Evaluation of Different Ensiling Methods and the Effect on Feeding Value of the Residual Material from Edamame Soybean Processing

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2019: $16,500.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Beth Kegley
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture


  • Agronomic: soybeans
  • Animals: sheep


  • Animal Production: feed management, inoculants
  • Crop Production: food processing, municipal wastes


    Use of organic waste material by ruminant animals from food processing operations potentially reduces costs and reduces environmental issues from disposal of these residues. Therefore, 2 experiments were conducted to evaluate the storage and feeding value of residual from edamame soybean processing for ruminant animals. Two types of waste streams, waste during harvest time and waste from processing stored material, were ensiled (on a laboratory scale) using various methods and effects on post-ensiling nutritive value were examined. Material from both waste streams were ensiled either without wilting or after wilting; each moisture level was ensiled with and without an inoculant. Pre-ensiled processing waste material averaged 55 ± 4.5% NDF, 39 ± 3.3% ADF, 11 ± 2.4% CP, and 8 ± 2.6% ash (average of material from 4 trips ± SD). For harvest waste, there was an inoculant by ensiling dry matter (DM) interaction (P = 0.05) for post-ensiling pH. Recoveries of DM after ensiling of the harvest waste tended (P = 0.06) to be greater with the inoculant (92.6 ± 1.41 vs. 88.5% ± 1.41).

    Additionally, wilted material ensiled with and without inoculant (average of 3 trips = 29.7% DM with inoculant and 28.5% DM without inoculant) from the waste from the processing of stored material were evaluated for post-ensiling intake, total tract digestibility (DM, NDF, ADF), and nitrogen balance using sheep offered silage produced in 167 L plastic barrels. Dorper crossbred ewes (n = 18; ages 2 to 3 years old; 55 ± 1.2 kg BW) were assigned randomly within a block to treatments within a trip, then assigned to a barrel of silage. Dry matter digestibility was not affected (P = 0.98) by inoculant and averaged 55.7 ± 0.66%. Ewe average daily gain for the 17-day trial tended to be greater (P = 0.08) for the ewes offered the silage without inoculant (0.18 ± 0.05 vs. 0.04 ± 0.05 kg/day).

    Overall, the use of edamame waste as silage for feeding and ensiling as a form of storage shows potential.

    Results of the project have been shared with the edamame processing facility and are published in a thesis in the University of Arkansas library.

    Project objectives:

    Further research about preservation of edamame residual will aid in improving the probability of producers having a positive experience in producing a value-added product from edamame and soybeans. The objectives of this study were to:
    1. Evaluate the nutritive value of fresh and wilted, but non-ensiled, samples of edamame residual from both the harvesting and processing waste streams of the processing plant.
    2. Evaluate the nutritive value and preservation characteristics of edamame residual from both waste streams of the processing plant that were ensiled after wilting to 4 different moisture levels and ensiled without or with a commercial silage inoculant (on a laboratory scale, in bags for 42 or 50 days).
    3. Offer ensiled material from the processing waste stream to sheep and evaluate intake, total tract digestibility, and nitrogen balance.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.