Newspapers Make Great Cattle Feed
Shredded newspaper treated with chemicals that break down paper fiber is the latest new ingredient in cattle rations.
University of Illinois animal scientist Larry Berger recently started a research project that may be the ultimate recycling plan. Newspaper fiber is broken down with a solution of hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide, "predigesting" it so bacteria in the rumen can break it down the rest of the way. Berger says chemical treatment is key to success of the project. Previous research in the 1970's fed untreated paper to animals but only about 20 percent of the newsprint was digested (compared to 60 percent for hay).
He plans to use papers printed with soy-bean oil-based inks and will avoid colored, glossy pages which contain potentially toxic elements.
Berger notes that in most areas of the country newspapers are available dirt cheap while in other areas farmers might even get paid to haul them away due to the rapid rise in landfill costs.

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3