Data from a new meta-analysis for ruminants showed that Optigen, a non-protein nitrogen ingredient, can replace vegetable protein sources and enable dairy and beef producers to simultaneously improve animal performance, reduce their carbon footprint and increase profitability. The new data from the meta-analysis examining the effects of Optigen supplementation in dairy cows is based on the results of 17 studies carried out in six different countries, while the beef study was based on the results of 17 studies carried out in nine different countries.
The use of Optigen in dairy diets resulted in a carbon savings of around 54 g of CO2-eq/kg milk. When extrapolated to the annual milk output of the Dutch dairy sector, for example, this would be equivalent to a carbon emission reduction of 574,004 tonnes of CO2-eq. Such a carbon saving represents 10% of the entire reduction target for agriculture and land use sectors required by the Dutch government by 2030. The environmental benefits Optigen brings are through the substitution of soybean and other high protein concentrates in combination with improved production efficiency.
The meta-analysis highlighted how the partial replacement of vegetable protein with Optigen exhibited a consistent improvement in the liveweight gains and feed efficiency of beef cattle. There was an 8% average increase in liveweight gain and an 8% improvement in feed efficiency with the inclusion of corn silage, enhancing the effects of Optigen.