SLU news

Environmentally smart to use ley harvest to both feed and biogas – if there is use for the biogas

Published: 26 March 2013

In order to decrease the import of protein feed in the dairy industry, there has been a project at SLU examining a scenario where high-quality forage is used as an important ingredient in the feeding plans. This is accomplished by using only the season's first harvest for dairy cows. Regrowth harvests have instead been used as a biogas material in a farm-based biogas plant.

The ley cultivation in this scenario caused a greater need for land, which was assumed to be achieved by using a former grain acreage in a newly established farm partnership. An overall conclusion is that the high environmental potential was not in the saving made ​​on costs for feed concentrate or in the avoided manure storage. Neither in the carbon storage the ley added to the grain farm, but the environmental potential existed in the energy produced by the biogas plant. If all of this energy was used to replace fossil energy sources, large earnings could be made for primary energy, climate impact and acidifying emissions, and to some extent for the farm economy. The market for biogas was thus crucial.