SLU news

Lack of organic fodder worth 90 million SEK

Published: 31 January 2012

There are 90 million SEK to earn for Swedish crop producers if they convert their production in order to cover up the lack of organic feedstuff. This is shown in a new study commissioned by the Swedish Ecological Farmers Association.

Economic opportunity for Swedish farmers
The results of the Swedish Ecological Farmers’ Association’s study "Regional balance for organic feed" shows that it is economically wasteful to import feeds that could be produced in Sweden with good profitability. Agricultural economist Lars Jonasson shows in their calculations that the profitability of organic feed, seen crop for crop, is in average 1600 SEK per hectare higher than corresponding conventional crops. The fodder shortage in Sweden is 55 000 hectares of cereals and protein crops that could give SEK 90 million in increased revenue to the Swedish agriculture.

- Here is a great potential for Swedish farmers. We have the know-how for such production and there is a greater demand than supply, says Maria Dirke, managing director at the Swedish Ecological Farmers’ Association’s.

Grain shortage highest in southern and northern Sweden
In the study, the fodder situation in Sweden has been mapped to identify where needs and production are highest for protein feed crops and cereals. The shortage of organic grain is greatest in southern Sweden and central Norrland, while there is a surplus in Uppsala County and Västra Götaland. Looking at the country as a whole about 25 000 hectares of grain are needed to cover the shortage. For protein feed crops there is a major shortage throughout Sweden.

Potential in protein-rich leys
In the report there are also estimates that strengthen the role of ley as protein crop in Swedish agriculture. With a 25 per cent increase in crude protein per kg dry matter in the ley, from 120 grams to 150 grams, one would theoretically be able to cover the entire deficit of protein feed.

The study is part of the collaboration for locally produced feed driven by Swedish Ecological Farmers’ Association, Federation of Swedish Farmers and the Swedish Dairy Association.