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Organic Proteins from green crops are promising poultry feed

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Proteins extracted from organic green crops have potential to substitute imported protein feed according to an article which was published on the website of the Danish research institute UCROFS. In the organic RDD project OrganoFinery, the first small-scale tests to extract proteins from red clover and clover grass using a novel method showed good results, especially with respect to a favorable amino acid composition. The plan is to develop a feed product, containing organic red clover protein extract and test it in feeding experiments in poultry. This means that not only cows and other ruminants could use these proteins from local sources and it could really be a sensation.

Organic farmers with monogastric animals (poultry, pigs and fish) are facing a number of challenges. The most serious are: 1. Sufficient supply of organic protein feed with the right amino acid profile at a competitive price.2. Low crop yields of non-leguminous crops and low value of leguminous forage crops in organic crop rotations in areas with little milk production. 3. Shortage of organic fertilizers. Due to these challenges the organic farmers have to import feed and use manure from conventional farms. The overall target of the organic research project OrganoFinery is to provide solutions to these problems by developing a green biorefinery where the organic crops are at the same time used for animal feed, fertilizer and energy production (methane).

One of the project´s aims is to identify crops suitable for organic arable farms with a general need for nitrogen. Sufficient nitrogen supply is essential for the production of protein, and therefore particularly legumes or mixed cropping with legumes are interesting for organic farmers as these crops accumulate nitrogen by biological nitrogen fixation. These crops are able to produce large amounts of protein, even when there is a low level of nitrogen in the soil and no use of fertilizers. Additionally, the legumes have a positive effect by contributing to the nitrogen supply to subsequent crops and they have an important role to play in the crop rotation. Red clover has been chosen as a model crop in OrganoFinery, but also clover grass, alfalfa and oil seed radish are being studied. 

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