The pros and cons of palm on the farm

Element - - Environment -

RD1 mar­kets PKE as an important feed supplement, par­tic­u­larly where not enough grass is avail­able. The com­pany de­scribes it as a “nat­u­ral high qual­ity stock feed” that con­tains 8-11 per­cent oil and 16-18 per­cent crude pro­tein, as well as sig­nif­i­cant amounts of en­ergy. “It is a non-GMO, safe and non-acid pro­duc­ing food­stuff, due to low lev­els of starch and su­gar,” the com­pany adds. “It is an ex­cel­lent source of oil and ru­men fer­mentable fi­bre, which can im­prove milk fat con­tent. PKE is a good source of min­er­als, namely phos­pho­rous, cop­per, zinc and man­ganese.” But Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Grain and Seed chair, Andrew Gil­lan­ders, has pointed out that the use of im­ported PKE by dairy farm­ers could be un­der­min­ing our own grain grow­ers. “Over the past four years, the in­crease in im­ported sup­ple­men­tary feed has led to New Zealand arable farm­ers grow­ing less grain and maize silage as it is un­eco­nomic,” he said. “This predica­ment has been high­lighted in the maize in­dus­try where farm­ers have had to com­pete with cheap palm ker­nel meal im­ports, lead­ing grow­ers to aban­don the in­dus­try due to low re­turns.”

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