Environmental effects of feed additives
In general, the study confirmed that the use of feed additives has a positive impact for the entire lifecycle. Except in one case, for a product with a high inclusion rate, the environmental impact of feed additive production can be considered as very low compared to the positive impacts that they provide. The assessment showed it can lead to a 10% improvement (cumulative effect for some impacts and some species). Feed additives are helpful in reducing the environmental footprint of livestock, since they can improve productivity and reduce specific emissions at the same time.
The study provides evidence for the need to integrate the environmental footprint of ingredients as an optimization criterion, rather than as a calculated outcome. In this way the potential of feed additives and other feed solutions to minimize the environmental impact can be fully captured. Furthermore, it demonstrates the significance of the contribution of pythase to abate phosphorus and nitrogen related impacts on farm. Finally, feed additive solutions supporting the lifetime performance of the animals (longevity, fertility, health status) also indicate a potential for environmental impact mitigation. More sophisticated modelling of herd/flock dynamics, than we used now, could improve the estimates of environmental potential here.