Published on Wed, 07/22/2015 - 2:08pm
Saskatchewan flaxseed products improve the nutritional value of milk
The human health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are becoming widely recognized; however, increasing the availability of these nutrients for Canadian consumers remains a challenge. Janna Moats, a M.Sc. candidate at the University of Saskatchewan, is attempting to resolve this issue through her research. She is evaluating the effect of flaxseed supplementation in dairy cow diets on the nutritional value of milk.
Flaxseed is commonly grown in western Canada with nutrients that could benefit cattle and humans alike. When fed to dairy cattle, flaxseed may improve the health and performance of the animal while subsequently increasing the level of omega-3s in the milk for consumers.
This research is a collaborative effort between the University of Saskatchewan and a local animal feed company (O&T Farms Ltd.; Regina, SK.) with additional funding through the Industrial Research Assistance Program and SaskMilk. Janna and her program supervisors, Dr. David Christensen and Dr. Timothy Mutsvangwa, hope this research will lead to the production of omega-3 dairy products in Saskatchewan.
The two year research initiative is in its final stages and the preliminary results look promising. The trial involved Holstein cows from the University of Saskatchewan that were fed a control diet, a diet supplemented with an unprocessed flaxseed product or a diet supplemented with one of two extruded flaxseed products.
Results show that animal performance was maintained between treatments while the fatty acids in the milk improved dramatically when cows were fed extruded flaxseed. According to Ms. Moats, “most commercial milk fat in Canada contains only 0.5% total omega-3 fatty acids. Our trial was able to achieve levels as high as 1.18% total omega-3s in the milk fat simply by feeding the cows extruded flaxseed.”
In addition to the increased levels of omega-3s, they also saw a three-fold increase in another human health related fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Feeding extruded flaxseed products to dairy cattle has the potential to improve the health of the animal while simultaneously improving the nutritional value of milk for consumers. This farm-to-fork connection is extremely relevant in an era where both the health of our farm animal and the quality of our food are of utmost importance to society. Ms. Moats will be presenting these important findings to an international audience this July at the American Dairy Science Association’s Joint Annual Meeting in Orlando Florida. Based on this information, there appears to be real opportunity to add omega-3s and other healthy fatty acids to the already nutrient dense profile of milk.
Janna Moats is a second year graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan who is currently pursuing a degree in ruminant nutrition through the department of Animal and Poultry Science. Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Janna grew up on a mixed farm and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012. She worked in the feed industry for two years before returning to the U of S to pursue a graduate level education.
Vault Dairy Technologies Makes Milking More Attractive
Dairy commodity prices dropped 45% from September 2014 to March 2015. Meanwhile, the dairy industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace as hard working dairy farmers balance the skills to maintain high quality milk production while managing pricing risks and maximizing successful profit margins.
Evolving Dairy Industry
The dairy landscape is becoming more complicated with the constant industry advancements, ever-shifting consumer trends, pricing dynamics and regulations. “Imagine managing a dairy site with 250 to 10,000 cows,” said Brian Rice Founder of Rice Dairy, LLC. “How do dairies stay ahead of industry developments while having the visibility necessary to make critical decisions?’ ”
Dairy Farming Big Data Technology
Dairy farmers can now tackle these challenges with the help of Dairy Decision Management Technology. Recently launched by Rice Dairy, LLC, a dairy futures brokerage, Vault Technologies, LLC, is a stand-alone software company specializing in dairy data analysis. Dairies can utilize Vault’s software to maximize profitability by combining dairy farming “big data” with real-time market pricing & analytics.
Vault Technologies is dedicated to farmer success by providing a clear picture of previously disconnected dairy information by featuring:
- Real-Time Interactive
- Financial Dashboards
Individual dairy pro-forma forecasts utilizing live CME market and position data for a 24-month forward-looking P&L.
- What-If Scenario Analysis
Interactively stress-test a dairy’s financials by computing future results based on various dairy and grain prices.
- Custom Reporting
Create, save and export custom reports to make more profitable decisions from any dairy farm data.
Technologies puts the power of capital allocation and risk management tools in the hands of milk producers. Vault’s comprehensive analytics technology utilizes an individual dairy’s unique operational data to create detailed two year revenue and profit projections that incorporate live market pricing, margin, hedging and “what if scenarios.” This automated technology was previously unavailable to farmers in one place, and Vault makes it easily accessible online and via mobile.
“This product is a great tool to track revenue and P/L in real time,” said Carson te Velde a California dairyman and current Vault user. “Vault provides the ability to see future profit margin opportunities.”
Connecting Dairy Thought Leaders
Vault also acts as a secure conduit for key suppliers and consultants who help dairies manage their financial health. Plus Vault is a stand-alone company allowing dairies to work with any broker and clearing house to utilize the software.
“The dashboard puts everything in one spot, showing margin and hedge opportunities that make decisions easier,” said Jake Benson a Texas dairyman and current Vault user.
About Vault Technologies
Discover the opportunities Vault Technologies uncovers for dairies by visiting www.vaultdairy.com/what-is-vault to watch videos or sign up for a free demonstration.