Relief to the pig producers’ crisis caused by soaring feed costs could be on the cards if a new government-supported research project that aims to replace soya feed with home-grown legumes proves successful.
The £1.5M Green Pig project is investigating the potential of using legumes in the diets of growing and finishing pigs. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ collaborative Link project brings together plant breeders and growers, pig feed manufacturers, producers and industry organisations such as the BPEX, the levy-paying body representing pig producers, which is now a subsidiary of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
BPEX pig technical manager Dr Pinder Gill said: “The aim is to find a home-grown feed as an alternative to soya that will closely match the needs of a pig. The benefits should be lower costs for producers and a better environment as this feed would not have to be transported anything like as far as soya.”
The three-and-a-half year project has three academic partners: Scottish Agricultural College, which is co-ordinating the research, the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). There is also support from 10 other interested partner bodies.