Commercial seaweed harvesting occurs in approximately 35 countries spread across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres — in water ranging from cold to temperate to tropical — and different kinds of seaweeds are now used in multiple industries and applications, including animal feed supplements and horticultural and agricultural sectors.
North American Kelp provides high-quality seaweed-based ingredients to manufacturers and formulators of animal feeds, pet commodities, and horticulture and agriculture products worldwide. Our products are made with fresh, locally harvested, sustainable seaweed from natural Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed beds off the coast of Maine.
What Is Commercial Seaweed?
Also referred to as marine algae, commercial seaweeds come in various colors, such as red, brown, and green. Brown seaweeds are typically large — with giant kelp reaching heights of 20 m. long, to leather-like seaweeds from 2 to 4 m. long — or even smaller species which are 30 to 60 cm. long. On the other hand, red and green seaweeds are smaller, ranging from a few centimeters to about a meter.
Kelp and Seaweed Ingredients Guide and Applications
Commercial seaweed and kelp are commonly used in food and beverage industries due to their various hydrocolloid attributes, and they also have applications in agricultural products and animal feed additives.
Ascophyllum nodosum, a renewable and sustainable seaweed, is the primary raw material for seaweed meals. First, it is freshly cut and dried in a drum dryer at temperatures ranging from 300°F to 1500°F, with a moisture content of less than 15%.
The following are some of their purposes and applications:
Pet Feed Supplement
Seaweed flour or powder is often used as an ingredient in pet food or treats. The trace vitamins and minerals help to make a complete nutritional profile.
For domestic regular-sized dogs, it is recommended to apply 1/4 teaspoon of seaweed meal per 25 lbs. body weight, whereas a cat’s meal should contain just one pinch of any seaweed product.
Livestock & Animal Feed Supplement
Seaweed products benefit livestock animals — such as cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, and goats — in various ways. These supplements can boost feed utilization, enhance milk production, and may aid in weight gain. They also been shown to help reduce breeding issues, parasitic infections, white muscle disease, and wool shedding.
When using kelp meal as an animal supplement, the following portions are recommended:
- Chickens: 1% of total feed pre-mixed
- Dairy and beef cattle: 2 to 4 oz. a day
- Swine: free choice or 50 lbs. to 2000 lbs. of complete ration
- Calves: 1 to 2 oz. a day
- Range cattle: free choice at two parts meal to one part salt mix
- Horses, sheep, and goats: ¼ to ½ oz. per day
- Turkeys: pre-mixed 1 to 2% of total feed
Fertilizer and Soil Conditioners
Seaweed meals are marketed as soil additives that function as fertilizers, conditioners, or amendments. They have adequate nitrogen and potassium content but are significantly lower in phosphorus than standard organic wastes and synthetic fertilizers’ typical N:P:K ratios.
Horticulture and Agriculture
Various seaweed and kelp products, especially extracts, are now widely accepted in the horticultural and agricultural industries. They are applied to vegetable, fruit, and flower crops, and can result in increased uptake of soil nutrients, improved resistance rapid climate changes like frost, and enhanced seed germination.
These extracts are made from brown seaweeds, but the species vary by country. Some are caused by the alkaline extraction of seaweed, and anything that is not dissolved is removed via filtration.
Spreading seaweed fertilizers or amendments around the bases of plants, crops, shrubs, and flowers is the simplest way to use them. It can also be used as a plant potting medium or directly mixed into the soil. Here are some more horticulture and agriculture application tips:
- Stressed and dehydrated plants and crops: Use liquid kelp rather than dry kelp meal for faster absorption and reaction.
- Plants and crops frequently exposed to extreme temperatures: Use liquid kelp as a foliar spray.
- Vegetable gardens and flowerbeds: Apply one to two pounds of kelp meal per 100 sq. ft. and mix it into the top three inches of soil.
High-Quality Seaweed Products From North American Kelp
For more than 50 years, North American Kelp has become the a trustworthy provider of responsibly and sustainably harvested seaweed products. Our high-quality products are single-ingredient, renewable sources of minerals and vitamins for animals and plants. We also use an intricate drying process to preserve the seaweed’s nutrients, color, and a savory flavor, resulting in a flavorful supplement that animals enjoy.
Contact us today to learn more about our products. We will be happy to assist you with your requirements!