SCRUTINIZING THE OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES AND SUSTAINABILITY OF BREWERS’ SPENT GRAIN AS A FEED SOURCE FOR DAIRY CATTLE
Emanuel Joel Lao
The current contribution of all agro-industrial by-products is merely 5% of the total livestock feed consumption. The brewers’ spent grain (BSG), being a chief by-product from barley beer brewing has been acknowledged as a high-quality source of animal feed because of its richness in nutritional composition, being generated in bulk, low cost and being environmentally friendly. Inclusion of 25 – 30 % (DM basis) of BSG in dairy cattle feed rations can improve palatability, digestibility and dry matter intake (DMI) which in turn influence the dairy performances such as milk yield, milk composition and body weight. However, being bulky with substantial moisture content, there is a risk of mycotoxins contamination and additional transportation costs whilst limited knowledge by farmers regarding its utilization and nonexistence and/or weak regulations and standards being other impediments. To minimize the severity of the mentioned threats, several preservatives and quality control measures can be undertaken including feeding of fresh BSG, maintaining proper field and storage conditions, ensiling, the use of mycotoxin binders as well as the application of several drying and pressing techniques. This paper explores the nutritional aspects and the potential of BSG with emphasis on the performance of dairy cattle while also elaborating practical challenges related to the utilization of BSG and suggests useful quality control measures that can ensure its sustainability as dairy feed.
Brewers’ spent grain (BSG); Feed supplementation; Dairy performance; Regulations; Mycotoxins contamination