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Using faba beans as a protein source for Danish dairy cows

Using faba beans as a protein source for Danish dairy cows

Samenvatting

In recent years the dairy industry had to face new environmental regulations and consumption evolutions. The soybean meal utilization as a protein source is not adapted to the GMO-free milk production. That’s why there was a growing interest for GMO-free rapeseed meal to replace soybean meal but since 2017 the Danish phosphorus regulation makes it harder to utilize phosphorus rich rapeseed meal. This explains a growing interest in Denmark for pulses cultivation. The main pulses are lupine, faba beans and field peas. The faba beans seem to have to highest yields in Denmark and have a high crude protein concentration. Nevertheless, it is necessary to make further research to compare the possible milk production and the costs related to the utilization of faba beans compared to a production system based on soybean meal and rapeseed meal. The objective is to provide clear, reliable and representative result on the milk production and the costs by using faba beans for Danish farms. The goal is to support the farmers taking the best decisions about the protein source they use to improve their revenues on the farms. What are the effects on the dairy farms revenues of using faba beans in comparison with using soybean meal or rapeseed meal as protein sources for Danish dairy cows? The results on the production of the cows are based on a trial conducted in 11 Danish farms and 2300 cows took part to the project in total. The cows were fed a control treatment with soybean meal or rapeseed meal as protein source and afaba bean treatment with faba beans conserved and processed with different methods depending on the farms. The trial supported the results of the literature research and showed no difference in milk production and protein content for the control and the faba bean treatment. There was a significant difference in fat content between the control and the faba beans trial and no previous researches showed this result. It is possible that the nature of the starch in faba beans is different than the starch in the cereals used in the control treatment and that the faba bean starch improves the fat content in the milk. The research on the buying costs of soybean meal, rapeseed meal and faba beans show that faba beans and rapeseed meal have similar costs and soybean meal is more expensive with equivalent protein content. It seems that cultivating faba beans on the farm is the best option to maximize milk the production cost. Nevertheless the production cost of faba beans is closely related to the yield so the land should be adapted to faba bean cultivation. Based on this research, the Danish farmers should consider using faba beans instead of soybean meal and rapeseed meal.

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OrganisatieAeres Hogeschool
AfdelingDier- en Veehouderij
PartnerAeres University of Applied Sciences Dronten
SEGES
Datum2020-01-13
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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