Ruminant production is of primary importance in Spain. Most meat from ruminants is produced in intensive systems, the main challenges of which are to increase the efficiency, minimize their environmental impacts, reduce the competence for human-edible feeds and increase their self-sufficiency. Europe is extremely dependent on soya imports to have protein provisions. Consequently, there is a growing interest to improve the efficiency of the use of protein, on the one hand using local protein sources and on the other hand reducing the quantity of protein in the diet to reduce the environmental impacts.
In this context, the general aim of this project is to improve the competitiveness of ruminants intensive production systems, studying the inclusion of field pea as local protein source and studying the efficiency of protein in rations with different energy content. Several experiments will be carried out to:
- evaluate the effect of the inclusion of field pea in the concentrates of ruminants on their ruminal fermentation, digestibility of the diets and efficiency of the N use
- estimate different inclusion rates of field pea in isoenergetic and isoproteic diets of ruminants on performance, carcass and meat quality
- determine the efficiency of the use of young bulls under diets with different energy content and different presentation
- study the ecosystem services and the carbon footprint of beef cattle and lamb production systems under the different diets tested in the experiments, using Life cycle Assesment.