Turning sugarcane into Nutritious Stockfeed

Turning sugarcane into Nutritious Stockfeed | The Cultivator Spring 2020

Turning sugarcane into Nutritious Stockfeed

A partnership between Sunshine Sugar and Australian biotechnology company Sustinent is set to deliver environmental, nutritional and commercial returns for the sugar industry across New South Wales and beyond.

New South Wales-based Sustinent develops scalable, clean and safe ways to transform crop stalks, timber and garden waste into livestock feed.

This partnership is developing processes to convert the sugarcane straw into higher value products at a scale that is commercially viable, environmentally sustainable and workable at an industrial level.

The product formulations completed on a laboratory scale have, to date, focused on development of Nutritionally Enhanced Sugar Cane Straw (NESS), an animal feed commodity with protein levels and digestibility profiles similar to existing high-value feed products.

“Extensive laboratory testing has confirmed a viable production process for NESS for use in stockfeed,” said Sunshine Sugar CEO Chris Connors.

A ready market awaits production of the NESS product as a ruminant stockfeed.

Driven by ongoing demand for livestock feed products, Sunshine Sugar and Sustinent aim to establish a 10,000-tonne production pilot at the site of the Harwood Mill and Refinery, with output by late 2020.

Peter Tomich CEO of Sustinent said the protein enrichment trials undertaken had yielded “some excellent results.”

“We have established strong pre-sale contracts for the NESS product,” said Mr Tomich.

“We believe that following the pilot plant, a large-scale facility can be established – which can eventually deal with all the New South Wales sugar cane straw.

“During this process, we have developed a very strong and productive relationship with Sunshine Sugar and are looking forward to building on the strong foundation to date.”

Further product development potential in the Sustinent process has been identified in a diverse range of products such as sustainable packaging materials and building products through to high-value fine chemicals and bioactive compounds.