Whilst representing 65% of agricultural land within the EU, animal protein production contributes 81% of total agricultural greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and 73% of water pollution caused by excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Ruminants, and in particular beef cattle, are the biggest contributors to agricultural GHG and N emissions, producing up to 16-times the GWP (global warming potential) and N emissions per Kg of dairy, pig- and poultry-protein. As consumer trends are not predicted to change significantly in the next decade, and with animal-protein production expected to expand, strategies which include producing biorefinery protein products as direct animal protein feed substitutes become feasible. Policy and/or profitable business models are required to ensure that large climate mitigating impacts can be achieved.
Life Farm4More aims to deliver climate change mitigating impacts for the livestock industry by implementing an economically viable organic animal feed and a biochar production strategy. Specific objectives include: 1. Demonstrating and assessing substantial GHG reductions in cattle production by using pre-treated organic/non-organic grass-legume press-cakes with/without biochar; 2. Producing organic/non-organic crude protein (CP) and hydrolysed protein, amino acid (AA) and polypeptides (PP) concentrates as organic/non-organic animal feeds; 3. Establishing and operating a Member State/stakeholder group (Ireland, Austria, Denmark) for geo-specific biorefinery implementation; 4. Characterising and optimising biorefinery products for various feed applications; 5. Executing animal feeding tests using biorefinery products (biochar, CP or AA-PP concentrate and press cake) to create feeding strategies that: a. maximise animal performances while minimising GHG, N and P emissions, b. assess the optimal emission reduction implementation; 6. Screening for alternative feed substrates (e.g. seaweed) and additional non-feed applications for the generated biorefinery products; 7. Assessing the economic feasibility of selected business cases; and 8. Building a strong base for the Farm4more initiative by integrating existing expertise from green biorefining actors from Austria and Ireland, and the projects biorefinery stakeholder group in Denmark.
The projects activities will directly support a range of climate and agriculturally-related policy at European and national scale, including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Rural Development Policy, Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive (2016/2284).