Page 4 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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Developing an alternative protein source to soy
DENMARK imports ap- proximately 1.5 million tonnes of soybean per year for use in animal feed, most of which is sourced from Argentina and Brazil.
grass to make it viable. Therefore, many local biorefineries are needed, which require significant
Protein extracted from grass may be included in feed mixtures.
Given the size of the Danish pig herd, it is not surprising that pig pro- duction is a major con- sumer of this legume.
lenges, the development of the grass protein is not only a big step towards a more sustainable Danish agriculture but could also prove to be a more cost-effective solution to imported soy for Danish pig producers – if enough refineries are built.
Growing soybeans in Argentina and Brazil often uses large amounts of pesticides – many of which have been banned for use by the European Union.
tein’, which has recently been commercialised.
However, when the grass is refined, it can be added to feed at a 15 percent inclusion rate, allowing the soy component to be completely removed.
It is expected that more plants will be grown in the coming season, with further development trials planned until 2023, which will explore species de- velopment, the building of biorefineries and nutrition research.
Despite these chal-
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In addition to the pesti- cide use, large amounts of land – both natural rain- forest and small populated rural towns – are con- stantly being cleared to make way for the produc- tion of soybeans.
The first commercial plant for the production of grass protein has been sown on a farm in Jylland (the Danish mainland) and will be harvested for use in feed in the coming autumn.
There is still a way to go before grass protein is a regular component of Danish agriculture.
It is because of these reasons, coupled with the rising consumption of meat, increased meat pro- duction and the additional environmental costs asso- ciated with transporting the soybeans to Denmark, that there has been a focus on finding a suit- able replacement for soy in feed by the Danish pig industry.
It is expected that pro- tein extracted from the grass will be included in feed mixtures where the content of imported soy has been minimised.
Though the refinement process has now been developed, it requires a large amount of fresh
If you would like any further information on this topic, contact me at
Significant research and collaboration in Denmark, with SEGES as the lead partner, has led to the de- velopment of a ‘grass pro-
Previous trials have shown that they will not consume enough to reap the benefit of the high level of protein in the grass, which leads to poor growth and poor muscle building, with a negative effect on meat quality.
Though pigs can eat the grass directly from the paddock, the high fibre content means that it is difficult for them to di- gest.
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Page 4 – Australian Pork Newspaper, November 2020
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