Farm animals turn feed into added value products, such as milk, meat and eggs. Balanced feeding promotes the well-being of the livestock, improves the economics of animal production and makes the use of nutrients more efficient so that the environmental effects of production are reduced.
Finland’s self-sufficiency with regard to protein feeds is only about 15 per cent as we use plenty of imported soybean and rapeseed-based feeds. One of the aims of the research is to improve protein self-sufficiency
Grass-based forage is the most important feed
The strength of ruminants, that is cattle and sheep, is their ability to use forages which have high fibre content. Finland has long traditions in the preservation of grass silage as A.I. Virtanen received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry on this topic in 1945.
The Natural Resources Institute of Finland continues the tradition of silage research but we also carry out very versatile studies related to feed production, processing and use including novel feeds and efficient use by-product flows for all farm animals.
Feed tables and feeding recommendations are important to the whole industry
Feed values are essential as the basis for ration formulation and feed pricing. Feeding also has an effect on the quality of animal products in human nutrition.
The objective of feed evaluation work carried out by the Natural Resources Institute of Finland is to describe the relative production responses of feeds as correctly as possible. According to the Feed Act, energy and protein values reported for feed materials and feed mixtures must be based on the equations published by Luke.