Carbon sequestration in the field
Fields lose carbon, but the development can be reversed using more catch crops and straw incorporation. Danish Crown participates in a Danish research project to develop tools for improving the production of biomass in grass areas. The basic principle is to establish multi-year grass areas by converting annual crops into grass and clover, which will increase carbon storage and reduce nitrate leaching and NO2 emissions.
Future Beef Cross
Danish Crown is involved in a Danish research project, Future Beef Cross, which aims to reduce the climate impact from calf breeding. The project is currently developing a method to identify beef cattle bulls that produce crossbreed calves, also called gastro calves, from ‘Dansk Kalv’, which utilise the feed more efficiently, yield more meat and emit less methane.
The composition of the feed is important with regard to the amount of methane produced in the rumen when cattle digest the feed. Danish Crown participates in research projects in both Denmark and Sweden aimed at developing new feed ingredients that may improve digestion and neutralise the production of methane in the rumen. The new feed ingredients are expected to reduce methane emissions from cattle by up to 50 per cent.
Biofilters capturing methane
Danish Crown participates in the Danish research project BIOMET, which aims to develop and test biofilter facilities for the purpose of reducing methane emissions from farms and slurry containers. The biofilter consists of compost filled with methane-eating bacteria that reduce methane to carbon dioxide and water. It is expected that biofilters will be able to reduce the climate impact from Danish dairy cows and pigs by up to 20 per cent. The biofilter also reduces emissions of ammonia and odour nuisances.
Grass as a protein source
If grass can be exploited as a protein source for animals in Denmark, it would enable farmers to produce large volumes of protein per hectare and so increase self-sufficiency in protein without increasing the land use for producing a kilogram of pork. Danish Crown is part of the Dansk Protein Innovation partnership and participates in the Bio Value research project, seeking to find a profitable method of extracting grass protein. As a part of the
project, some of our cooperative owners have tested grass protein as an alternative to soy in pig feed, and the first test facility of the project is currently producing protein for our organic pig farmers.