Introduction The economic benefits of using untreated and treated crop residues as feed for ruminants mainly depends on the source and cost of crop residues, cost of treatment, cost of urea or other ammonia source, on the price of protein supplements, as well as on agricultural production and technical levels and other factors. In relation to the potential of crop residue use, countries can be divided into four types: Type 1 are developing countries and regions with a high population density. Most countries in the Far East and part of the Middle East belong to this group.
Crop residues in general are used as the major feed for ruminants. Treated crop residues may result in very good economic returns. Type 2 are developing countries and regions with low population density. Most countries and regions in Africa and Latin America where land use is not restricted belong to this type. Feed supply comes from various sources, but cattle production relies, in general, on natural pastures. Crop residues, treated or untreated in emergency situations, especially in the dry season, become an important feed resource. Type 3 are developed countries and regions with an ample grain supply.
The USA, Canada and France belong to this type. In addition to roughage, ruminants are fed with large quantities of concentrates to obtain high yields of animal products. Untreated crop residues are sometimes used as a source of fibre substituting hay or silage. Under these conditions, treated crop residues might give fairly good economic benefits. However, it might not be economical to utilize crop residues in areas where the production of hay or silage is high. Type 4 are the developed countries and regions with small land area per capita. Most countries in north Europe belong to this type.
In order to achieve self-sufficiency in food, the governments of these countries attach great importance to the utilization of crop residues so as to increase food output from the limited land. Among north European countries, Denmark and Norway use the highest proportion of crop residues as feed. In China, the broad agricultural region, characterized by huge population with limited land, belongs to Type 2. It has good prospects for developing animal husbandry based on crop residues. Status of the utilization of crop residues in China In general, straw is used for burning, composting, paper making and animal husbandry.
For a long period in the past, due to limited economic development and way of life, it was very popular to use straw as fuel for cooking. It is estimated that 70 percent of total straw was used as fuel. With the improvement in the rural economy and farmers’ living standards, rural energy has become diversified to coal, natural gas, biogas, electricity, etc. , so the amount of straw used as fuel has been reduced to less than 50 percent. Direct straw application to soils is also practised, but this operation increases the cost by about ? 10 per mu (? 150/ha).
At the same time, it takes time for straw to fully decompose, thus interfering with germination and growth of the next crop. This is particularly true in regions with intensive agriculture because it increases the difficulties for crop rotation. In addition, returning straws directly to the field may have hidden dangers in terms of insects and diseases, so this utilization has its limitations. Returning straw to fields wastes the energy, decomposed by micro-organisms, while crops can only utilize part of the N, P, K and other inorganic nutrients after decomposition. Another use for straw is as raw material for paper making.
It is estimated that 2-2. 5 tonne of rice straw can be processed into 1 tonne of paper. However, it is difficult to collect due to the large volumes involved and its disperse distribution, and only part of the rice straw can be utilized. Since 1995, the State has shut down many medium- and small-sized local paper plants due to environmental pollution. The closure has led to a surplus of straw. In many regions of China, large amounts of unused crop residues are piled up by field edges and road sides, and extensive burning of straw by farmers in the fields occurs every autumn at harvest. This has caused a drop in soil rganic matter, hardening and producing impervious soils with low moisture holding capacity. It has also caused atmospheric pollution and poor air visibility. In May 1997, due to smoke produced by burning of wheat straw, the Chengdu Shuangliu Airport was closed for 4 hours. Visibility had dropped below the minimum safety limits required for flying. Twenty-two flights had to be diverted to another airfield and eight flights were delayed. At Hebei Shijiazhuang Airport there were also flight delays, and on the Jinan-Qingdao motorway there was an increase in traffic accidents, both due to the burning of crop residues.
Therefore, each province has set regulations strictly prohibiting the burning of straw, but straw burning still occurs, despite regulations and repeated disciplinary action. It is estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of the crop residues are still used as fuel or burned on the hillsides yearly, equivalent to over 1. 2 million tonne of N, 280 000 tonne of P and 2. 8 million tonne of K (Table 7-1), resulting in both environmental pollution and energy waste. In these regions, straw has become a significant cause of environmental pollution. Table 7-1. Nutrition elements in straw Year Straw output (? 06 tonne) Nitrogen (? 104 tonne) Phosphorus (? 104 tonne) Potassium (? 104 tonne) NPK as proportion of total chemical fertilizer output of China 1997 600 300 70 700 25 % SOURCE: Lu Ming, 1998. One of the best methods to prevent environment pollution caused by straw is to develop livestock production based on straw and to return manure to the fields. In other words, turn the organic and inorganic nutrients contained in straw into high quality products (meat, milk, skin, wool) and bio-energy (animal power) via ruminants. The manure, which can not be directly utilized by humans, can be returned to farmland.
Most of the nutrients needed by crops can be met by animal manure. Long-term applications of manure can increase soil organic matter and improve soil structure and fertility, which are beneficial for the establishment of a highly efficient virtuous circle of agricultural production and ecology. If manure is used to generate biogas via fermentation as a source of rural energy, and the effluents returned to farmland, the energy flow would become even more rational. Chinese farmers have a tradition of using straw to feed herbivores, for example, chopped straw for cattle.
However, scientific experiments have shown that chopping or milling can not improve straw digestibility: it can only increase intake and reduce feeding losses. In the past, most cattle farmers used animal traction and fed straw and other roughage during slack seasons and some concentrates during busy seasons. In this case, cattle could not develop strong body condition and used to be called “old yellow cattle” at the end of their lives. Cattle with less flesh was a direct result of this production method. At present, animal draft power has been gradually replaced by machinery and animal numbers.
However, the improvement of cattle should not only be put on the agenda, but also on the work plans, since it is absolutely possible to obtain meat from cattle. Turning draught cattle into beef cattle is not simply a change in the feeding objective; matched feeding methods must be implemented. The recently proposed strategy of “relying on science and technology for the utilization of straw at a higher level for the development of herbivorous animals” depends on innovative feeding methods. The two projects on developing cattle production based on straw as the major feed, undertaken by
FAO in 1990 and 1992, achieved their desired objectives. Experts from FAO recommended cattle production based on straw as a low-concentrate and long-cycle feeding system. In other words, it aimed to take advantage of the digestion characteristics of ruminants, and particularly the fact that straw in China is a non-commercial feed in most cases, to use more roughage and less concentrates to obtain a market animal through a long-cycle finishing process. Straw was used as roughage, and processed and treated with ensiling and ammoniating technologies as major methods.
It was essential to profit from this opportunity to develop a new alternative for straw utilization work in China. With the intention of taking advantage of the rich straw resources of the country, the State started the demonstration projects Developing livestock production with straw and returning manure to fields, after digestion by livestock in the large agricultural regions in 1992. The project had found a practical way to reduce straw burning. In the short period of 8 years, important advances were achieved. The extension of ensiling and ammoniating technologies has obviously accelerated the rate of straw utilization in China.
In general, once crops mature, the straw has become dry and inappropriate for making silage. In this case, ammoniation is the way to improve the nutritional value of straw. China started late in the extension of straw ammoniating technology (1985) and did not undertake the basic research and experimentation until the early 1980s, but in comparatively few years the country made significant progress in straw ammoniation. Thus, total straw feeding increased from 20 percent in 1992 to 28 in 1996. The utilization of treated straw rose from 4. 2 to 9. 5 percent. In 1996, a total of 85. million tonne of silage and 80. 5 million tonne of ammoniated straw were made in China. Based on the equivalence of 5 kg of ammoniated maize stalk or 2. 5 kg of ammoniated wheat straw in N content to 1 kg of maize, more than 20 million tonne of grain had been saved. The feeding rate of straw in Hebei Province reached 49 percent in 1997. This included 6. 93 million tonne of silage (fresh weight) and 2. 45 million tonne of ammoniated straw. In other words, about half of the straw in the whole province was utilized for livestock. This played an important role in alleviating nvironmental pollution caused by burning. Table 7-2 shows the situation of straw utilization in pilot counties and villages. Table 7-2. Straw utilization in pilot counties and villages Place Year Farm area (x 103 mu) End-of-year population (x 104) Cattle marketed (x 104y/r) Straw dry matter (x 104 tonne) Fed as % of all straw Output Fed Ensiled & treated Shandong Province Yucheng county 1997 803. 3 22 12 100 40 33 40 Maozhuang village 1997 1. 2 0. 06 0. 03 2. 08 1 0. 04 48 Tangwang village 1997 1. 6 0. 08 0. 04 2. 77 1. 2 0. 04 45 Hebei Province All province 1997 98 000 661. 7 429. 6 3 000 1 470 200 9 Sanhe county 1998 530 11. 13 17. 19 66 34. 5 20 52 Henan Province Huaiyang county 1992 951. 1 22. 6 6. 45 118. 4 54. 4 1. 32 46 SOURCES: The Animal Husbandry Bureau of Yucheng County; the Animal Husbandry Bureau of Henan Province; Animal Husbandry Bureau of Sanhe County. Progress on development of Straw for ruminant feed in China The development of cattle production nationally and in the Central Plain Provinces of Henan, Shandong, Anhui and Hebei in recent years reflects the current status, the prospects and the economic benefits of the development of livestock production based on straw in China.
In these provinces, there are important agricultural regions for grain and cotton, rich in straw and cottonseed. Since 1978, when the country started to implement the open and reform policies, but especially since 1987, these provinces have extended, in a large manner, the technologies of straw ammoniating and ensiling, as well as the necessary matching feeding techniques, which has greatly promoted cattle production development. Shandong Province, for example, had invested a total of ? 200 000 million and 40 000 tonne of urea, and produced a total of 3. 44 million tonne of ammoniated straw by 1993.
Cattle have shown the fastest population growth of all animals except poultry, and these four provinces had the fastest increase. This shows that cattle production based on straw is profitable. At national level, the cattle population reached 124 million in 1998, a 73 percent increase from 1980. During the same period, the cattle population in Henan, Shandong, Anhui and Hebei Provinces nearly doubled, an increase of 15. 4 percentage points in the nation (Table 7-3). Table 7-3. Cattle population in the Central Plain Provinces 1980-1998 (x 104 head) 1980 1990 1998 1990/1980 1998/1980 All China 7 169 10 288 2 435 1. 44 1. 74 Henan 340 893 1 301 2. 63 3. 83 Shandong 218 512 912 2. 35 4. 19 Anhui 241 501 627 2. 08 2. 60 Hebei 121 208 665 1. 72 5. 51 The four provinces 919 2 133 3 504 2. 32 3. 81 As proportion of all China (%) 12. 8 20. 5 28. 2 – – SOURCE: China Statistical Yearbook, 1997 and 1999 Second to poultry meat, beef showed the largest increase within total national meat output. China had a beef output of 4. 8 million tonne in 1998, 17 times that of 1980. Beef output was 26 000 tonne in 1980 in Henan, Shandong, Anhui and Hebei Provinces, only 9. 7 percent of the nation; by 1998, it had reached 2. million tonne, or 47. 7 percent (Table 7-4), an increase of 87 times compared to a 10 times increase nationwide. This fully demonstrates the efficacy of extending the technology of developing livestock production with straw and returning manure to fields, after digestion by livestock in the four provinces. Table 7-4. Beef output in the Central Plain provinces during 1980-1998 (x 104 tonne) 1980 1990 1998 1990/1980 1998/1980 All China 26. 9 125. 6 479. 9 4. 7 17. 8 Henan 0. 7 18. 2 76. 7 26. 0 109. 6 Shandong 0. 9 17. 6 60. 1 19. 6 66. 8 Anhui 0. 6 9. 8 34. 3 16. 3 57. 2 Hebei 0. 4 5. 6 58. 0 4. 145. 0 Total for four provinces 2. 6 51. 2 229. 1 As proportion of all China (%) 9. 7 40. 8 47. 7 Extraction rate, average carcass weight and annual beef yield per head in China have much increased since 1980. In that year, extraction rate was 4. 7 percent, carcass weight was 81 kg and annual yield per head was 3. 8 kg. In 1990, these parameters were 10. 8 percent, 115 kg and 12. 5 kg, respectively, and by 1998 they were 30. 7 percent, 133. 5 kg and 41 kg. In 1980, the corresponding values for the four provinces were below the national average, but by 1990 they were already above (Table 7-5).
These data demonstrate that the extension of technology for cattle production based on straw greatly improved production in the four provinces. Compared with other countries, cattle production in China still has a long way to go. Dressing percentage of cattle in China is lower than in the developed countries, indicating the potential for improvement. Table 7-5. Change in beef production level in the Central Plain provinces (1980-1998) Marketing rate (1) (%) Average carcass weight (kg) Beef yield per cattle(2) (kg) 1980 1990 1998 1980 1990 1998 1980 1990 998 All China 4. 7 10. 8 30. 7 81. 0 115 133 3. 8 12. 5 41. 0 Henan 2. 9 19. 1 42. 5 70. 7 108 139 2. 1 20. 7 59. 1 Shandong 4. 0 23. 3 45. 9 100. 9 160 169 4. 1 37. 2 77. 7 Anhui 3. 6 17. 5 38. 1 76. 5 112 143 2. 8 19. 5 54. 4 Hebei 4. 2 22. 2 61. 6 74. 9 124 152 3. 1 27. 6 93. 7 4 provinces 3. 5 20. 0 46. 0 81. 8 125 150 2. 8 24. 9 69. 0 NOTES: (1) Marketing rate = Number of cattle marketed in the year/cattle population by the end of previous year. (2) Beef yield per head = Beef output in the year/cattle population at t h e end of the previous year.
Economics of cattle production on ammoniated crop residues Cattle production based on straw is only one of the methods of cattle feeding, with certain scope and application conditions. Objective economic analysis of cattle production based on straw usually considers the factors discussed below. Basic factors influencing the economic benefits As a complete production system, cattle rearing based on straw has the general nature of an economic activity, i. e. , inputs are first, and the comparison between input and output. Only when output is greater than input is there economic efficiency.
Figure 7-1 shows the basic input and output factors in cattle production based on straw. Figure 7-1. Analysis of input-output relations in cattle production based on straw Implications of major input and output elements and their value In order to have a complete and accurate understanding of the implications of various essential components during the process of economic analysis, the actual calculating methods for various targets are detailed below. The benefits obtained from cattle feeding with ammoniated straw can be broken down into direct and indirect benefits.
The direct benefits can be further broken down into three. Income from beef cattle sales The main income of cattle production is the sale of finished cattle. The key factors are dressing percentage and beef price. The former can be obtained from average values at slaughter, while the latter comes from the market. In the case of live cattle sales, the actual income is used for calculation. Value of draught cattle This can be calculated from the days used as a draught animal and the local daily rates; in other words, daily rate (? /day) multiplied by the time used as draught animal (days).
Value of manure Manure is a sort of by-product and its value should be estimated. However, it is difficult of do it in practice. After comparisons made in most areas, it is assumed that manure value is offset by labour costs. Indirect or macro-benefits They are savings from reduced and controlled environment pollution, reflected in social benefits. The value of these benefits has not been included in the calculations. There are many essential inputs for cattle production based on ammoniated straw. Some of them are: Cattle purchases. It refers to the actual expense to purchase calves or cattle.
In the case of calves produced by owner himself, the feed cost of the cow should be computed. Cost of straw. In general, straw cost was not included in the past. Considering the various alternative uses of straw in China, the cost of straw should be determined by the price paid by paper mills or the negotiated price during purchase. Cost of urea or nitrogen source. This cost should be derived from the actual purchase price. Cost of concentrate. When feeding ammoniated straw to cattle, some supplementary concentrate (cottonseed cake, wheat bran, etc. is added. This cost is computed from the market price. Cost of labour. In general, surplus or slack labour is used for cattle production, and for this reason it is not included. In the case of specialized cattle raising households, the cost of labour must be included according to the wages of local agricultural labourers. Cost of equipment and other items. The investment for a cattle shed, machinery, equipment and plastic sheeting used for ammoniation should be included in production costs. It can be calculated using the formula:
Depreciation cost = Total investment/usable years The above standard inputs and outputs provide a basis for calculating the economic benefits of cattle production based on straw, but there might be differences in application. For example, the cost or value of straw will change greatly according to time and place. In some regions, straw is regarded as waste with nearly no value, but one has to pay for harvesting, transporting and burning. In other regions, the opposite occurs. In the case of energy shortages and when there is an industrial demand, straw could be used as fuel.
With the development of science and technology, straw will be attractive in new building materials and as a raw material for paper making. Therefore the opportunity cost of straw should be considered. Estimation of economic benefits of use of crop residues for ruminants In order to simplify the analysis of the economic benefits of cattle production with straw, the input/output ratio has been used to express the critical value of cattle production based on straw. Only when this value is greater than 1 can one can say that cattle production based on straw is effective. The larger the value, the greater the benefit.
Any change in quantity or price of one of the essential factors will change the value of the input/output ratio. On the basis of the above value, it is possible to calculate the total and daily net income per head of cattle, where: Net income per cattle = Total income per cattle – Total input cost per cattle. Cases influencing input/output ratio Beef market objective For international markets and domestic high-grade consumption, special attention should be given to beef quality. In general, this quality beef needs high-concentrate low-roughage diets for rapid finishing.
Beef quality from cattle mainly fed straw will differ a lot from that produced from concentrates. The former can meet beef quality requirements of the common market, while the latter uses very little straw, just to provide the fibre needed for normal rumen function and it does not have to be chemically treated. Trade in high-grade beef is only 2-3 thousand tonne/yr; it is not discussed further here. For the domestic market, the common cooking method is stewing (red-cooked beef, beef cooked in soy sauce, etc. ), which does not require very tender beef.
Therefore, this demand can be satisfied with beef coming from low-concentrate, high-roughage systems with a long finishing period. In this case, the roughage can be mainly straw, with better results if chemically treated. Only in this case does the input/output ratio have any significance. Processing and treatment methods There are many straw processing and treatment methods, which can be broadly divided into physical, chemical and biological. Economics should be considered when choosing the treatment method. Among the physical methods, chopping is most economical, but does not improve the nutritional value of straw.
Among the chemical treatment methods, the alkalization (NaOH) method gives the best results, but the price of NaOH is high. Ammoniation also gives good results and provides non-protein nitrogen, improving the protein level of the straw. Therefore, in the situation of a general shortage of protein resources in China, the ammoniation treatment has its value. In ammoniation, anhydrous ammonia, urea or ammonium carbonate are the major ammonia resources. Anhydrous ammonia is used on large farms all year round. There are great differences in the nutritional value of untreated and ammoniated straw, as well as between ammonia sources.
The price of ammonia and the benefits obtained should be carefully considered. It is essential to determine which treatment method gives the best economic benefits. Age, body weight and breed of finishing cattle In general, as age and size of finishing cattle increase, daily gain also increases (Table 7-6). From an economic point of view, it is an important issue to select the optimal finishing period. Table 7-6. Relationship among initial weight, final weight and daily gain Daily gain (g) Initial weight (kg) Final weight (kg) All test groups 713 ± 90 174 368 Best 10 cattle 894 ± 49 173 18 Heaviest 10 cattle 804 ± 100 234 453 Native yellow cattle in China have better roughage acceptance, and are more suitable for low-concentrate, high-roughage diets and long finishing periods. However, imported cattle breeds have faster growth rates and high feed requirements, and are therefore more suitable for high-concentrate, low-roughage diets for faster finishing. Protein supplements When adopting the low-concentrate, high-roughage route, in addition to feeding treated straws, certain levels of a protein supplement should be given to meet the growth requirement of finishing cattle.
In the central plain region, cottonseed cake is an optimal protein supplement feed. This is because cottonseed cake does not need detoxification when fed to cattle and it will not compete for demand by other livestock and poultry. However, feeding too much cottonseed cake becomes uneconomical. Figure 7-2 shows the relationship between the amount of protein supplement and weight gain. Figure 7-2. The feeding effect of treated straw vs. concentrate amount Comments on production studies During the period 1990 to 1992, FAO conducted studies and extension work with cattle fed on straw in Henan and Hebei Provinces.
Some general comments can be made on the economic benefits of cattle production based on straw, summarizing research reports, data obtained from studies in Henan Province and related economic parameters. Design of the study The design of the study was feeding with ammoniated straw ad libitum, with different levels of protein supplement (cottonseed cake (CSC)) for native Yellow cattle, with daily gain changes observed. Table 7-7 gives the results of the experiment. Table 7-7. Basic data of the study Amount of cottonseed meal (kg/day/cattle) 0 1 2 3 4 Number of cattle 8 8 8 8 7 Initial weight (kg) 182 183 183 183 83 Final weight (kg) 205 237 242 258 262 Daily gain (g/d) 250 660 750 845 883 Straw intake (k g/d) 10. 0 9. 6 8. 0 7. 3 5. 0 SOURCE: Dolberg and Finlayson, 1995 Analysis of economic benefits The analysis was conducted based on input and output data of cattle raised during the finishing period (from 180 to 450 kg). The analysis was as follows according to different prices of inputs: Case 1: [email protected] ?. 04/kg and straw free CSC ration (kg/day) 0 1 2 3 4 Finishing weight (kg) 270 270 270 270 270 Finishing period (days) 1 080 450 360 320 306 Net feed consumption (kg) 0 450 720 960 1 224 Straw intake (tons) 1. 08 4. 2 2. 88 2. 34 1. 53 Income per cattle (? ) 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 Cost per cattle (? ) 1 558 1 186 1 202 1 259 1 327 a. Concentrate cost (? ) 0 180 288 384 480 b. Roughage cost (? ) 618 246 146 133 87 c. Other costs (? ) 940 760 768 742 760 Net income per head (? ) 152 524 508 451 383 Net income per day (? ) 0. 14 1. 16 1. 41 1. 41 1. 25 Input/output ratio 1. 10 1. 44 1. 42 1. 36 1. 29 NOTES: (1) Finishing weight = final weight (450 kg) minus initial weight (180 kg). (2) Finishing period is obtained by finishing weight divided by daily gain. (3) Live cattle sold at ? 3. 8/kg. (4) Cattle bought at ? 3. /kg; Concentrate = cottonseed cake at ? 0. 4/kg. For roughage, the cost of straw is not computed for the time being, only the cost of urea and plastic film used in ammoniation. The cost of urea is ? 0. 050/kg and the cost of plastic film and labour are ? 0. 007/kg. Other costs include: cost for buying cattle, disease control and depreciation of cattle sheds. The net income per cattle and per day mentioned above could be used as the basis for the evaluation of cattle production based on straw. Input/output ratio provides a more comprehensive reflection of the economic benefits of cattle production based on straw.
To sum up, when daily feed intake was 1 to 2 kg, better economic benefits could be achieved. When daily straw intake was 1 kg, net income per cattle and input/output ratio were highest. However, when daily straw intake was 2-3 kg, the net income per day was the best. Case 2: [email protected] ?. 04/kg and straw @ ? 0. 06/kg CSC (kg/day) 0 1 2 3 4 Income per cattle (? ) 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 Cost per cattle (? ) 2 206 1 445 1 375 1 399 1 419 Net income per cattle (? ) -496 265 335 311 291 Net income per day (? ) -0. 46 0. 59 0. 93 0. 97 1. 21 Input/output ratio 0. 78 1. 18 1. 24 1. 22 1. 21
The results show that as the cost of straw increased from zero to ? 0. 06/kg, a daily intake of 2-3 kg cottonseed cake gave the best economic benefits. When cottonseed cake intake was 2 kg, the best results were achieved in terms of net income per cattle and input/output ratio. However, when cottonseed cake intake was 3 kg, the highest net income per day per cattle was achieved. The results show that as the price of CSC increased by 50 percent, a daily supplement of 1-2 kg CSC gave the best economic benefits. A daily supplement of 1 kg CSC was the best for net income per cattle and input/output ratio.
A daily supplement of 2 kg CSC gave the highest net income per day per cattle. But a daily supplement of 3 kg CSC decreased the net income per day by a large margin. Case 3: CSC increased from ?. 04/kg to 0. 6/kg and straw free CSC intake (kg/day) 0 1 2 3 4 Income per cattle (? ) 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 Cost per cattle (? ) 1 558 1 276 1 346 1 451 1 572 Net income per cattle (? ) 152 434 364 259 138 Net income per day (? ) 0. 14 0. 96 1. 01 0. 81 1. 45 Input/output ratio 1. 10 1. 34 1. 27 1. 18 1. 09 Case 4: [email protected] ? 0. 6/kg and [email protected] ? 0. 06/kg CSC intake (kg/day) 0 1 2 3 4 Income per cattle ? ) 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 1 710 Cost per cattle (? ) 2 206 1 535 1 519 1 591 1 664 Net income per cattle (? ) -496 175 191 119 46 Net income per day (? ) -0. 46 0. 39 0. 53 0. 37 0. 15 Input/output ratio 0. 78 1. 11 1. 13 1. 07 1. 03 The results show that when the cost of CSC increased from ? 0. 4 to 0. 6/kg and the cost of straw increased from zero to Y 0. 06/kg, i. e. , all the essential inputs had reached their maximum level, a daily supplement of 2 kg CSC gave better economic benefits. Net income per day, net income per cattle and input/output ratio were all at optimal levels.
Economic analysis of different ammonia sources The analysis above was based on use of urea, the most extensively used ammonia resource. In practice, in addition to urea, anhydrous ammonia and ammonium bicarbonate are also used. Due to their price differences, the cost of ammoniation is significantly different. On the basis of ammonia source and amount used, it is possible to calculate the cost of ammoniation per source (Table 7-8). Based on the expenses associated with each ammonia source, plus the cost of plastic sheeting and labour, the total cost per kilogram of ammoniated straw can be obtained.
Using a similar approach as in the four cases above, it is possible to estimate the economic benefits of using the various ammonia sources. From Table 7-8, at current prices, urea for straw ammoniation has the highest cost, followed by anhydrous ammonia, and the lowest is ammonium carbonate. As urea is a chemical fertilizer in short supply and extensively used in agricultural production, this greatly influences market prices. Anhydrous ammonia is the raw material for manufacturing urea and ammonium carbonate. Theoretically, it is estimated that 1 t of anhydrous ammonia can manufacture 1. 6 t urea or 4. 65 t ammonium carbonate, so the cost of ammoniation using anhydrous ammonia should be relatively low. Table 7-8. Cost of different ammonia sources for ammoniating straw Ammonia source Ammonia content (%) Amount used for ammoniation (%) Price (? /kg) Ammoniated straw cost (? /kg) Urea 46. 67 4. 5 1. 10 0. 050 Anhydrous ammonia 82. 35 3. 0 1. 30 0. 039 Ammonium bicarbonate 17. 72 10. 0 0. 30 0. 030 NOTE. Only the ammonia source is considered, without the cost of facilities (or equipment). In practice, the equipment cost for ammoniation with anhydrous ammonia is fairly high.
Regardless of the ammonia source for ammoniation, the aim is to improve digestibility and palatability of straw, to supplement with non-protein nitrogen, to improve the protein content of straw and, finally, to replace part of the concentrate. Compared with the price of a predetermined concentrate, the ammonia cost that would make straw ammoniation no longer economic has become a concern of decision-makers. This relates to the upper limit of ammonia cost, which can be calculated by a simple formula: p = a ? b ? x/y Where: p = upper limit of ammonia source cost a = price of concentrate b = proportion of ammonia source cost in total cost = concentrate saved per unit of ammoniated straw y = the amount of ammonia used per total DM A calculation was made using related laboratory data and some published papers. It was assumed that the price of concentrate (a) was ? 0. 8/kg, and the b value was 0. 6. For every kilogram of ammoniated straw, 0. 2 kg of concentrate can be saved, therefore x = 0. 2. Taking the ammonia use per source from Table 7-8, the upper cost limit of every kilogram of ammonia source can be calculated separately. purea = 0. 8 x 0. 6 x 0. 2 ? 4. 5% = ? 2. 13 panhydrous ammonia = 0. 8 x 0. 6 x 0. 2 ? 3% = ? 3. 2 pammonium bicarbonate = 0. x 0. 6 x 0. 2 ? 10% = ? 0. 96 In the event of exceeding the above upper price limits, from an economic viewpoint it is reasonable to feed more concentrates. In recent years, the price of urea has been below ? 1. 3/kg. The price of anhydrous ammonia and ammonium bicarbonate are lower than the upper price limits, so the economic benefits are certain. Case study on the economics of crop residues for ruminants at household level The economic benefits of cattle production based on straw for rural households is influenced by a series of factors, including level of economic development, scale and technology.
A comparative analysis has been made on the overall economic benefits and on those of various scales and different feeding technologies in Fuyang Prefecture. There are no grasslands in Fuyang Prefecture, but it markets more beasts than Inner Mongolia. Mengcheng, Lixin and Woyang counties in Fuyang Prefecture constitute the most concentrated area for cattle in China, and are called the Golden Triangle of cattle. Introduction to the household survey A survey was conducted in rural households of Mengcheng, Lixin and Guoyang counties, with the objective of analysing and studying cattle production based on straw.
The method adopted was random sampling and house-to-house visits. Township and village selection was based on the economic development level and characteristics of cattle production, while the selection of rural households was at random. The time span was from July 1995 to June 1996. From a total of 120 rural households sampled, data from 119 could be obtained (39 in Mengcheng, 40 in Lixin and 40 in Guoyang). The households selected were typical and representative so that the conclusions from the data would be of general and realistic significance.
Situation of straw utilization and the cost of processing and treatment Straw processing and utilization are the major components of cattle production based on straw. They not only influence the economics of production by rural household every year, but also determine the potential in future years. The results of the survey showed that the average straw output per rural household was 8 624 kg, and the average purchased straw (mainly wheat straw) per household was 997 kg, for a total of 9 622 kg. Among crop residues of different crops, sweet potato vines ranked first, followed by wheat straw and finally maize stover.
Their utilization rate was 38. 6, 58. 4 and 43. 2 percent. From the total, ammoniated straws were 17. 4 percent, silage 21. 4 and direct feeding 47. 4, with an average utilization rate of 86. 2 percent and a straw treatment utilization rate of 38. 8 percent (Table 7-9). In 1995, Fuyang Prefecture as a whole had achieved a straw utilization rate for cattle production of 64 percent and a straw treatment rate of 18 percent. Although the value was higher than the national average, the trend was similar to the general trend.
Compared with a survey conducted in 1993-1994, both the utilization rate and treatment rate had increased. The total straw utilization rate had increased from 76. 4 to 86. 2 percent. Table 7-9. Crop residue utilization by rural households (kg) Straw type Total Output Bought Treated Ensiled Direct feeding Feeding rate (%) Treatment rate (%) Wheat 3 898 3 008 840 1 599 0 1 797 88. 3 58. 4 Barley 164 164 0 26 0 100 77. 1 15. 9 Maize 1 996 1 953 43 0 862 492 67. 8 43. 2 Rice 230 181 49 51 12 158 96. 3 27. 5 Soybean 323 323 0 2 0 109 49. 9 0. 6 Sweet potato 3 062 2 996 66 0 1 187 1 855 9. 1 38. 6 Total 9 622 8 624 998 1 678 2 056 4 560 86. 2 38. 8 Ammoniating and ensiling were technologies used widely, accounting for 71. 4 and 68. 1 percent of households interviewed, respectively. The cost of ammoniating and ensiling was the key factor for adoption. Most rural households used a silage-ammoniating pit for treatment, so this method was used for the cost analysis (Table 7-10). In ammoniation, the cost of straw and of urea, the main expenses, accounted for 49. 0 and 31. 4 percent of total cost, respectively. For ensiling, the main cost was the crop residue itself, 72. percent of the total cost. Table 7-10. Crop residue processing and treatment costs in rural households Item Ammoniation Ensiling Quantity of crop residue 500 kg 500 kg Depreciation ? 50 ? 40 Dosage of 4% urea ? 40 – Depreciation ? 32 – Pit cost ? 300 ? 300 Depreciation ? 7. 5 ? 7. 5 Plastic film cost ? 6. 5 ? 4. 5 Labour 1 day 0. 5 day Value of labour ? 6 ? 3 Total cost ? 102 ? 55 Average unit cost ? 0. 204/kg ? 0. 110/kg Overall economics at household level The average number of cattle per household in Fuyang Prefecture was 3. 6, with 2. 4 marketed and an income from cattle sales of ? 190 per household. The average total output value was ? 5 217 per household. Households used 609. 4 kg of grains with a cost of ? 806. The average use of concentrate per household was 648. 0 kg, with a cost of ? 904. The average input volumes were 3 296 kg for common straw, 2 157 kg for silage, 1 991 kg for ammoniated straw and 2 305 kg for green fodder per household, with a total cost of ? 1078 for green fodder and roughage. Average annual net output per household was ? 2 172, with a net income of ? 1 278 and a net earning rate on costs of 32. 4 percent. On average, a net earning of ? 60 could be obtained for every head of cattle raised; a net earning of ? 8. 6 and net output value of ? 14. 6 could be gained for every working day (Table 8-12). Mengcheng county started earlier and thus it had fairly large-scale cattle production. The average number of cattle per household was 4. 2, while in Lixin and Guoyang it was 3. 3 cattle. In addition, the feed input type varied among the three counties. The ratio of concentrates: common straw: silage: ammoniated straw was 698:1 284:1 935:1 243 in Mengcheng; 686:1 491:690:1 822 in Lixin; and 721:2 882:809:253 in Guoyang.
The concentrate input in the three counties was fairly close, but there was a large difference in straw input type. Mengcheng County had high silage and high ammoniation levels; Lixin County had low silage and high ammoniation; and Guoyang County had low silage, and low ammoniation. For these reasons, the economic benefits of cattle production based on straw in Mengcheng were higher. The average net outputs for cattle production for Mengcheng, Lixin and Guoyang were ? 2 448, 2 084 and 1 988; the net incomes were ? 1 567, 1 211 and 1 112; and the net earning rate on costs were 34. , 32. 4 and 31. 7 percent, respectively. The average net earnings per cattle raised were ? 373, 373 and 337; the average net output values per working day were ? 16. 7, 14. 3 and 13. 6; and the average net earnings per working day were ? 10. 7, 8. 3 and 7. 6 (Table 7-11). Economics of different feeding scales at household level In Fuyang Prefecture, more than 50 percent of the rural households had 2-4 head of cattle. Households with 4-6 head were about one third. Households with 1-2 cattle were rare. The average net output with 1-2 cattle was ? 738; with 2-4 head it was ? 621; with 4-6 head it was ? 2 563; and with 6-10 head it was ? 5 843. The average net earnings from cattle raising for the four groups were ? 258, 800, 1 539 and 4 856, and the average net earning rates on costs were 13. 8, 25. 4, 31. 7 and 64. 0 percent, respectively. The average net earnings per cattle raised were ? 206, 287, 347 and 620; the average net output values per working day were ? 9. 2, 11. 8, 15. 0 and 35. 5; and the average net earnings per working day were ? 3. 2, 5. 8, 9. 0 and 29. 5 (Table 7-12). Economics of different straw treatment techniques
In Fuyang Prefecture, straw processing and treatment techniques generally accepted by rural households included silage and ammoniation. There were four technical combinations of silage and ammoniation: (1) No ensiling, no ammoniation, use of common straw alone; (2) ammoniation without ensiling, plus common straw; (3) only ensiling, without ammoniation, plus common straw; and (4) both ensiling and ammoniation, plus common straw. From the analysis of the survey, it could be seen that cattle production with common straw was the smallest group, and the economic benefits were the lowest. The larger the scale the better the economic benefits.
The group of rural households using two techniques at the same time had a larger scale of operation and better economic benefits. The average net output per household of the four groups – (1) common straw; (2) ammoniation; (3) silage; and (4) silage + ammoniation -were respectively ? 1 492, 1 748, 2 140 and 2 362; the average net earnings per household were ? 581, 886, 1 222 and 1477; the average net earning rate on costs were 20. 5, 26. 3, 27. 4 and 33. 2 percent; the average net earnings per cattle raised were ? 187, 281, 344 and 381; the average net output values per working day were ? 9. 8, 12. 2, 14. and 16. 0; and the average net earnings per working day were ? 3. 8, 6. 2, 8. 0 and 10. 0, respectively (Table 7 13). The average concentrate input per cattle of the common straw, ammoniation, silage and silage plus ammoniation groups were 262, 308, 508 and 348 kg, respectively. The proportion of common to ammoniated straw per cattle per household in the ammoniation group was 2 198:1 260, while the proportion of common to silage straw per cattle per household was 2 663:1 383 in the silage group. The proportion using treated straw in the ammoniation and silage groups was about 35 percent for both groups.
The reason for the gap in economic benefits in both groups was the large input of cottonseed cake in the silage group (an average of 948 kg per household), significantly higher than the other groups. Thus, the economic benefits were very close to those of the silage plus ammoniation group (Table 7-13). From the rural household survey and the analysis of the production data, it is clear that the economic benefits of cattle production based on straw are significant, and influenced by various inputs, specially concentrates, ammonia source, straw, etc.
The economic benefits will change with changes in prices or the cost of all these essential inputs. In order to obtain the best economic benefits, cattle rearers must constantly adjust their diets and feeding methods to match changes in input costs. Table 7-11. Overall economic benefits of cattle production based on straw by rural households (Units: head, yuan, 500g, working day) Average Mengcheng Lixin Guoyang Number of rural households 39 40 40 Average number of cattle 3. 6 4. 2 3. 3 3. 3 Number of cattle marketed 2. 4 3. 7 2. 0 1. 6 Income from cattle sales 3 190 4 260 3 119 2 218 Net weight gain 1459 1724 386 1274 Number of working days per cattle 11. 4 10. 5 10. 4 13. 4 Manure output 30 909 34 370 29 307 29 198 Output value of major product 4 639 5 483 4 406 4 051 Output value of sideline products 578 619 535 572 Total output of cattle production 5 217 6 102 4 950 4 623 Amount of feed grain used 1 215 1 562 1 195 896 Cost of feed grain 806 1037 802 585 Amount of other concentrates 1 296 13 659 1 036 1 484 Cost of other concentrates 904 894 802 1 016 Amount of commons traw 6 593 5 393 4 845 5 910 Cost of common straw 297 243 223 428 Amount of silage used 4 314 8 126 2 241 2 670 Cost of silage 237 447 123 147
Amount of ammoniated straw used 3 981 5 219 5 922 835 Cost of ammoniated straw 406 532 604 85 Amount of green grass used 4 611 6 474 2 298 5 108 Cost of green grass 138 194 69 153 Total amount of green and roughage feed 19 499 25 212 15 306 18 123 Total cost of green grass and roughage 1 078 1 416 1 019 813 Depreciation of shed and other assets 95 97 111 77 Medicines, vaccination, breeding 161 210 131 143 Total cost of materials 3 045 3 654 2 865 2 635 Working days 149 147 145 146 Cost of labour 895 881 873 876 Total cost of production 3 940 4 535 3 738 3 111 Net output from cattle production 2 173 2 448 2 084 988 Net earning from cattle production 1 278 2 567 1 211 1 112 Net earning rate on costs 32. 4 34. 6 32. 4 31. 7 Net earning per cattle 359. 9 373. 0 372. 6 337. 1 Net output value per working day 14. 6 16. 7 14. 3 13. 6 Net earnings per working day 8. 6 10. 7 8. 3 7. 6 Table 7-12. Overall economic benefits of cattle production under different cattle numbers by rural households (Units: cattle, yuan, 500g, working day) Group (number of cattle/household) 1-2 2-44 4-6 6-10 Number of rural households 6 69 35 9 Average cattle number 1. 3 2. 8 4. 4 7. 8 Number of cattle marketed whole period 1. 3 1. 4 2. 6 9. 9
Income from cattle sales 1 127 2 014 3 865 10 957 Net weight gain 577 1 093 1 782 3 596 Number of working days per cattle 2. 6 11. 0 14. 0 10. 6 Manure output 18 031 23 975 30 339 59 876 Output value of major product 1 834 3 477 5 666 11 434 Output value of sideline products 296 470 730 1 004 Total output of cattle production 2 130 3 947 6 395 12 438 Amount of feed grain used 435 859 1 556 3 176 Cost of feed grain 285 569 1 027 2 117 Amount of other concentrate 673 971 1 809 2 205 Cost of other concentrate feed 442 672 1 284 1 515 Amount of common straw 4 040 6 330 7 211 7 905 Cost of common straw 181. 79