NORTH Queensland cattle producer Michael Seymour says there is no doubting his cattle are in better condition following the inclusion of high-protein green algae in his herd's diet.
Mr Seymour, who runs up to 400 red Brangus and other bought-in trade cattle on country near Finch Hatton west of Mackay, said it was also apparent that the cattle fed the natural additive were consuming less pasture, but gaining more condition.
"My experience to date is that the paddocks are lasting longer and the cattle are doing better," Mr Seymour said.
"It seems the green algae is stimulating the microbes in the rumen and allowing the animals to process more of the grass they eat into body weight.
"The cattle are just in such a wonderful, healthy condition, they almost shine in the dark. That also has to be good for their reproductive performance."
Located about 50km off the coast directly inland from Calen, Mr Seymour is feeding concentrated green algae through his water troughs at a rate of about 15ml/day as part of a trial to help better understand the performance of the natural feed additive AlgaeFeed.
"If I have two troughs, one with fresh water and one with green algae added, there is an obvious preference for the water with the green algae," Mr Seymour said.
Green algae had also been added to grain supplements, with similar outcomes.
Launched by Genesis Algae Innovation, AlgaeFeed is grown, harvested and concentrated using a centrifuge at Bowen.
Genesis Algae Innovation chief executive officer Frank Mason said laboratory trials conducted by the University of Queensland on AlgaeFeed had shown a 21 per cent reduction in methane production.
"It's cost effective, natural and the only commercially viable and readily available methane reduction product available on the market today," Mr Mason said.
"It also improves overall animal health, reproductive performance and meat quality as the algae contains 20pc omega fats which end up in the meat."
Mr Seymour said he was particularly interested in turning off heavier cattle at an earlier age. "I want to know about the effect the feeding of green algae has on getting heifers in calf and the effect on meat quality on all ages of cattle, including cows," he said.
More than a million litres of the high protein, Omega 3-rich product made from micro-green chlorella variety algae is produced at the Bowen facility each day. AlgaeFeed is sold as a concentrate or is transported as a liquid in either IBCs or tankers.
If I have two troughs, one with fresh water and one with green algae added, there is an obvious preference for the water with the green algae.- Michael Seymour, Finch Hatton
Work is also underway at the Bowen facility to develop a 10kg lick block containing green algae for use is more expansive pastoral areas.
The Australian red meat and livestock industry has set an ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2030, acknowledging livestock account for about 70pc of greenhouse gas emissions by the Australian agricultural sector.
The CN30 target means that by 2030, Australian beef, lamb and goat production, including lot feeding and meat processing, will make no net release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The target is being promoted as a clear signal to government and consumers that the red meat and livestock industry was proactively addressing emissions and improving long-term productivity. It also underpins Australia's position as a responsible producer of high value, clean, safe and natural protein.
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