Summary of Benefits of Using Beet Molasses to Manufacture Liquid Feeds for Ruminants in Western Ukraine.
There is a substantial opportunity for the sugar beet factories and cattlemen (dairy and beef raisers) of Ukraine to cooperate and share in the creation of $500,000 to $1,000,000 of added value per each sugar refinery by using beet molasses to make liquid feeds for cattle. Western Ukraine has about 35 of Ukraine's 192 sugar refineries.
Liquid feeds for ruminants are composed of beet or cane molasses, urea, phosphoric acid, vitamins and minerals. While there is no magic involved in mixing these feedstuffs together, liquid feeds are a convenient way to supplement dairy and beef rations with protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. This is particularly important for Ukraine as cattle are typically fed rations deficient in these nutrients.
I have written a comprehensive general article on the formulation, mixing, delivery and feeding of liquid feeds that will answer many questions concerning them. Also presented is a typical liquid feed formula using beet molasses from Western Ukraine, urea, vitamins and minerals. I have projected the economic benefits to the producers (sugar refineries) and users (dairy and beef feeders) of feeding liquid feeds. The following is a summary.
It is predicted that a dairy cow fed a maximum of 1.5 kilograms of liquid feed/day will respond with a milk response of 5 liters/day (plus health benefits) for a daily economic return of 1.6 grivnia ($0.40) per dairy cow. This would translate to a response of $267 dollars per ton of liquid feed. The cost of ingredients to manufacture the liquid feed is estimated at less than $67 to give an added value created of $200 per ton of liquid feed to be shared by the sugar refinery ($50 suggested) and the feeder ($150 suggested).
There are 2500 to 4000 tons of grower-owned beet molasses produced per year/sugar beet refinery. This would make 4000 to 6700 tons of liquid feed/refinery (192 plants in Ukraine). The sugar refineries also own additional beet molasses. Since there are enough cattle in Ukraine to consume the liquid feed production of the 192 refineries in Ukraine, if beet molasses is used to manufacture liquid feed, the added value created per sugar refinery could be in the half to one million dollar range per year.
The cost to the sugar refinery to build a liquid feed manufacturing facility is fairly small. Most refineries could use existing equipment. I'm estimating that it would cost less than ten to twenty thousand dollars for a sugar factory to get into the liquid feed business. The main challenge would be to sell the concept and liquid feed to dairy and beef producers.
The milk producer's investment for feed would be small with the expected increased milk flow realized within a week or two. Since milk is sold for cash, a positive cash flow should result within two weeks to a month from the purchase and feeding of a liquid feed. The return for beef would be realized when the animal is slaughtered and thus be slower.
I predict that $500,000 to $1,000,000 of wealth can be created per sugar beet factory by converting beet molasses to liquid feed and feeding it to dairy and beef animals.