A new project has been launched to reduce the livestock industry’s reliance on imported protein sources, including soya.

As part of the ENBIO LINK project, which started in October 2010, the use of distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is being investigated as an alternative to imported protein sources.

The main project aims are:

• to quantify sources of variability in DDGS

• identify opportunities to enhance its value

• assess the nutritional implications of innovative processes to reduce fibre content

• quantify the contribution of the co-products to the overall greenhouse gas balance of UK crop, livestock and ethanol production.

Levy boards BPEX, HGCA, DairyCo and EBLEX are four of 25 industry and academic partners involved in the project, which is sponsored by Defra as part of the Sustainable Livestock Production LINK programme.

BPEX environment project manager Anna Davis said: “DDGS provides an opportunity to supply the UK feed industry with large quantities of a consistent and high quality co-product, which could have a positive impact on energy and nutrient utilisation and, at the same time, reduce levels of imported proteins.

“This would, in turn, help pig producers manage their feed costs more effectively in the long term.”

The research is being carried out by ADAS, Nottingham University and Manchester University.