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Greener livestock feed idea brewing Down Under

Staff reporterCountryman
Young Henrys brewery co-founder Oscar McMahon.
Camera IconYoung Henrys brewery co-founder Oscar McMahon. Credit: Supplied/Young Henrys

Beef and beer are already a winning culinary combination, but now a team of Australian researchers is pairing the two in the fight against climate change.

Meat and Livestock Australia has partnered with NSW-based Young Henrys Brewery and the University of Technology Sydney to convert by-products from brewing beer into livestock feeds that reduce methane emissions.

The project is part of the red meat and livestock industry’s ambitious CN30 target, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality in Australian beef, lamb and goat production by 2030.

MLA sustainability innovation program manager Doug McNicholl said it was hoped the partnership would “accelerate and expand MLA’s efforts to bring cost-effective, methane-reducing livestock feeds to market”.

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“We’re aiming to develop a methane-mitigating feed supplement in the form of microalgae grown using the carbon dioxide produced during the brewing process,” he said.

Young Henrys Brewery co-founder Oscar McMahon, left, head of sales Dan Hampton, and head brewer Richard Adamson.
Camera IconYoung Henrys Brewery co-founder Oscar McMahon, left, head of sales Dan Hampton, and head brewer Richard Adamson. Credit: Supplied/Young Henrys

“Animal feeding trials will be conducted to evaluate the methane reduction and animal productivity benefits of the microalgae.

“If successful, this process could be implemented in breweries everywhere, plus pave the way for applications in other industries with carbon dioxide suitable for algae production.”

Mr McNicholl said developing feed additives that could reduce livestock methane emissions and improve livestock productivity were an important part of MLA’s CN30 roadmap.

“If enough product can be produced to incorporate into feedlot rations and supplementation programs on-farm in a safe, cost-effective way, we’re going to make a significant impact on livestock emissions, as well as introduce a new feed supply to industry,” he said.

“With steady beer consumption in Australia (35.6 per cent according to the 2021 Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report) and more than 90 per cent of Australian households regularly enjoying beef, it makes sense to bring partnerships like this together.”

The novel feed production concept was pitched by UTS after MLA called on would-be technology and investment partners to submit proposals to help achieve the CN30 target.

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