The 11th of May of 2022 a group of COOPID Ambassadors from different countries visted the farmers cooperative Pelletierungsgenossenschaft eGen is Austria! The cooperative counts with 100 farmers and 4 employees and produces high-quality bedding pellets for poultry, horses, and pets, in addion to fiber-rich feed pellets – which are made from straws and discarded grape skins!
Pictures & event details
In total, the visit in the region of Styria, Austria, counted with 16 people from 9 different countries of the Union, on the theme of the valorization of agricultural crop residues. Participants were able to observe and discuss the numerous crop residues transformed by a cooperative into pellets: straw, alfalfa, meadow mowing, buckwheat hulls, etc. These pellets are then used for many purposes: pig feed, mulching in market gardening, for chickens or horses, and even as a substrate for the growth of edible mushrooms.
The participants, farmers and employees of agricultural support organizations (chamber of agriculture, cooperative, …), were able to discover the advantages brought by these pellets which allow :
- A valorization of residual biomass in a logic of circular and local economy, and thus a reduction of the dependence on foreign imports
- More hygienic and easier to handle products thanks to the heat treatment carried out for the manufacture of pellets
- Better water absorption than conventional straws, which is interesting to limit the water consumption in market gardening or the use of straw in chicken breeding
- More palatable products that also help the digestion of the animals
- A limitation of the odors by reducing ammonia emissions for the different uses of the pellets
- No use of chemical products in market gardening
Finally, the end of life of the pellets is also interesting because after the different possible uses they can be brought to the ground to increase the fertility of the soil. After a day of discoveries and exchanges, the participants returned to their activities in which they will spread the examples seen in Austria by trying to adapt them to their own context, in order to develop the bioeconomy in Europe!