September 6, 2022


Australian factory converts cotton byproduct to high-protein cattle feed pellets



High-protein feed pellets with similar fat and energy levels to conventional grain have been created by a new AUD 20 million cottonseed "meat" factory in Mort & Co's Grassdale Feedlot at southern Queensland, Australia using a "zero waste" process that also produces cooking oil, ABC News reported.


Long used as cattle feed, especially during droughts, the leftover cotton plant seed has varying nutritional value depending on how much processing is done.


But this factory is able to convert the cotton byproduct into high-protein feed pellets, meaning means more producers can access a cheaper feed product without losing quality. This results in more "cottonfed" beef for consumers and solves a waste problem for the feed and cotton industries.


The factory will be online in the next two months.


Marita Ramia, communications manager for Grassdale Feedlot, said the company, which operates Australia's largest private feedlot, is trying to establish a circular economy, in order to ensure the operation's long-term viability on both an economic and environmental level.


She said the company carse about where they are going and how they can sustainably expand the feedlotting business, which also entails making sure they are sustainable in numerous other areas.


She also said taking the oil from the cottonseed meat is another step in ensuring there is no waste product at Grassdale. It all started with that idea of dehulling the cotton seed.


Most of Australia's cattle feedlots, where animals are fattened before being processed for both domestic and international meat markets, are located in southern Queensland.


Additionally, it is among the most successful cotton-growing areas in the nation.


Combining the two is the stuff of integrated supply-chain fantasies because it turns a cotton byproduct that would otherwise go to waste into a less expensive source of feed for livestock without adding to waste.


According to project manager Cameron Walker, both the meal and the oil are becoming more popular on the market.


Walker said they are looking to process the meats into de-oiled cottonseed 'meat' and high-quality cottonseed oil, adding that the company's environmental goals would also help the factory's profit goals.


Mort & Co still sees itself as primarily a feedlotting company, but commodities analyst Matt Dalgleish noted that consumers were increasingly looking for businesses to be accountable for the entire lifecycle of their products.


Dalgleish said they do need to think of the whole lifecycle of the product they are producing and what the inputs are that come into that product and the lifecycle of those as well.


He said it makes sense for producers to address both their input costs and environmental outputs given the rising costs of traditional feed sources like grain.


He also said it is a great chance to consider other options and show that agriculture and the red meat industry in particular can help combat climate change.


-      ABC News

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