SFR responds to growing
demands on poultry feed
The demands on, and for, feed
ingredients continue to rise. Against
a background of tighter research
budgets, a Dutch institute is investing
to help producers.
Schothorst Feed Research (SFR) can trace its history back
over 75 years. Based in Lelystad, the Netherlands, the
centre is undergoing a major investment to expand its
facilities and the services it offers to clients.
While it is a given that demand for food, and
consequently feed, will continue to rise, it is not
simply volumes that are expected to grow. A better
understanding of how ingredients work, and of
alternative ingredients, is also increasing in importance.
SFR is an independent private company, owned by
both private and cooperative feed companies and by a
foundation established to stimulate research.
Its main areas of activity include the development
of feed evaluation systems, raw material evaluation
for various animal species, and the effect of feed
technology on nutrient utilisation.
Alongside this, SFR also looks at the development of
nutritional requirements of high production livestock,
the relationships between feed quality and the quality
of animal products and the effect of feed on animal
health and gastro-intestinal disturbances.
Taking into account the growing environmental
demands placed on agriculture, SFR also looks at
the effect of feed on the environment and output of
nitrogen, phosphorous and methane.
Additionally, SFR has experimental facilities to test
the efficacy of feed additives and their effect on animal
Active across dairy, pigs and poultry the centre has
10 people working in quality management and 50 in
research, and has made a number of predictions as to
how the feed market will develop over the next couple
Based in Lelystad, the Netherlands, SFR has been investing in
new facilities to better respond to growing demand for feed
ingredients, and especially use of co-products.
SFR notes that the major themes in the current market
are: competing demands from the feed, food and fuel
industries; the availability of feedstuffs and by-products;
increasing scarcity of starch; nutrition and the wellness of
man and animals.
Research director Piet van der Aar comments: “We
expect that demand for feedstuffs will become more
important, and there will be ever-more emphasis on the
co-products of other industries.”
He continues that as the energy component of feed
determines the price of these co-products, their use is
expected to become more important worldwide. It is not
only this group of ingredients that will grow in importance,
but also their processing — either technologically or
enzymatically — to increase their energy value.
This forecast upturn in demand has been the driver for
the ongoing investment programme at SFR.
This year, two new research farms, one for dairy cows
and one for laying hens, will come into operation. Both
facilities will comply with the latest requirements for
sustainable farming, allowing statistically relevant nutrition
research to be carried out in on-farm conditions.