DARCOF · Research > Darcof II > Production of grain legumes and cereals for animal feed

Production of grain legumes and cereals for animal feed

There is a requirement for increased production of protein and cereal crops in Danish organic farming systems to meet the increasing demand for the feeding of monogastric animals (pigs and poultry). Grain legumes, such as pea, faba bean and lupins, and cereals can complement each other in animal feeds and these grain legumes are well-suited species for Danish climatic conditions. Grain legumes benefit the farming system via biological N2 fixation and by their effect as break-crop for cereal diseases in rotations. However, grain legumes have reputation of high yield variability, due to low tolerance to water stress and lodging for some species, late maturity for others, and variability of the seed quality.

This project will identify potential obstacles to production via studies on the effect of soil type/climate, potassium and phosphorus availability, plant diseases and weeds on grain legume and cereal yields. New methods for protein production will be evaluated. In the project grain legumes species and genotypes will be evaluated in relation to their suitability for organic cropping systems. N2 fixation, crop N balances, N availability in the autumn and in succeeding crops and the quality of grain legume seeds in relation to feeding of monogastric animals, will be determined.

The project contributes with basic knowledge about organic farming systems. This includes studies on relationships between grain legume phenology and competitive ability of the crops towards weeds and the suitability for intercropping. It also includes variability in crop tolerance to low nutrient status (P and K) of grain legumes, possible mechanisms of weed control by an intercrop and the nutritional effect of grain legumes and cereals produced in organic farming systems.


Project title
I.5 Grain legumes and cereals – new production methods for increased protein supply in organic farming systems (GENESIS)

Project leader
Professor Erik Steen Jensen
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Agroecology
Agrovej 10, DK-2630 Taastrup
Phone: +45 35 28 35 17, Fax: +45 35 28 21 75
E-mail: esj@kvl.dk

Project participants
Henrik Haugaard-Nielsen, Bjarne Jørnsgaard and Jørgen L. Christiansen, KVL
Michael Lyngkjær, Per Ambus, Risø National Laboratory, Margrethe Askegaard, Knud Erik Back Knudsen, Sigurd Boisen and Poul Christiansen Flengmark, DIAS