Lit­tle bit of choco­late for the cows

South Waikato News reporter Caitlin Wal­lace never imag­ined her favourite treat of choco­late would end up in stock feed.

South Waikato News - - SPORTS / TE PAPA HAKINAKINA -

All things de­li­cious and sweet have found their way into stock feed right here in the South Waikato.

Palm ker­nel and tapi­oca are per­haps some of the likely in­gre­di­ents in a feed but who would imag­ine choco­late, lol­lies and jam would be too?

Toko­roa’s James and Son stock feed site brings in up to 4000 tonnes of ma­te­ri­als.

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Greg Pil­lar said that in­cludes ‘‘ev­ery­thing imag­in­able’’.

Some would not think these sweet treats would end up as cow feed but Pil­lar said it is nor­mal prac­tice across the world.

Un­like many of us, cows do not suc­cumb to more than their fair share of the sug­ary foods.

‘‘It is in­cred­i­bly good en­ergy but the vol­umes aren’t mas­sive they just en­hance the feed,’’ Pil­lar said.

Most of the ma­te­ri­als used in the feed are byprod­ucts, ac­cord­ing to Pil­lar. This means the fac­tory made prod­ucts are not up for ‘‘hu­man con­sump­tion’’.

‘‘A bis­cuit may have a chip on it or some­thing,’’ he said.

While a lot of prod­ucts will be saved from the land­fill, Pil­lar said James and Sons are ‘‘very picky’’.

And the pro­cesses are not as sim­ple as some may think.

‘‘It’s not just a case of grab­bing stuff and putting it to­gether. You need ex­per­tise,’’ he said.

Though Pil­lar could not go into de­tails he said spe­cialised equip­ment and the right knowl­edge is used to for­mu­late and blend feeds.

Pil­lar said there has been a huge de­mand for the in­trigu­ing prod­uct.

‘‘ We al­ways used to make a stan­dard two-three blends,’’ he said.

Now the ma­jor­ity of the feeds are ‘‘tweaked’’ for farm­ers.

‘‘Ev­ery farm is dif­fer­ent and our pol­icy is to do what our farm­ers need,’’ he said.

Pil­lar said de­mand is down to farm­ers who need to keep up pro­duc­tion with­out buy­ing more land.

Sweet sur­prise: Toko­roa site man­ager Tony Hall and the James and Son sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives are no strangers to the pro­cesses of stock feed.

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