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Published
14 .Sep.2020

Did you know that more homegrown protein can have a positive impact on feed cost?

Decreasing bought-in protein with a correspondingly increased amount of homegrown protein will help you to become more self-sufficient and reduce the reliance on and cost of bought-in protein.

The case for homegrown protein

Homegrown protein will offer you an important economic benefit and is a green solution:
  • Self-sufficiency at farm level with less dependency on fluctuating world market prices for concentrates
  • Positive environmental and climatic impact with carbon sequestration, improved soil structure, nitrogen fixation and biodiversity

The main tools to improve protein independence

When you want to increase the ratio of homegrown protein to be more self-sufficient there are things to be considered:
 
  • Forages species and mixture composition
    The first consideration is the choice of species. In grassland the share of e.g. alfalfa and clover can be increased to improve the protein content
     
  • Grassland management
    Cutting or grazing at the optimal stages of plant development is essential for maximizing outcome of energy and protein.  
     
  • Improving the protein and energy contribution of grasses
    Grasses with increased fiber digestibility, lead to an increased amount of energy per kg dry matter. A higher intake results in higher animal output and better earnings; we call it DLF Fiber Energy

Are clover-grass and alfalfa sustainable solutions?

Yes, legumes in your sward will for two reasons be an on-farm sustainable solution:
 
  1. Legumes are providing locally grown protein, limiting the import of protein and emissions from transport of overseas substitutes
  2. Legumes fixate nitrogen from the air, reducing the need for fertilising the soil. That has a positive climatic impact since production of nitrogen fertiliser is highly energy consuming.
With legumes you also gain better soil structure and create better diversity in your field. Read more about the benefits of clover in legumes in sustainable farming here.