A cow is by nature a herbivore and yet there may be animal products on its menu in the near future. Adding proteins from farmed insects to their concentrates could reduce nitrogen emissions from dairy farming. That would be a way out of the heated debate about animal feed, Trouw writes.
Scientists as well as animal feed manufacturers are looking for ways to provide cows with sufficient protein for high milk production, without this being accompanied by high nitrogen emissions. For example, the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, together with the EU, are granting several tons of subsidies to a study by seven parties, including animal feed producer Agruniek, into an animal feed that leads to less CO2 and nitrogen emissions. In addition, alternative protein sources for the concentrate are sought.
A similar study is also starting at Wageningen University. With a subsidy from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, the university is investigating whether proteins from the skeleton of the buffalo beetle can serve as an ingredient for concentrates for cows. Researchers suspect that this way a cow emits less nitrogen than with the current soy-based feed.