Biozest Trial Summaries
Improves pasture resilience, quality and productivity,
Treated pasture improves digestive function in all ruminants,
Increases milk and meat production,
Reduces polluting waste by-products such as urea (to reduce nitrate leaching or nutrient loss and improve our waterways) and methane.
Biozest® has been proven in trials to:
Increase pasture productivity (Kg dry matter/hectare) (by 89-127%) and more than double
Increase pasture palatability (kg dry matter consumed)
Improve pasture performance in stress conditions (frost, drought and water-logging).
Lift soluble sugar production to improve ruminant digestion
Improve stock condition (stud bulls returned an additional $1645 per bull at sale)
Increase dairy cow productivity: increased milk volume and milk solids
Increase dairy goat productivity: an additional 31% of milk volume and 33% of milk solids over
a full milking season.
Reduce the environmental impact of dairy farming. Both dairy cows (24-36% reduction) and
dairy goats excreted lower levels of urea in urine to help cut nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas
Trial Summaries and Data Publication
Below are summaries from just some of the trials undertaken on farms across New Zealand. Trial work includes large scale (commercial scale or real-world condition) trials carried out on entire herds or farms (e.g. milk production trials, dry stock farm trials) as well as controlled, smaller scale, split block/paddock trials (e.g. pasture productivity trials).
Please note this is only a summary of results - full data and trial information may be supplied on request.
Zest Biotech founder and inventor of Biozest, Nathan Balasingham submitted a paper and was selected to give an oral presentation at the 7th GGAA – Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture Conference in Foz do Iguassu, Brasil. This is the premium international event on the subject of greenhouse gas emissions due to animal agricultural practices. The abstract of this paper has been published in the conference proceedings (pg 94).
Cut Baleage: Dairy Pasture Trial
This trial was conducted on a dairy farm located on the Hauraki Plains. A Biozest treated farm and Control farm are located side by side and managed by a single farming family. A number of paddocks were locked up for baleage production and were later cut – the results of the first and second cut are presented below.
Pasture Productivity, Resilience and Palatability
In the following trials pasture dry matter (DM) was estimated using a statistically verified, industrial standard method. Rising plate pasture meters were used for DM/ha measurement. The standardised industry measurement and DM calculation protocol were followed.
1. Pasture productivity.
1a. Pasture growth and dry matter production
Dry matter production (kg dry matter/ha) in the treated half of split paddocks was significantly greater than that produced in the untreated halves of split paddocks. The results were obtained just 19 days after Biozest® treatment and show that the return on investment and increase in productivity is immediate.
1b. Pasture growth and dry matter production (palatability)
A further split block trial confirms that pasture growth was greater in the Biozest® treated areas and the cows consumed more from the treated area. The cows preferentially grazed the treated pasture, consumed more dry matter and grazed the treated pasture evenly and closer to the ground.
2. Environmental stress tolerance
2a. Drought and frost tolerance
Dry Matter (DM) consumed per hectare was much higher on the Biozest® treated portions of the split paddocks, as shown in Figure 1. Biozest® treatment appears to have enabled the pasture to tolerate environmental stress - the 2010 drought (January – April), and frosts (June, August) as there continued to be a greater quantity of dry matter available for consumption through these periods as compared to the control.
2b. On drought tolerant pasture
Effect of pasture treatment on dry matter (DM) consumed on pasture containing a drought tolerant pasture species:
In the mixed pasture (ryegrass 60% and 40% drought tolerant Kiukuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum)), Biozest® treatment improved productivity The stock consumed more dry matter in the Biozest® treated areas across all seasons.
2c. Soil/water stress
Results from a farm where treatments were applied to a swampy/waterlogged paddock:
The results show that Biozest® treatment enabled the pasture to overcome soil/water stress conditions during summer when swampy paddocks dry out, and in winter/spring when the soil becomes waterlogged.
The pasture growth in the Biozest® treated area was 65% greater than that in the untreated area over the season.
Increasing the amount of readily available energy during the early part of fermentation can increase the efficiency of ruminant digestion.
Readily available energy in pasture comes mainly from soluble carbohydrates (sugars).
For example: brix (sugar) level tests on a sheep farm confirmed that Biozest® treatment improves soluble sugars in pasture by 18% (t test p=0.005).
Dairy Cow Milk Solids Production.
This trial was carried out on a dairy farm in the North Island Hauraki Plains. In autumn, gestating cows grazed Biozest® treated pasture and untreated pasture in cycles of approximately 8 to 10 days. The milk production results are extracted from the cooperative milk processor’s supply and quality analysis report. The sampling and testing was carried out by the milk processor using standard protocols and methods.
The dairy cows grazing on Biozest® treated pasture produced 8.5% more milk solids per litre compared to when they were feeding on control (untreated) pasture.
Milk production and quality (dairy goats).
A herd of 440 dairy goats on a farm in Pukeatua were fed pasture from Paddocks treated with Biozest® and control paddocks in cycles. The results reported are extracted from the supply and quality report data from the Dairy Goat Co-operative Ltd.
Summary of results: total milking season dairy goat farm production data from Biozest® treated and untreated feed cycles (2011/2012) as compared to the previous season’s production (2010/2011).
The combined milk volume produced for the 2011 /2012 season increased by 31% and the total milk solid production increased by 33% compared to the previous season (2010 /2011) (Table 7).
This data shows that the total percentage of solids increased more than the percentage increase in volume of milk produced. This supports the claim that Biozest® improves both the productivity and quality of milk.
Note: While the authors are mindful that there is a degree of season-to-season variation in productivity, in this dairy goat trial, the seasonal variation in pasture productivity has a lesser influence because the goats are fed controlled quantity of freshly cut pasture each day. The herd size (440 goats) was also the same over the two seasons. The goats were only fed untreated pasture for 60% of the season (in cycles). The increase in both milk solids and volume is far greater than that which could be explained by seasonal variation alone.
Meat production: Stock Condition and Weight Gain
On a farm in Oparau, Waikato a herd of 40 Angus stud bulls was divided into two throughout the 16 week finishing period. 20 bulls grazed on 20 hectares of untreated pasture while 20 bulls grazed on 20 hectares of Biozest® treated pasture.
The 20 bulls that grazed on Biozest® treated pasture, compared to the control bulls, gained an extra 22% (2-tailed t-test p=.008) in weight during the 68 day finishing period. The quality “condition” of the bulls also improved (anecdotal evidence from the farmer combined with higher sale price achieved). Bulls that grazed Biozest® treated pasture realized higher bids at auction. The net return per hectare increased by $1,645
Case Study - Sheep and Beef Farm
A sheep and Beef farmer, whose family has been farming for generations, has tested Biozest® at full commercial scale on two family farms. The two farms are Mangapapa (309 ha) which is the control farm and Haumai (201.7Ha): the Biozest® treated farm. The productivity of both farms in previous years has been in the upper quartile.
Pasture production and stock weight were monitored. The Farmax farm modelling tool was used to model the complexity and variables in the farm system, and predict the biological and financial outcomes.
The data shows, in a whole farm scale, controlled, comparative trial, that Biozest® applications on pasture can improve productivity by over 30%. The expected productivity gain is 215kg per hectare with a net gain of $650 per hectare (over $130,000 for the 200ha farm).
Urea Discharge and Emissions
In each of the urea trials urine samples were collected from animals selected at random. Samples were collected during each cycle of grazing on either Biozest® treated or untreated control pasture. Each round of sample collection was carried out 2 to 3 days before the stock were shifted on to Biozest® treated or control pasture. The urine urea and creatinine levels were tested by an independent laboratory, Gribbles Veterinary.
By reducing urine urea Biozest will reduce nutrient loss and nitrate leaching to land and waterways.
A trial on a dairy farm in the South Island, New Zealand confirms that when dairy cows were grazing on treated pasture 36% (2-tailed t-test p=0.138) less urea was discharged compared to when the same herd was grazing untreated control pasture.
Urea testing was also carried out on two farms in the Hauraki Plains in the North Island. Results from the 1st cycle of control/treated pasture grazing by dairy cows showed a reduction of 25% (2-tailed t-test p=0.035) in one farm and 24% (2-tailed t-test p=0.012) in the other.
Urine tests from dairy goats that were fed treated and control pasture in rotation shows that less urea is being discharged when the dairy goats are fed Biozest® treated pasture. The urea discharge increased when they were fed control pasture.
The average difference in the ratio is 26% (2-tailed t-test p=0.03).
Nitrous oxide (from urea) has 310 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Therefore, the urea reduction significantly decreases farmers’ greenhouse gas liability. Less urea in the urine will also reduce nitrate leaching and water quality issues.
Biozest® is a safe, agricultural compound that can elicit and sustain the production of phenylpropanoids in crops and pasture to increase milk and meat production and reduce environmental liabilities.
Summary of Results
Pasture productivity (Kg dry matter/hectare) improved by 89-127% when the Biozest® treatments were applied and baleage yield was more than doubled (2.29x).
Palatability (kg dry matter consumed) increased by 21% after Biozest® was applied to pasture.
Biozest® pasture outperformed untreated pasture in stress conditions (drought and waterlogging).
Stock condition improved when stock grazed Biozest® treated pasture (stud bulls returned an additional $1645 per bull at sale).
Brix levels in Biozest® treated pasture were slightly elevated (as is desirable for improved ruminant digestion) compared to untreated pasture.
In dairy systems, results show that stock fed on Biozest® treated pasture produced a greater volume of milk, an increased quantity of milk solids and excreted lower levels of urea in urine:
Dairy goats produced an additional 31% of milk volume and 33% of milk solids when fed Biozest® treated or untreated pasture in cycles over a full milking season. The urea/creatinine ratio was also significantly reduced during the periods in which they were fed Biozest® treated pasture.
Milk solids production increased by 8.5% in an autumn trial on gestating dairy cows.
Dairy cows followed the same trend with regard to urea/creatinine excretion in a number of trials with reductions ranging from 24-36%.