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Palm Kernel

What is Palm Kernel Meal?

  • PKM is a ground meal by-product left after palm oil has been extracted from the palm tree kernel. This material comes from the Asia/Pacific region.
  • PKM is a high density meal that is also a good source of some minerals as phosphorus and magnesium.
  • PKM is a medium fermenting product of good digestibility.


The benefits of using Palm Kernel Meal

  • PKM can be included at 10 - 25% of the total cow's diet.
  • PKM provides extra protein and fat in summer when pasture protein and digestibility can be low.
  • PKM will help all stock gain and maintain weight and will raise milk fat test.
  • PKM can be used as by-pass protein source to help fertility and mating.
  • Palatability of PKM can be improved by using aniseed flavours and mixing
  • For winter milkers, PKM provides a cheap source of top-up dry matter to balance slower growing and less available grass in the winter months.


How to feed Palm Kernel Meal

  • For cows, levels of 2 - 6 kgs/day can be fed. Ensure cows have good appetites as some replacement of pasture may occur.
  • Combine with grains and molasses for best results.
  • PKM compliments low protein and high energy potatoes, maize silage and some grains.
  • Cows will initially find PKM relatively unpalatable if fed by itself in in-shed feeding systems.
  • PKM is best introduced to cows in troughs and/or mixed with other more palatable inputs (silage, grains, by-products, potatoes etc).
  • Cows will eat straight PKM once they become accustomed to it (after about 10 - 14 days).
  • When feeding PKM ensure animals have access to fresh water at all times.


Nutrient Specifications

Palm Kernel is a medium protein source and a medium energy source.

Protein     17 - 18 DM basis
Energy - Ruminants 11.7 MJ/kgDM
    Poultry AME 11.5 MJ/kg As Fed
    Pigs 12.5 MJ/kg As Fed
Crude Fibre     17.5 %
NDF     65 %
Dry Matter     87 %
Fat     8 - 10 %
Ash     4.5 %


Typical Analysis

Crude Protein:
16 - 18%
10 - 13%
11.8 - 12.1 ME//kgDm

Palm Kernel meal is also an excellent source of energy, protein and minerals for larger ruminants.
They can negate some of the negative effects of feeding high starch levels on rumen health because it is supplying energy from the palm oil content which is a saturated fat, largely rumen stable and does not interfere with rumen function. Palm Kernel contains virtually no starch and as such is an ideal feed when energy intake is inadequate but grain or maize feeding is at its limit, or when protein is lacking.

Palm Kernel meal is a slow but fermentable product. They therefore provide constant energy release and help maintain rumen pH in the optimum range for best rumen function. It is ideally suited to be fed in conjunction with a starch source such as cereal grain or maize silage. Along with Copra meal, Palm Kernel Meal acts as an economic emergency and drought relief feedstuff.

  • Advantages
    - Non GMO
    - Safe, non acid producing
    - Source of oil and rumen fermentable fibre which usually improves fat test.
    - Good source of minerals especially phosphorus, copper, zinc and manganese
  • Storage:
    Delivered in bulk. Needs to be kept dry as moisture combined with heat can cause fungi to grow.
    On farm storage - shed, unused fert bin, covered pit, concrete pad or in a cutting, covered with plastic sheet and tyres. Ensure there is sufficient run off with no pooling of water under stack.
    Not suitable for silos unless mixed with other products. Usage generally within 40 - 50 days of delivery. Do not feed hot or mouldy Palm Kernel Meal.


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