Carinata Meal: Potential as a feedstuff for growing dairy heifers Back »

Written by collaboratively by Karla Rodriguez-Hernandez and Jill Anderson.


Carinata seed is being developed as a new feedstock for biofuel production. After extraction of the oil, the meal is of interest to be used as a livestock feed. This meal is a good source of rumen degradable protein, which has a total digestibility comparable to that of soybean and linseed meals (Lawrence and Anderson, 2015a). Carinata meal, however, has high concentrations of glucosinolates [approx. 16 mg/g of DM (Dry Matter)] which limits its use as a feedstuff because of possible reduction in palatability resulting from the bitter taste caused by glucosinolate degradation. Glucosinolates can also cause health problems related to the thyroid gland function and consequently cause growth issues. Although, ruminants are more tolerant to glucosinolates than non-ruminants; it is not recommended to feed meals containing glucosinolates in excess of 10% inclusion in the diet, which is currently the federal regulation according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


The SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department recently tested the effects of feeding carinata meal on growth performance of dairy heifers. Twenty-four Holstein heifers [6.6 ± 0.7 mo. of age and 481 ± 59 lbs of BW (Body Weight)] were used in a 16-week feeding study with two treatment diets. Treatments were 1) cold-pressed carinata meal (CRM, 22% Fat), and 2) distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS, 9.3 % Fat) both at 10 % of the diet on a dry matter basis. The DDGS was chosen as comparison since it has been shown it can replace corn and soybean meal in dairy heifer diets. The fat content of DDGS also allows for a closer total fat content between diets when compared to other common protein sources. The remainder of the diets were comprised of similar amounts of hay, ground corn, soybean meal and mineral mix to meet nutrient requirements and allow for similar intakes of protein and energy between treatments (Table 1). Heifers were individually fed and the amount of ration on a DM basis was limit-fed at 2.65% of their body weight (BW). Heifers had access to water at all times. To evaluate growth performance throughout the study every two weeks heifers were weighed, measured for skeletal frame size, and body condition scored (1= emaciated, 5= obese).

Table 1. Experimental diets containing carinata meal (CRM) or distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

Ingredients, % DM CRM DDGS
Grass Hay 63.53 63.53
Corn, Ground 14.51 13.01
Carinata Meal 10.00 -
DDGS - 10.00
Soybean Meal 10.51 12.01
Vitamin and mineral pre-mix 0.65 0.65
Calcium carbonate 0.40 0.40
Salt 0.40 0.40


Heifers fed the CRM diet had similar growth and gain:feed ratios as heifers fed the DDGS diet (Table 2). No decrease in average daily gain (ADG) or gain:feed ratios were observed for CRM as reported for other oilseed meals that contained glucosinolates (Lawrence and Anderson, 2015b).

Table 2. Growth performance results for dairy heifers fed diets with 10% of carinata meal (CRM), and reduced-fat DDGS (DDGS).

Item CRM DDGS SEM P- values
Body weight, lbs 595.0 592.8 3.1 0.60
Withers height, in 48.3 48.2 0.2 0.46
Body condition score 3.01 2.99 0.01 0.47
ADG, lbs/d 1.84 1.82 0.07 0.76
Dry Matter Intake, lbs/d 14.4 14.1 0.3 0.58
Gain: feed 0.131 0.130 0.004 0.93


Feeding diets containing carinata meal to growing dairy heifers resulted in similar growth performance compared to heifers fed diets with DDGS. This research demonstrates that carinata meal can be fed at the FDA maximum inclusion rate of 10% of the diet DM to growing dairy heifers and maintain intakes, ADG, and frame growth. This was one of the first studies conducted in the US on feeding carinata meal to growing dairy cattle. More research is warranted to test the effects of carinata meal on the metabolic profile and nutrient utilization compared to other protein sources. Carinata meal shows potential as a new dietary protein and energy source for growing dairy heifers.


This research was funded by the South Dakota Oilseed Initiative with support from the SDSU Agricultural Experiment Station.


  1. Lawrence, R. and J. Anderson. 12/21/2015a. Camelina meal and carinata meal: potential protein sources for dairy cattle.
  2. Lawrence, R. and J. Anderson. 12/31/2015b. Feeding camelina meal to growing dairy heifers.
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