A new scientific study being conducted in New Zealand could yield a natural, non-hormonal supplement that will significantly increase milk production. The study is being co-funded by the country’s governmental lab AgResearch Ltd.. and Ancare Scientific.
The study with Ancare Scientific Ltd. will take a year and cost more than NZ$500,000 ($377,000), Andy West, chief executive officer of state-owned AgResearch Ltd. told journalists at the opening today of the nation’s Fieldays agricultural fair. The product may lift milk production as much as 10 percent, Ancare Scientific Managing Director Colin Harvey said in a telephone interview from Auckland.
New Zealand is the world’s largest dairy exporter and accounts for about 40 percent of the global trade in milk powders, butter and cheese. The nation is also the largest producer of sheep meat and kiwifruit, and agriculture accounts for about 38 percent of the country’s $104 billion economy.
The product being trialed would be given to cows in the dry season to stimulate milk production, Ancare’s Harvey said. Being natural and non-hormonal should make it attractive to regulators and end-users, and commercial development may be three to five years away, he said. Ancare Scientific’s products are distributed by animal-treatments maker Merial Ltd.
“We’ve got to reduce the footprint whilst improving the productivity, and that is a big ask,” he said.