Alternative proteins for organic meat and milk production

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $63,565.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Mike Gamroth
Oregon State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: soybeans
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, swine
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, feed rations
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development


    Protein crops grown locally without chemicals would reduce the cost of producing organic milk and meat. Protein crops would also provide an alternative to farmers seeking replacements for traditional crops and production methods. This project evaluated the yields and cultural requirements of organically grown winter field peas and soybeans. Plots were grown with and without irrigation, yields recorded, nutrient content measured, and economic potential determined. Field scale crop production and animal feeding trials followed in 2006-07. This crops can benefit organic crop rotations and be fed economically to animals.

    Project objectives:

    Develop alternative crops, especially those high in protein, which can be grown organically by local farmers and used in the region by local animal producers. A subsequent feeding trial evaluated:
    1. acceptability of minimal processed field peas and Oregon soybeans to dairy cattle, and
    2. milk production and intake of a total mixed ration (TMR) when these proteins replaced the entire conventional protein supplement.

    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.