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New uses for alfalfa: Aquafeeds

To help Minnesota producers put alfalfa back on the landscape, researchers at the University of Minnesota and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Station began studying alfalfa’s value-added products. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture funded the research.

They studied alfalfa protein concentrate (APC) production methods as well as its potential as an aquafeed with different species of fish (Figure 1). They hope this will increase the demand for APC production.

APC is a product in limited production with good potential as a feed additive for the aquaculture industry. APC contains higher amounts of the limiting amino acids lysine, methionine and threonine than other high-protein plants. Plus, it’s a source of omega 3 fatty acids, another requirement for fish health.

Green alfalfa pellets held out in a hand
Fig. 1: Alfalfa pellets

Jessica Coburn, graduate student, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences; Deborah Samac, plant pathologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service and M. Scott Wells, Extension agronomist

Reviewed in 2018

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