BAHCM collaboration with livestock company Harbro

Issued: Mon, 17 Dec 2018 15:30:00 GMT

Professor Nick Jonsson, from the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, is working with Harbro Limited to conduct research on and improve the nutritional management of ruminant livestock.

Harbro, a privately-owned company based in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, is one of the UK’s largest livestock feed suppliers, with an annual turnover of more than £100million. It has a strong export arm, largely based on its product ‘Maxammon’, an alkaline treatment for cereals. This treatment results in improved efficiency of fermentation of starchy feeds in the rumens of sheep and cattle.

Since June 2017, Professor Jonsson has been working with Harbro on a 25% secondment to provide strategic advice on ruminant nutrition and health. He also investigates health problems in cattle herds and sheep flocks, particularly in cases in which a nutritional cause is suspected. He works closely with colleagues in the University’s Scottish Centre for Production Animal Health and Food Safety in these investigations.

Willie Thomson, Technical Director at Harbro said: “We are delighted to be working with Professor Jonsson as our Head of Rumen Research. Nick has been leading our trials of Maxammon and has added greatly to our technical capacity.”

The secondment to Harbro arose from a long-standing research collaboration on beef cattle health and production, largely centred around a large BBSRC Industrial Partnership Agreement on sub-acute rumen acididosis (SARA) in beef cattle running from 2012 to 2015, in which Glasgow, Strathclyde and Aberdeen were academic partners.