Press Release

Innovative Rapeseed Protein Feed a Valid Alternative to Soya

By 29th July 2019 No Comments

Rapeseed Protein Feed

A recently introduced protein-rich feedstuff from Norvite, the long-established, Scottish livestock feed firm, aims to cut the livestock sectors reliance on imported Soya Bean Meal.  

Extended trials of NEOlac on an award-winning Aberdeenshire dairy unit have shown that it can replace Soya Bean Meal with no adverse effects on cow health, milk yield or quality.  NEOlac, which is derived from cold-pressed oilseed rape grown locally to Norvite’s plant in North East Scotland, has been developed specifically for dairy cow rations.


Edward Smith, MD of Norvite the developer of NEOlac rapeseed protein feed commented:


I believe NEOlac could be the answer to a conundrum faced by a great many livestock farmers throughout Scotland and Britain as a whole – namely how to lessen the unsustainable reliance on imported soybean meal, whilst still ensuring adequate protein in the ration.”


Our on-farm trials, with Jane and Bruce Mackie at Middleton of Rora showed that there was no significant performance difference between cows fed on a Total Mixed Ration (TMR) containing Soybean Meal versus those same cows when fed with the same TMR instead containing NEOlac.”


Our own feed specialists, led by our Technical Director, David McClelland, worked with SRUC academic staff and a final year student at SRUC on this trial. We are very pleased that Kerry Cartwright who led the trial was awarded a first-class classification for this project and also for her honour’s degree. I am delighted that the conclusions confirm in a long-term trial that NEOlac is a valid replacement for the Soybean meal component of TMR dairy rations.”


Protein remains one of the most expensive components of any livestock ration and it is therefore important that its performance is maximised. NEOlac offers farmers the opportunity to do this using a homegrown product.”


David McClelland explains more about the trial and the performance of NEOlac.


The award-winning dairy farm at Middleton of Rora is a great facility and lends itself to trial work. The 250 cows are milked through a Lely robotic milking system with two robots on either side of the shed. The initial plan was to compare diets concurrently; however, it was recognised that this would prove inconvenient for the staff and as a result, we opted for a crossover design.


Information on individual milking collected from the robots provided a vast dataset for Kerry to analyse and interpret. We aimed to ensure that the TMR was similar in all major dietary components throughout the trial. Cows were fed the NEOlac diet for six weeks followed by Soya before reverting to NEOlac. Milk yield averaged 38.2 litres per cow per day during the soya phase and 38.4 ltrs on NEOlac.”


The trial results showed no significant differences in terms of milk yield between the 2 protein sources. Butterfat and protein showed small (though significant in terms of the research) increases when NEOlac was fed.”


The team at Middleton of Rora reported that cow health was maintained throughout.”


Prior to this we had every confidence in the quality and value of NEOlac, it having been used on numerous farms across the country for the last year, but it is hugely encouraging to have our work validated in this longer-term on-farm trial.”


Commenting on the rapeseed protein feed trial and its results, Bruce Mackie said:


Our 250 cows produce the milk for our on-farm diversification; an award-winning yogurt business.”


Our yogurt customers are fairly switched on in terms of food-miles and sustainability issues and this, in turn, means we are always focused on reducing the environmental impact of our operations.”


With our drive for sustainability firmly in mind, we were delighted when Norvite approached us to trial NEOlac as an alternative to imported soybean meal.”


We are pleased with the results. NEOlac, a product made here in Aberdeenshire from oilseed rape grown on local farms, has proven to be great for our cows. They are producing the quality milk required for our natural yogurt, every bit as well with NEOlac as with soybean meal imported from thousands of miles overseas.”




Notes to Editors


Further technical information re NEOlac rapeseed protein feed can be obtained by contacting 
David McClelland at Norvite directly. Telephone: 01464 831261

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