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UK Cows May not be Dining on US Soy

(24 March- Cropchoice News) -- As British animal feed markets move further away from GMOs, UK government scientists have been looking for substitutes for US soya. The researchers want inexpensive, locally-produced proteins that are also free from GMO contamination.

The Institute of Grasslands and Environmental Research (IGER) in Wales thinks that lupins might be an answer. Well-adapted to northern climates and with up to 35% protein content, IGER thinks home-grown lupins may solve problems for UK farmers.

The research team is headed by Raymond Jones, IGER's lead scientist on Forage conservation and utilization. It concluded that "the high crude protein content of this crop suggests lupin silage has potential as a protein supplement for high-energy grass or maize crops."

The research into alternatives was supported by the UK's Milk Development Council and UK government.

Some UK farmers are finding the cost of US soy, up to $315/ton, too high. Add in MO-free certification headaches, and American soy looks less and less attractive. Quoted in the New Scientist, Jones says that lupins can "keep the farmer away from GM products, and keeps the costs of feedstuffs as low as possible."

Also interviewed by the New Scientist, Peter Loggie of the National Farmer's Union of Scotland said "I'm sure farmers would consider this idea if they could not get proteins the supermarkets are happy with."

SOURCE: IGER, New Scientist