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Initiative 78

Using algae to supplement cattle protein needs (B.NBP.0695)

The nutritional limitations of pastures in northern Australia can be overcome, in large part, by provision of additional protein at critical times of the year. A locally produced source of protein at a low price has the potential to completely transform the northern beef industry by markedly increasing growth rates of steers and heifers and through permitting maintenance of cow body condition at critical times. Microalgae are the most promising source of locally grown protein. There are both fresh water and saline water species which can be grown on any land as long as there is a source of water.

Research undertaken by The University of Queensland

What are we doing?

Previous research has shown that supplementing weaner steers with Spirulina microalgae increased intake, digestibility and microbial protein production.  This project  will develop and test simple production systems applicable to on-property operations in northern Australia, determine the best growth conditions and  develop simple methods to harvest and store algae from these ponds. Candidate algae species will be tested in animals for live weight gain responses.


January 2016

Who's helping: