A group in Germany is exploring options to replace soy in pig feeds with alternative protein sources, giving added meaning to the term “locally produced pork.”
Supported by partners in the swine, feed and pork industries, the project aims to identify other protein crops that can be grown locally, sustainably and efficiently, according to Wim Verseput in Pig Progress.
Soy is widely grown in Latin America and the US, mainly for its oil content, and the residual soybean meal makes a valuable contribution to the protein content of feeds for pigs and other farm animals.
In Europe, there can be a negative perception of soy due to its environmental impact during cultivation, and as the crop will not grow under the prevailing climatic conditions, all soybean products must be imported.
Initially, the project team from the German state on Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will focus on lupins, and on optimizing the dietary formulation to suit the new feed ingredient.