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
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.
Yes, legumes in your sward will for two reasons be an on-farm sustainable solution:
- Legumes are providing locally grown protein, limiting the import of protein and emissions from transport of overseas substitutes
- 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.