dry season. Algae had previously been evaluated for intake, digestion and live weight gain responses with positive results. This project was about producing a cheap protein source in the form of microalgae to supplement cattle in northern Australia during the dry season.
Major technological advances include
- the selection of fast-growing, protein-rich microalgae collected from cattle farms
- low-cost algae cultivation by using a new pond design and efficient air lift mixers
- low-cost harvesting by induced settling.
Large-scale cultivation and harvesting was trialled for 1 year with production costs of $781-$2,289 per ton dry matter for different species, with further cost reductions possible for on-farm production. Industry benefits include protein-rich supplement supply all-year-round, improved animal live weight gain and potentially improved animal health.
When: 31 Mar 2012 to 20 Jan 2016
Contact: Peter Schenk
Collaborator: University of Queensland
For more details, please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.NBP.0695) (PDF, 2.4 MB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.