Diverting organic waste from landfill is one of government’s environmental goals, which will help mitigate climate change.
For the past 16 years, EnviroServ Waste Management has been helping SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery near Port Elizabeth to divert wet spent grain, brewer’s yeast and malt dust to local farmers, who depend on these high-protein sources for animal feed.
“The grain and yeast mix balances the animal’s rations with grass, so that farmers can supplement without losing milk production and helping to increase their margin per hectare,” said EnviroServ Regional Manager Patrick Gombos.
Brewer’s grain has the same protein content as Lucerne and is highly palatable to bovines, said Addo dairy farmer Stuart Marais. “The grain and yeast mixture added to the fodder increases milk production by up to 15% per cow, per day. So consistency is important, the farmers are depending on EnviroServ to deliver.”
Two tanks are kept on-site at SAB and filled daily with spent yeast. “As each farmer requires different volumes it is decanted into JoJo tanks on each farm.”
The biggest volumes delivered to one farmer range between 120 and 150 tonnes of grain each week.
“The rapid removal of these products is of utmost importance, they have to be removed within 24 hours as space is an issue, as is the usable lifespan of the products,” said Gombos.
Marais milks off a semi total mixed ration (method of feeding cows that combines feeds formulated to a specific nutrient content into a single feed mix) which incorporates a combination of the brewer’s grain, yeast, Lucerne, maize silage, oats silage and soya oil cake. “This mixed ration is fed to milk cows twice a day and is balanced according to amount of pasture available and nutritional requirements of the animals,” he said. “We really enjoy using the grains supplied to us by EnviroServ and SAB and value our relationship with them.”