I am a fourth year PhD student in crop science at the Department of Crop Production Ecology at SLU in Umeå.
My PhD project focuses on the sustainable use of forage legumes in agricultural systems in northern Sweden. My work is divided into two projects, the first focuses on the fractionation of red clover, alsike clover, and lucerne into protein-rich and fibre-rich fractions to more wholly utilise the entire plant for livestock feed. The main goal of the project (ProRefine) is to test two fractionation methods, in-field fractionation through the use of new harvest machinery called the MFRE and lab-fractionation through the use of a twin-screw press juicer. By fractionating forage legumes, the nutrients in the plant can then be subdivided and subsequently fed to the appropriate livestock based on nutrient requirements. My work within the larger ProRefine project involves the agronomic work associated with running one of the field experiments, as well as developing models to predict when to harvest the crop for ideal protein content.
The second project focuses on the selection and evaluation of native forage legumes for their potential inclusion as small components of mixed ley systems in northern Sweden to increase persistence and provide ecosystem services in the form of pollinator food sources. Mixed leys play an important role in the agricultural landscape of northern Sweden, but the longevity of these systems is compromised by the poor persistence of red clover. Currently uncultivated native forage legumes may be able to increase the persistence of leys by contributing fixed nitrogen following the decline in red clover content. Additionally, they may provide ecosystem services to improve the sustainability of the system. The aim of this project is to identify candidate native legume species that could potentially be included in mixed leys with red clover as the major forage legume component. This selection process will work to identify species with desirable morphology and minimal anti-nutritional factors.
Prof. David Parsons, Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap, SLU, Umeå
Dr. Steffen Adler, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Tingvoll
Dr. Anne-Maj Gustvsson, Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap, SLU, Umeå
Dr. Julien Morel, Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap, SLU, Umeå
Frawley, E.S., Ciotir, C., Micke, B. et al. (2020) An Ethnobotanical Study of the Genus Elymus. Econ Bot 74, 159–177. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12231-020-09494-0
Micke B. och Parsons D. (2023) Using botanical resources to select wild forage legumes for domestication in temperate grassland agricultural systems. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 43(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-022-00853-w