Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadian Zeolite Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX.V:CNZ) is pleased to announce its zeolite will be used in a study to be conducted by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to reduce ammonia in egg production. The Company’s zeolite – Clinoptilolite, or Clino, is a naturally occurring form of zeolite that has a particularly high affinity for ammonia, making it a desirable media material.
A recently announced three-year project will see researchers with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry investigate practical dietary strategies to reduce ammonia emissions associated with egg production. The project, which could be the most comprehensive study of the issue ever conducted in Canada, will seek to find practical and cost-effective dietary strategies to reduce ammonia emission intensity by as much as 25 per cent.
The project will be led by Eduardo Beltranena, research scientist with the Livestock Research Section, who sees environmental footprint of feed as one of the emerging frontiers in animal nutrition. According to Beltranena, feed costs represent 70 per cent of the cost of production for poultry producers, but feed is also responsible for a considerable part of the environmental footprint of livestock production. Beltranena adds, “Ammonia emissions are heavily influenced by decisions made at the farm-level, specifically the feeding program. We’re trying to identify practical things that farmers and nutritionists can do tomorrow to reduce ammonia emissions, but still increase profitability.”
In 2013, Environment Canada reported that approximately 65 per cent of the nearly 500,000 tonnes of ammonia emitted from human activities in Canada was attributable to food animal production. While chicken and egg production together account for only two per cent of total livestock emissions, ammonia is still an important environmental issue for the poultry industry.
“Managing environmental footprint – which includes ammonia emissions, is a key feature of the egg industry’s comprehensive sustainability strategy’” says Jenna Griffin, industry development officer with the Egg Farmers of Alberta. “Our producers recognize that for the industry to be truly sustainable, we need to take a holistic view that includes economic, social, and environmental elements,” says Griffin. “Our research committee saw a really good fit between this project and the ‘Healthy Farms’ pillar of our Sustainability Strategy.” The Egg Farmers of Alberta Sustainability Strategy is publicly available through their website.
Ammonia emissions are known to be affected by housing system, with free run systems generally emitting more ammonia than cage systems. Many Alberta egg producers are in the process of planning barn renovations and are carefully weighing their housing options. Matt Oryschak, research associate and co-investigator on the project, also with the Livestock Research Section, points out that a dietary approach to reducing ammonia emissions should prove effective across all housing systems. “The biochemical and nutritional principles don’t change, so we’re confident that what works in one system should work in others,” says Oryschak. In 2013, the Alberta egg industry became the first in Canada to introduce a policy that would phase out conventional cage systems beginning in December of 2014, and is eager for options to address the potential ammonia impact of the shift.
Major funding for the project is being provided by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, with significant financial support from the Egg Farmers of Alberta and the Egg Farmers of Canada. Companies that market functional feed additives are also on board, with financial and in-kind support being provided by SHAC Environmental Products Ltd. (Medicine Hat, AB) Canadian Bio-Systems (Calgary, AB), and the Canadian Zeolite Corporation (Vancouver, BC). In-kind product donations are also being provided by Novagreen Inc. (Killam, AB), and Desert King International (San Diego, CA).
The Company has a long history with zeolite and has defined and qualified its natural resource to supply new and expanding green markets. Zeolite is a natural non-metallic volcanic mineral that exhibits diverse applicable properties for use in products and technologies that contribute to “green” environmental protection. Canadian Zeolite has a competitive advantage in the world of zeolites given our product has been tested, applied and meets the standards for specific markets.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
President & CEO
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Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future expenditures. These statements address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. Such factors include, among others, the ability to complete contemplated work programs and the timing and amount of expenditures. Canadian Zeolite does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.