Feed production is highly significant for animal husbandry, in both financial and environmental terms. Attention must be paid to feeding animals methodically and procuring feed raw materials. Atria is able to play a part in boosting the environmental efficiency of animal husbandry through its own feed production and nutritional advice.
A-Rehu, the feed company owned by Atria Finland Ltd, accounts for the environmental effects of its production. For example, A-Rehu uses energy feeds and protein feeds produced as by-products of the food industry to feed domesticated animals.
- The whey and milk rinse generated as by-products in the dairy industry are good raw ingredients for calf and pig feed.
- The excess bread discarded by bakeries is a good grain substitute for cattle.
- Grain-based protein substances generated as a by-product of starch and ethanol production are used efficiently in farming, and they have replaced a significant amount of the soya that was imported from South America.
- By-products of the potato industry are used efficiently as feed for cattle.
- Grain-based energy and protein substances discarded by the brewing industry can be used for cattle and pigs.
Soy is being replaced with local feed
In Finland, farm animals receive less import soy than in other European countries. Imported soy has a a problematic environmental impact. The component solutions of A-Rehu favour the use of domestic, local feed and protein. The feeding of production animals on Finnish farms is primarily based on farm-produced grains, that is, grain grown on a farmer’s own or a local farm and the grass of the producers’ own farm for cows.
Soy still has to be used to a lesser extent in the feeding of broilers and piglets. Atria is constantly working to further reduce its consumption of imported soybeans.
Since autumn 2016, A-Rehu has supplemented chicken feed with domestic field peas, which can be used to replace imported soybeans and wheat. The cultivation of field peas improves the texture and nitrogen economy of the field while also reducing the need for nitrogen fertilisation. It is also good ways to improve crop rotation.
The most important replacement for soy at pig farms is the barley protein feed produced by the ethanol industry. The use of domestic broad beans is also increasing.
Cows get the majority of the protein and other nutrients they need from farm-grown green forage. The protein supplement given to cows consists of a Finnish rapeseed extract or European coarse colza meal. A-Rehu has not used soybean meal in beef cattle feeds since the autumn of 2017.