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Feds fund biofuels feed program

The federal government is putting $6 million into a research network to develop a feed industry in conjunction with the growing biofuels sector.

The program, Feed Opportunities from the BioFuels Industries (FOBI), will work to develop and harness new market opportunities in the ethanol and livestock sectors.

“Success depends on Canadian farmers being able to access new and value-added markets,” said Saskatoon-Humboldt Member of Parliament Brad Trost in a press release. “This initiative will result in new markets, which will help our livestock sector improve their bottom line and boost our economy.”

The FOBI network will focus on creating higher quality livestock feed from ethanol waste, also known as co-products or distillers grains. The research will explore the integration of livestock production and wheat-based ethanol production, and focus on creating new co-products and new markets for existing co-products and Canadian farmers.

Led by the University of Saskatchewan, the FOBI network is a multidisciplinary initiative composed of private, public and academic members from the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd., Prairie Swine Centre Inc. and the Saskatchewan Research Council. 

“This collaborative research network led by the University of Saskatchewan Feeds Innovation Institute will help make Western Canada an international leader in feeds research and commercialization, improve both livestock and bio-fuels production, and provide tremendous new training opportunities for more than 30 students and other research personnel,” said Karen Chad, University of Saskatchewan Acting Vice-President Research.

FOBI aims to improve the economics of livestock operations through nutritional evaluation and development of feeding recommendations for wheat-based co-products. The network will work with the wheat-based ethanol industry to systematically evaluate the current steps in the ethanol process, their impact on the feed ingredients and how those ingredients fare on domestic and international markets.

Wheat breeding and pre- and post-fermentation processing technologies will be explored with the aim of generating novel co-products, or uses for existing co-product streams. Detailed nutritional evaluation and development of feeding recommendations for wheat-based co-products will result in improved economics for cattle, hog and other livestock operations.

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