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Research & Innovation

We know that people are relying on Nutrena Feed to stand up to our exacting standards each and every time. Quality people, processes, and products come together in every way for our customers. What’s inside the bag counts.

Cargill Innovation Center in Elk River, Minnesota

The Cargill Global Innovation Center

An ever-growing center of global expertise in animal nutrition.

Here, scientists from around the world are dedicated to understanding animal nutrition and how to apply it to meeting the needs of horses, dogs, cats, poultry, swine, cattle, and the people who raise and care for them.

By conducting both pure research and applied science, Cargill is taking the latest discoveries and turning them into the real world Nutrena solutions.

  • Emphasis on Nutrients Over Ingredients icon

    Emphasis on Nutrients Over Ingredients

    Nutrena understands the nutrient content of ingredients varies widely based on seed type, climate, soil, and processing methods. We formulate our feeds accordingly to assure that every bag of Nutrena Feed delivers optimal nutritional value.

  • Verified Nutrition Analysis icon

    Verified Nutrition Analysis

    We’re able to select the most appropriate ingredients because we maintain current nutrient values for over 180 different ingredients from over 1,100 suppliers. Our data bank allows us to verify that ingredient composition of our feeds meets the specific, consistent nutrient values.

  • Proper Nutrition for Optimum Performance icon

    Proper Nutrition for Optimum Performance

    Meeting minimum nutrient needs may result in animals only achieving minimum performance standards. By the same token, excessive quantities of a nutrient may have a negative effect on performance. Nutrena takes into consideration all these variables when formulating a feed.

  • The Truth About "Locked Ingredient" Feed Formulas icon

    The Truth About “Locked Ingredient” Feed Formulas

    “Locked ingredient” formulas may not lock in consistent levels of nutrition. That’s because the nutritional profile of each feed ingredient can vary from load to load depending on the seed type, growing conditions and time of harvest. As a result, one production run may produce the desired product, but the next batch can be quite different nutritionally.

  • Rest Assured with Our "Restricted" Formulas icon

    Rest Assured with Our “Restricted” Formulas

    Nutrena “restricts” the minimums and maximums that nutrient levels are allowed to vary – ensuring consistency in product appearance, palatability, and integrity. By restricting a formula, rather than “locking” a formula, you can rest assured that the nutrition your animal requires will be in every bag of Nutrena feed you purchase.

Man assessing horse's topline in barn with woman

Research Partners

Cargill partners with leading universities to optimize research opportunities

Cargill’s innovative research into the nutritional needs of horses is enhanced by relationships with some of America’s leading universities. Partnering with these institutions gives us access to the specialized expertise we need to develop Nutrena products that are uniquely suited for all types of horses at every life stage.

Our Partners

Nutrena partners with leading research universities to conduct basic nutritional research and in-depth animal feed trials.

  • Leatherdale Equine Center, University of Minnesota

    Partnership: Nutrena and the University of Minnesota have partnered in the development of the Leatherdale Equine Center, with a community space attached to it that will be recognized as the Nutrena Conference Center.

    Customer Value: The Equine Center is designed to provide the most advanced diagnostic capabilities and research focused on the causes of performance problems in equine athletes.

  • Michigan State University

    Study Area: Effects of different nutrients and ingredient combinations on glycemic response in horses.

    Customer Value: Added safety and optimal calorie utilization for superior equine performance.

  • Texas A&M University

    Study Area: Determining optimal amino acid requirements in young, growing horses.

    Customer Value: Ideal amino acid levels for muscle development, joint health and bone formation.

  • University of Maryland

    Study Area: Effects of starch levels and direct fed microbials on gut health.

    Customer Value: Superior gut health with minimized risk of nutritionally related problems (metabolic disorders).

  • University of Wisconsin – River Falls

    Study Area: Glycogen repletion in high performing horses.

    Customer Value: Develop solutions for high active horses to improve performance.

Closeup photo of horse

“Cargill’s partnership has been critical in advancing the care of horses and education of equestrians.”

Krishona Martinson, PhD, Profesor and Equine Extension Specialist, University of Minnesota
Michigan State University equine team standing with horse in barn

“We partner to improve equine nutrition by using science to evaluate the response of horses to feeds.”

Michigan State University – Dr. Brian Nielsen