Friday, October 31, 2014

31/10/2014: New protein ingredient save farmers millions in feed costs

A new high protein feed could save Australian abalone farmers up to Aus$2.5 million a year and local growers are following the product with interest, reports the West Coast Sentinel.

The feed, which was developed by South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) scientists, was made to meet nutritional needs of farmed abalone.

The breakthrough will help to lift productivity and will allow producers to meet rising demand for the premium seafood in high-value markets such as China, South East Asia and the United States.

SARDI scientist Dr David Stone said the project began last year and trialed the nutritional needs of abalone during their 30 month production cycle.

"The laboratory based trials confirmed that the protein requirements for abalone varied with both age and seasonal changes in water temperature," he said.

"The results so far are right on target of achieving a 10 percent improvement in abalone growth rates, which eliminates about three months from the usual production cycle."

Local farm SAM Abalone produces about 150 tonnes of greenlip abalone from two farms at Boston Point.
Farm manager Tom Hyde said he had been following the SARDI trials with interest.

"The performance of the high protein diet on our Kangaroo Island and Portland sites show there is real potential for improved growth and productivity," he said.
"We are planning to trial it commercially on our Lincoln sites this summer."

Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said the feed would help producers in the market and encourage others to become part of abalone growth.

"Australia's abalone exports currently weigh in at about 700 tonnes a year, with a farmgate value of $24.5 million," she said.

"The latest on-farm results for the SARDI high protein feeding system confirm expectations of productivity increases, which is an exciting prospect for a niche industry that is aiming to meet the growing demand in valuable export markets."

Read more HERE.

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