WALNUT, Calif., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced results of independent and third-party testing that shows that Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4-5 feet tall is an excellent high protein animal feed. The average protein content of five samples was 14.3% with good energy content and digestibility. The results show that Giant King Grass is much better than wheat straw, corn straw, sorghum silage, Bermuda grass or Sudan grass. It is very similar in nutritional value to oat hay.
Giant King Grass can be used as freshly chopped animal feed, made into hay, silage or feed pellets. Giant King Grass can feed cattle, dairy cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs and some chickens, turkeys, geese and fish.
The largest applications are to feed cattle and dairy cows. There is a large US domestic market for animal feed, but very important export markets as well. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 109 million metric tons of hay were produced in the US in 2012 and the average domestic selling price for hay was $200 per metric ton. California, Oregon and Washington which are close to seaports provide 95% of the exported hay-- less than 4% of US production-- at an average price of $280 per metric ton. Long Beach in California is the most active port. The largest export customers are Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and China. Previously, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia provided expensive desalinated water to farmers to locally grow animal feed for their domestic use. They are stopping this practice and are importing hay from the US, Australia, Spain and any other source available. China, Japan and Korea are increasing the amount of dairy in their diets and this leads to higher hay imports. The US Department of Agriculture reports that the 2012 hay export market was $1.2 billion and projects the export demand to grow significantly.
VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen states, "Giant King Grass was developed as a dedicated energy crop to grow very quickly and tall--14 to 16 feet tall every six months-- and to be used as fuel or feedstock for electricity generation, biofuels and biochemicals. However for anaerobic digestion to make biogas electricity, the grass is harvested fresh at 4-5 feet tall every 45-60 days. The results for biogas production from Giant King Grass are very good. We realized that because anaerobic digestion mimics the process in a cow's stomach, Giant King Grass should be good animal feed as well. Several samples of Giant King Grass were sent to be tested by the Dairy One Forage Laboratory which is an international leader in forage and feed analysis. They also have an extensive database to compare different forage crops. The results for Giant King Grass are very good. A potential customer also came to our Giant King Grass nursery in California and obtained a sample for independent testing including in vitro digestibility. The results confirmed the data from Dairy One. Giant King Grass is a good animal feed."
Kukkonen continued, "If lower yielding and lower quality grasses can be grown profitably in California, then higher yielding Giant King Grass can be also grown profitably in California for domestic animal feed and for export. Furthermore, VIASPACE also plans to explore growing Giant King Grass in lower cost locations such as Southeast Asia for export to Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. The markets in United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia can be addressed from Giant King Grass plantations in Southeast Asia or East Africa. A Giant King Grass plantation for animal feed can be quickly established with low capital expenses compared to a power plant."
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, concluded: "Animal feed is a new, exciting and very large market for Giant King Grass from VIASPACE. We have been working on the concept of using Giant King Grass for animal feed for some time now, but did not want to 'confuse' our investor audience since we are a 'bioenergy' company. Power plant investors want to be absolutely certain that there is enough Giant King Grass for their power plant. This conservatism leads to a larger Giant King Grass (GKG) plantation than is actually required and using the 'extra' GKG for animal feed increases the profitability of the plantation. We now have a way to create significant additional value for our bioenergy customers. For example, Giant King Grass could be used as animal feed during the time that a GKG plantation is being propagated and developed to fuel a biomass power plant. Furthermore, we intend to use Giant King Grass as animal feed to greatly expand and accelerate our revenue stream creating yet another way to make our company business model more profitable. We are making this announcement simultaneously while we are in negotiations with new clients who are focused on using Giant King Grass for animal feed projects. Our constant goal is to grow our company and the recognized platform uses of Giant King Grass to create revenue and value for our shareholders."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant KingTM Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass clean energy crop that does not compete with or displace food production. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.