Research outputs

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Main research question/goal

How can vegetable growers and cattle breeders work together to valorize left-overs from vegetables and to optimize crop rotation, while facilitating a cradle-to-cradle set-up? In this project VEGCAT, together with Inagro and several industrial partners, ILVO sets up a group of primarily West Flemish vegetable growers and cattle breeders. The aim of the project is to point towards possibilities of vegetable left-overs as cattle feed, specifically field waste from Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and leek. What is the nutritional value in cattle diets? Can they be stored longer when ensiled with other feed compounds? Which aspects of harvest, processing, preservation, legislation, logistics and profitability present challenges? The long term mindset of this project is to improve use of the limited amount of arable land  with attention for optimal crop rotation, yield etc. to create a more competitive, longer-lasting and environmentally friendly agricultural management.

Research approach

We set up a collaboration within this operational group with a number of Flemish vegetable growers and cattle farmers, harvest equipment manufacturers and scientific experts from ILVO and Inagro. In work package 1, we gather documented and practical knowledge about the opportunities and challenges regarding use of vegetable waste streams in cattle feed. In work package 2, we will analyze the nutritional value of a selection of vegetable waste streams. Next, we investigate the possibilities to ensile this biomass with other feed components that are both available at  harvest and are cost efficient. Finally, we advise participating cattle farmers in their nutritional calculation when using either ensiled or fresh vegetable waste streams. Based on these activities, we will identify research and knowledge questions which need to be tackled in follow-up research.


The most important valorization of this EIP focus group is to get more insight into the possibilities of utilizing vegetable field waste from both a research and a practical perspective. Any remaining research and knowledge questions as well as  potential legislative bottlenecks will be clearly formulated. We aim for a useful list of possible funding agencies for follow-up research at regional, national or EU level. We plan to have an closing demonstration day around co-ensiling of vegetable field waste and a final report available online that details all the results.

Funding provider(s)
Vlaamse Overheid - L&V ADLO
Effective start/end date1/09/1731/08/19

ID: 5446243