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Photo of The environmental consequences of using home grown legumes as a protein source in pig diets (Green Pig Project)

Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange

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The environmental consequences of using home grown legumes as a protein source in pig diets (Green Pig Project)

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Research partners: SAC, University of Nottingham, NIAB

Industrial partners: BOCM Pauls, AHDB Pork, Evonik-Degussa, Genesis QA, Harbro, Premier Nutrition Products, PGRO, QMS, Soil Association and UNIP

Sponsors: The above mentioned industrial partners with match funding from Defra under the Sustainable Livestock Production LINK programme

 Duration: July 2008 – October 2012 

Aims and objectives

  • To assess the potential for greater inclusion of home grown legumes (peas and beans) as an environmentally friendly alternative to soybean meal (SBM)
  • To identify whether specific varieties have a closer match to the requirements of the UK pig feeding industry than others 

Findings to date

  • Higher levels of peas and beans than are currently used in the UK can be included in rations for grower and finisher pigs without significant penalties on growth performance or slaughter measures
  • There is no difference between pea and faba bean based diets suggesting farmers can choose the pulse which best suits them
  • Peas and faba beans are a viable home-grown alternative to SBM in grower and finisher pig diets 

Further information

Farm Case Study 30: Green Pig Project

SAC Green Pig Project poster