As you may, or may not know, alfalfa is the most widely cultivated legume in the world. The average American consumes 1.5 tons of alfalfa per year. How strange is that? Have you ever eaten a giant plate full of alfalfa? Most people would think that they do not eat any alfalfa at all, yet if you have eaten any kind of animal product, especially dairy, then yes you are most likely participating in the production and consumption of alfalfa. It is an amazing and wonderful plant and a very important part of life in the United States of America.
The cost of producing animal protein products for human consumption is a major concern for people who think about such things. Milk, eggs, cheese and meat are all luxurious types of proteins that many Americans take for granted. I personally enjoy cheese a great deal.
I believe that industrial usage of moringa oleifera has the capacity to reduce livestock production costs by %30-50, while simultaneously increasing production efficiency and improving the quality of end products produced.
There are many factors involved with making a statement like that. Adaptability of markets, and development of industrial systems and machinery all play an important role in making an accurate estimation of production costs for a crop like this. Other important factors are specific to exactly which animal products are being produced.
Moringa Oleifera is too nutritionally dense to completely replace existing protein sources in livestock diets. For each type of animal being raised, there is some specific percentage of their diet that could be optimally replaced with Moringa in order to improve protein conversion rates and reduce feed costs. Additionally, the natural anti-biotic and anti-parasitic abilities of moringa are capable of reducing chemical inputs and increasing the quality and marketability of products.
- National Agriculture Statistics Service Dairy Production
- Alfalfa Wikipedia
- 2008 alfalfa harvesting cost (US Davis)
- 2003 alfalfa production cost breakdown
- 2014 alfalfa production cost estimation in Iowa
- Moringa as fodder for dairy cattle (article in livestock science)
- Moringa as fodder for dairy cattle (swedish doctoral thesis)
- Moringa as fodder for dairy cattle (trees for life)