Grass as a more climate friendly alternative to soya protein
The Danish pig and poultry production can reduce its climate footprint significantly with protein feed extracted from grass from the local area.
A strong group of partners has applied the Ministry of Environment and Food’s green development pool for subsidy for realising grass protein as an alternative to imported soya protein.
”It is a project that creates increased value in the entire value chain; from the farmers’ fields to feed and biogas plant – and provides significant climate profits on top”.
Daniel Schou Jensen, Project Director in R&D Engineering & Automation, says about the background for the grass protein plant that R&D and a strong circle of partners want to establish.
SEGES, Vestjyllands Andel, Ausumgaard and R&D have just applied GUPD; the Ministry of Environment and Food’s special pool for promotion of green bio refinement for 15m DKK in subsidy for building a plant that can extract protein of standard Danish clover grass and thus offering Danish pig and poultry producers a climate friendly alternative to the soya protein, which is currently imported from South America and Asia.
The project hits the spirit of the time perfectly! The environmental profits are many and it fits in with a greener culture and development where more people are preoccupied in working sustainable, being locally rooted and organic. Now we will prove that it is also financially sustainable which the project can contribute to.
A lot of synergy
Grass protein contributes to the climate agenda and solves the challenge of obtaining protein prospectively, Kristian Lundgaard-Karlshøj from Ausumsgaard points out:
“It provides many great synergies between plant production and biogas plants, increases value of yield grass from crop rotation, strengthens the biodiversity and even contributes to CO2-storage. It is a contribution in a lot of ways”, he says.
Steen Bitsch, CEO in Vestjyllands Andel, agrees:
“The agriculture is preoccupied with sustainable production and that is the reason why the agriculture is notoriously challenged by the fact that we must import soya from South America. Grass protein can be the solution that reduces this import”, he says.
National Specialist Erik Fog, SEGES, shares the view that there exists a great need for replacing soya import with a Danish produced protein:
“There is an increased climate-consciousness and many indications in the time that this solution would be wanted”, Erik Fog says.
The circle of partners has already cracked the code of extracting protein from grass and the profits of a Danish produced protein are significant.
“We have established that it can be done purely technical. Now we have to figure out whether it can also work logistically and economically, and if it is scalable and can work in the industrial production. This will be shown when testing on a larger scale plant,” Steen Bitsch says.
The circle of partners expects an answer on the application in the fall and if it is positive, we will be able to produce grass protein in grass season 2020.