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Guidance notes to operators including recommendations in relation to nutrient supply

Nicholas, P; Sundrum, A and Padel, S (2007) Guidance notes to operators including recommendations in relation to nutrient supply. EEC 2092/91 (Organic Revision Project Report), no. D 4.3. University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Insitute of Rural Sciences.

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Summary

Restriction in the use of inputs and therefore limited availability of certain nutrient resources is a key characteristic of organic farming. Making best use of resources available on the farm implies that diet formulation needs to consider the availability of home–grown feed materials and the nutrient requirements of the livestock, as well as taking into account factors outside the farm gate, such as market conditions and consumer expectations.
It is therefore an on-going challenge for organic farmers to balance the different demands and the resources available.
In the move towards 100% organic diets organic pig and poultry producers are currently faced with a number of key issues in relation to the supply of energy and particularly protein that are addressed in this document. This guide is aimed at those involved with organic pig and poultry production, and summarises the main results of two Deliverables 4.1 and 4.2 of the project EC 2092/91 (Organic) Revision1 on the possibilities and limitations of protein supply in organic poultry and pig production.
It covers a range of issues that are relevant either to feed millers or to farmers or to both alike. These include:
- Balance of supply and demand
- Continuity, batch size and quality of supply of organically grown cereals
- Shortages in the supply of organic feed in several EU countries
- Dietary requirements under conditions of organic farming
- Dietary requirements of organically reared pigs and poultry during the various life-stages (taking into account outdoor rearing systems)?
- How far can the specification of fattening rations for pigs and poultry, and different breeds within these livestock categories, deviate from the optima?
- Is there potential to reduce the energy content of the diet to increase intake and hence increase the total intake of limiting amino acids?
- What is the organic livestock industry, particularly the poultry sector, doing to develop breeds and production systems that require less intensive feeding?
- What protein sources can be used? (Grain legumes, Fish meal, Rape seed)
- Will further derogations be available?
- Challenges for producing home-grown feeds and suggestions for overcoming them.
The report concludes that organic production of pigs and poultry aims for land based production systems and reduction in production intensity in terms of the use of external inputs. This is different from the production goal of intensified conventional production of improving live-weight gain, protein accretion and feed conversion rate while at the same time reducing production costs. Moving away from high production levels as a main aim of a farm system, and striving for balanced and land-related animal production has its associated costs. The reduction in the intensity implies fewer burdens
on the environment but also decreases in livestock performance and increases in production costs.
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for this increased quality, and this is necessary to compensate for the additional costs in production method. Hence, it is of high importance to minimise any of these production cost increases without compromising the product quality by using as few external inputs as possible and as many as necessary.
Discussions as to what types of organic pig and poultry production systems best represent the compromise between the different goals and principles of organic farming are likely to continue within the organic livestock sector. Due to the variation between farms and regions, there cannot be any general recommendations on how to deal with the limited availability of high quality protein feed stuffs in organic pig and poultry livestock production. There is variation in the availability of high quality feedstuffs, the digestibility and utilization of amino acids varies between the various feedstuffs, and there are differences in the capacity of protein accretion and feed intake between
genotypes, and in the housing and feeding conditions on farms. The feeding strategies therefore need to be both farm and region specific. The variability of specific optimisation strategies of how to achieve 100% organic diets should correspond to the variability within organic livestock production.
This makes the farmer the most important regulator of the system who can change aspects of the system to achieve greater balance. In order to assess the requirement for supplementary feed within an organic farm system, it is necessary to monitor feed demand and the supply and quality of home-grown feedstuffs. Accuracy in the formulation of feed rations according to the individual requirements of livestock and precise allocation and monitoring of actual feed intake are essential tools in the management of organic pigs and poultry.


EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:supply, demand, protein feed, pigs, poultry
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: European Union > Organic Revision
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Germany > University of Kassel > Department of Animal Nutrition and Animal Health
Related Links:http://www.organicrevision.org
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:13342
Deposited On:01 Apr 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:37
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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