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Research to improve pig production
Antimicrobial potential of essential oil feed additives
A RECENT study has indicated that a number of plant-derived essen- tial oils are effective as natural alternatives to synthetic food additives, particularly as antimi- crobial agents.
O’Bryan and col- leagues from the De- partment of Food Sci- ence, University of Arkansas, US, recently published a review of the antimicrobial ef- fects of essential oils, in particular, their mode of action.
The paper looks at the effectiveness of essen- tial oils such as eugenol and tea tree oil in their hydrophobic activity on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and goes into detail on how exactly the suc-
cess rate of EOs can be monitored.
For example, potassium and carboxyfluorescein (stain) leakage from cells into the extracellular space can be considered an indicator for cell dam- age potentially caused by bacteria.
Equally, influx of un- regulated, larger mole- cules, such as propidium iodide, into the cell is
indicative of the forma- tion of large pores that are red flags for cell death.
This comprehensive review of EO research to date concludes that a number of plant-derived essential oils are effec- tive in alleviating some of the cellular signs of bacterial damage and are effective as antimi- crobial agents.
SOWS with more milk and faster-growing pig- lets are some of the benefits seen in Charles Sturt University re- search investigating
supplementing the diets of young pregnant pigs with a macro-nutrient found in milk.
The research, led by Prof Bing Wang from
CSU’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, has been examining the use of lactoferrin as a feed supplement.
“Lactoferrin is an iron- binding glycoprotein found in milk that benefits immunity, neurodevelop- ment, health and growth performance,” Prof Wang said.
“Our study found that gilts, or sows in their first pregnancy, fed a sup- plement of lactoferrin throughout pregnancy and lactation had significantly increased milk production at different times com- pared to a control group.
“Their piglets also gained more body weight during the first 19 days of life and the research indi- cated it tended to increase pregnancy rate, litter size and birth weight and the
number of piglets born alive.”
Prof Wang hopes the results will be used by pig producers to increase the profitability of their herds.
“Our research has shown this macro-nutrient could be used as a functional ingredient in the feed of pregnant gilts and sows to boost the health status and productivity of their litters,” Prof Wang said.
The research is outlined in a paper titled ‘Dietary Lactoferrin Supplemen- tation to Gilts during Gestation and Lactation Improves Pig Production and Immunity’ and pub- lished online in the jour- nal PLOS one available at article?id=10.1371/jour nal.pone.0185817
It is part of a project funded by the Pork CRC.
Prof Bing Wang
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THE Government has released a report outlin- ing new modelling by CSIRO, which will help drive down transport costs for farmers and cut transportation times to customers by map- ping current and poten- tial agriculture transport routes.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Luke Hart- suyker recently released the report from the $1 million investment in CSIRO’s Transport Net- work Strategic Investment Tool model, which deliv- ers on another Agricultur- al Competitiveness White Paper initiative.
“One of the top priori- ties of this government is to boost farm-gate re- turns, making it easier and cheaper for farmers to transport their livestock and commodities to mar- ket,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“TraNSIT will inform Australia’s future trans- port infrastructure invest- ment decisions across the agriculture sector.
“This matters because transport is one of the highest costs in the value chain.
“TraNSIT identifies current bottlenecks and problems in our transport infrastructure and is able to model how changes to transport routes and new infrastructure will help drive down agriculture transport costs.
“It models current trans- port movements and al- lows us to see how in- frastructure development will benefit different farming communities across Australia.
Farms across the coun- try will be able to access comprehensive modelling and information about transport logistics costs and mapping across the supply chain from farm
gate to market.
“The government is
committed to building in- frastructure based on the best available evidence and TraNSIT does this by allowing farmers, indus- tries and government to make sensible and effi- cient future infrastructure plans,” Minister Hart- suyker said.
“TraNSIT will also have significant ancillary benefits of better animal welfare, improved driver and road safety and more informed policy develop- ment.
“I thank the team at CSIRO for developing TraNSIT, which will help get better transport op- erating outcomes for the nation’s agriculture.”
Dr Andrew Higgins, senior principal research scientist at CSIRO in Bris- bane and lead author of the TraNSIT report, said the tool will allow indus- try and government de- partments to easily access information to improve transport planning.
“The tool works by ana- lysing possible combina- tions of transport routes and methods, and deter- mining those that opti- mise vehicle movements between enterprises in the agriculture supply chain,” Dr Higgins said.
“Planned future en- hancements of TraNSIT will also seek to max- imise agricultural sup- ply chains by increasing their resilience to flood and other adverse weather events to deliver greater farm gate returns for pro- ducers.”
More information on TraNSIT is available at LWF/Areas/Landscape- management/Livestock- logistics/TRANSIT and a copy of the report is avail- able at ag-farm-food/infrastruc ture/transit
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Australian Pork Newspaper, December 2017 – Page 9
• Increased weight gain
• Improved feed conversion
• Maximised economical

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