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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Production and nutrient composition of forage legume fractions produced by juicing and leaf stripping

Micke, Brooke; Adler, Steffen; Forkman, Johannes; Parsons, David


The large-scale import of soybean products into the EU decreases the self-sufficiency of livestock production. The fractionation of grassland forage crops presents an opportunity to locally produce protein-rich feed for monogastrics. Two promising fractionation methods, twin-screw press juicing and leaf stripping, were evaluated in parallel in field experiments established in Norway and Sweden to compare the nutrient composition and yield of the resulting biorefined and residual fractions. The clearest delineation between the methods was in the ash-free neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) concentration, with juicing producing a biorefined fraction with a lower aNDFom than leaf stripping. Variability in the allocation of crude protein (CP) and biomass to the biorefined fractions occurred in both methods between cuts and locations and is likely due to differing stand characteristics and inconsistency in machine functionality. Additional work is needed to understand how characteristics such as stand density, botanical composition, and plant phenological stage impact each fractionation method's ability to allocate protein, fibre, and biomass into the resulting fractions. Future studies should focus particularly on determining standardised settings for leaf stripping machinery based on a range of stand characteristics to ensure consistency in the yield and nutrient composition of the resulting fractions.


Biorefinery; clover; crude protein; forages; fractionation; local protein feed; monogastric; neutral detergent fibre; nutrient composition; ruminant

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science
2023, Volume: 73, pages: 199-212