Field beans/spring wheat in dairy production

Last changed: 06 December 2023

Intercropping for whole crop silage

Project manager: Kjell Martinsson, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, SLU

Crop production experiments using field beans and with spring wheat as a bi-crop, conducted in the counties of Värmland and Västerbotten, have resulted in a harvest of 9000 kg DM/ha compared to 6000 kg DM/ha for pea/oats as bi-crop.

  • The main objective of this project is to investigate the production potential of field beans as whole crop silage in dairy cow feeding.
  • A further objective is to produce extension service material. In the experiment a feeding experiment will be conducted, including feed intake, feed utilization, milk production, N-efficiency and milk composition.

Four different clover-grass-silage/field beans rations will be compared. All forages will be fed ad lib, while the concentrate will be fed at a constant level.


In organic dairy production there is a great need for locally produced protein crops as a complement to clover/grass-silage. Increased cropping of intermediate crops as an alternative to cereals is also very desirable. High quality clover/grass-silage is a prerequisite to increased use of locally produced protein/starch crops, for instance field beans. Thus, the possibility of high-yielding dairy cows meeting their feed requirements on 100% organic feeds, e.g. field beans, and ways in which field beans could be most effectively used in dairy cow production need to be further investigated.