Chances for sustainable soy in north-western Europe
Dutch feed cooperative Agrifirm is actively involved in two research projects investigating the possibilities of growing soybeans in north-western Europe.
Studies are carried out into alternative protein sources for animal feed. From Poland the first soybeans will be purchased and a few soy breeds have been selected that have growth perspectives in The Netherlands.
Agrifirm is actively involved with the Round Table of Responsible Soy (RTRS) and initiatives of the Dutch feed industry (Nevedi) to import sustainable soy into the country.
In cooperation with other organisations a so-called Triple-E project was started to research alternative protein sources for animal feed that can be grown on the farm. Faba beans have been tested and a study for use in cattle feed is ongoing. Recently growing of soybeans is under exploration.
The changing climate is an important constraint in growing soybeans in north-western Europe. The efforts to grow the crop in The Netherlands are carried out in cooperation with a Dutch breeder.
A few breed have selected that seem to do well in The Netherlands. In the search Agrifirm focuses on short season plant with high bean yield compared to biomass volume.
Also in Poland Agrifirm is actively searching for new options. Here the first 50 hectares have been planted with soybeans this year. Agrifirm Poland will take the whole crop for animal feed, which looks promising in the first year.
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