Lucerne and clovers are valuable feeds for dairy cows. New processing methods may allow us to produce high quality feed from locally grown forages for both cows and non-ruminant animals, such as pigs and poultry.
The aim is to improve local food systems in organic farming based on fractionation of plant parts of forage legumes.
Developing methods to extract protein from forages could result in local feeds suitable for both cows and monogastric animals.
We will carry out research activities in six regions, Pays-de-la-Loire in France, the Po valley in Italy, the Aegean region in Turkey, central Denmark, Västerbotten in Sweden and mid-Norway.
Supply of feed protein is critical for animal production, and many farmers in Europe rely on imported protein supplements. Forage legumes efficiently utilise the growing season and produce high protein yields. Fractionation of the forage crops is necessary to make the protein available for monogastric animals, such as pigs and poultry, but there are various challenges that need to be addressed.
The new knowledge gained will contribute to strengthen the agricultural sector in Europe as a whole, by improved utilisation of biological resources. Implementation of fractionating forage legumes may lead to new food products demanded by consumers supporting local food systems. New knowledge about local food systems can be transferred across countries and sectors. This will increase the awareness of utilising local resources in food production.
Important target groups are farmers, advisory services, industry, government officials and the scientific community. A participatory approach will be applied by involving regional stakeholder groups.