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As the agriculture industry seeks more sustainable solutions and ingredients, Alltech E-CO2 has developed the Feeds EA model to help feed manufacturers and producers globally measure and lower the carbon footprint of their feed.

According to a company release, Feeds EA measures the environmental impact of feed production at the feed mill level by assessing the impact of existing compounds or blends. This is calculated by greenhouse gas emissions from production, cultivation, processing, energy utilization and transportation in the manufacturing of the feed. The technology can calculate emissions from a database of more than 300 ingredients, including raw materials, soya products, byproducts and additives.

“Optimizing the sustainability of feed production provides a huge opportunity for the whole supply chain,” says Ben Braou, business general manager for Alltech E-CO2, in the release. “By utilizing Feeds EA, feed manufacturers are provided with the means to further enhance their product range and sustainability credentials through supplying feed with a lower environmental impact.”

Research shows feed has the potential to influence up to 80% of a farm’s carbon footprint when direct emissions from production, as well as the transportation of feed and indirect emissions that arise from the impact of that feed on the animal, are considered.

However, Alltech E-CO2 says the true impact depends on the species and the system of production. The new model provides an opportunity to improve a ration by demonstrating how formulation changes could reduce the carbon footprint of the feed. Some ingredients carry a higher carbon weight than others, the release noted, so substituting or replacing certain ingredients with more sustainable options can have a big impact.

“At Alltech E-CO2, we are able to work with feed mills and producers to take those specific feed emissions and apply them at a farm level through our certified livestock assessments,” Braou says in the release. “This greatly increases the accuracy and opportunity for carbon footprint measurement and mitigation across the feed and food chain.”

Alltech E-CO2 says the technology allows feed manufacturers to produce and market more sustainable feed which gives producers the option to select diets with a lower environmental impact. A summary report is also provided following the calculation of the feeds’ carbon footprint, allowing for a comparison of different compounds or blends.

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