University of Saskatchewan Research: Upcycling Canola to Enhance Cattle Health
Instead of having discarded canola go to waste, University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate student Erika Cornand is leading an investigation into whether these leftovers can be used as a diet supplement for pregnant cows to improve their health and the health of their calves.
Canola is a major crop in Canada, and the oil extracted from its seeds is widely used for cooking and as an ingredient in various products. However, during the oil extraction process, a significant amount of canola meal, which is the byproduct of oil extraction, is generated. This canola meal is often used as livestock feed, but not all of it is utilized, leading to a considerable amount being wasted.
Cornand’s research aims to find a way to upcycle this discarded canola meal by incorporating it into the diet of pregnant cows. The idea is to enhance the nutritional value of their diet and improve their overall health, leading to better outcomes for both the mother and the calf.
Pregnant cows require a balanced diet to support the growth and development of their calves. Including canola meal in their diet can provide valuable nutrients such as protein, fiber, and minerals. These nutrients can contribute to the overall health of the cow, ensuring proper fetal development and potentially reducing the risk of complications during pregnancy and lactation.
Cornand’s research involves feeding pregnant cows diets that include varying amounts of canola meal and monitoring the health and reproductive performance of both the cows and their calves. By analyzing various parameters such as body weight, body condition score, milk production, and calf growth, the research team can assess the impact of the canola meal supplementation on the animals.
The results of this research could have significant implications for the agricultural industry. If canola meal proves to be a beneficial supplement for pregnant cows, it could help reduce waste and improve the sustainability of livestock production. Additionally, it could provide an additional revenue stream for canola producers by turning an unused byproduct into a valuable resource.
Cornand’s research aligns with USask’s commitment to addressing global challenges and finding sustainable solutions for the agricultural sector. By exploring innovative ways to use agricultural byproducts, researchers like Cornand are contributing to the development of a more efficient and sustainable food system.
Overall, the upcycling of canola meal to enhance cattle health is a promising avenue of research that has the potential to benefit both the agricultural industry and the environment. By finding new uses for agricultural byproducts, we can minimize waste and create a more sustainable future for food production.