ProAgni probiotic hopes on trial

ProAgni probiotic hopes on trial

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ProAgni (Aust) Pty Ltd's Lachlan Campbell checks feed as it is delivered to trial lambs with Kieran Simpson at Binginbar feedlot, Gollan.

ProAgni (Aust) Pty Ltd's Lachlan Campbell checks feed as it is delivered to trial lambs with Kieran Simpson at Binginbar feedlot, Gollan.

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The world wants to eat less antibiotics in their food, so red meat may be a probiotic winner.

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UPWARDS of 80 per cent of all antibiotics produced in the world go into animal husbandry and lotfeeding in particular, according to Lachlan Campbell, CEO of ProAgni (Aust) Pty Ltd, Bonada, Wellington.

"There's a huge social licence about getting those antibiotics out of the food chain because of antimicrobial resistance," he said.

"ProAgni has commercialised technology to take those antibiotics out of the lotfeeding system and has been in the market for more than 14 months."

In this time more than 620,000 animals have been produced without approximately 589 kilograms of antibiotics saving 14,85 tonnes of feed and reducing methane emission by 148.3t.

And the company is near 12 months away from commercialising a dry-form probiotic that reduces induction times into feedlots by up to 74 per cent.

"This product is expected to reduce induction time from 14 days down to four days. That's a massive game changer." Mr Campbell said.

He said the delivery process had strong possibilities of reducing greenhouse emissions in sheep and cattle in feedlots and was getting a lot of interest from the United States.

"The world is quite clear, people want line-of-sight of the food they eat, and no antibiotics means no antibiotics." - Lachlan Campbell

Wellington trial

A feedlot trial of the ProAgni additive, completely free of antibiotics and ionophores, began on 1000 lambs at the Simpson family's Binginbar Feedlot, Gollan, near Wellington, on September 9.

Managing the trial, Kieran Simpson, said the induction would run for 14 days in two tests - 1000 lambs fed on the normal Binginbar ration included with Bovatec and the other 1000 head with the ProAgni additive.

"The lambs will then be weighed purely on weight-gain on September 23 and only performing animals will return to the feedlot in their same social order," he said.

"The original number will cut back after we cut out the shy feeders, and the remainder will continue the feed regime in the two trials until October 31 before being transported separately to Thomas Foods International, Tamworth, for processing."

Mr Simpson said that during the entire process, daily feed consumption of each animal will be recorded along with liveweight gain to produce the feed conversion ratios for both treatments in the trial. At slaughter meat yield would also be measured.

"At present the average feed conversion rate at Binginbar feedlot is between three to four kilograms to one on dry matter," he said.

"Weather conditions will change feed intake dramatically, a cold snap like that recent Monday's cold change will affect the lambs' feeding habits with them eating less. So these factors will also be taken into consideration.

"As well, clean water is the most important factor. If an animal doesn't drink, it will not eat."

Largest sole lamb supplier

BINGINBAR Farms Pty Ltd has been providing Thomas Foods International's (TFI) Tamworth abattoir for 4.5 years and is now TFI's biggest sole supplier of lamb.

The relationship began with Ross and Michele Simpson who not only bred their own lambs, but bought lambs from established clientele and grown out to required weights on the high-production property between Wellington and Dunedoo.

With the introduction of the feedlot the Simpson with sons, Nathan and Kieran, finished up to 41,000 lambs last year.

"We expect to top that again this year and are licenced to run a maximum of 4000 head at once," Kieran Simpson said.

ProAgni's Lachlan Campbell, said the trial was at Binginbar Farms because of the trust of their data, the location and size of the farm and the Simpson family's high reputation.

The genesis of the ProAgni business was with the finding of some stranded science from the University of Queensland (UQ).

"Research by Associate Professor Athol Klieve relating to methane reduction in ruminants and reducing induction times in sheep and cattle in feedlots was resurrected and a relationship was formed with UQ and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland in November 2015," Mr Campbell said.

"We built a series of products which went onto the market 15 months ago and are being trialled at Binginbar.

"The world is quite clear, people want line-of-sight of the food they eat, and no antibiotics means no antibiotics."

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