Advantages to Growing Alfalfa.
Growing and drying alfalfa offer significant advantages for the environment, industry and society as a whole.
Alfalfa contributes to improving biodiversity with 117 species of birds using it for food, shelter or reproduction.
It does not require the land to be tilled over a five-year period, thus reducing erosion, which is 16 times less than that involved in growing corn.
It does not need nitrogen fertilisers, thus avoiding water being contaminated by nitrates.
It fixes 9 t/ha/year of CO2 (1.5 t in the parts that are underground, 0.75 t in its roots and 6.75 t in the parts that are above ground), thus helping to alleviate the greenhouse effect and acting as a green filter.
It does not require herbicides and phytosanitary products do not need to be extensively used.
A stand of alfalfa lasts for at least five years, thus making the landscape greener.
Production is agreed upon at the beginning of the season with prices being highly profitable.
It produces up to 2500 kg/ha of protein, thus decreasing the need to import soya.
It is harvested five times a year, meaning income over several months.
Minimum risk of losses due to bad weather.
The current technique, which involves partially drying out alfalfa in fields, improves quality and increases production.
Effects on society as a whole
The harvesting technique used for industrialisation allows for more flexibility in terms of working hours, thus making what is a strenuous job somewhat easier.
There are currently 75 manufacturers spread out across Spain.
They are all located in rural areas and cannot relocate as their profitability depends on having crops within a maximum radius of 30-50 km.
More than 4000 jobs have been created, contributing to the sustainability of rural communities.
- The product is always of outstanding quality.
- The current technique produces a low-moisture, low-temperature product, providing it with greater stability and meaning it can be stored for longer.
- The product is extremely uniform and stable.
- It has an exceptionally high nutritional value and is rich in fibre and high-quality protein.
- It offers a steady supply throughout the year.
- It allows for a high level of product traceability from the field to the consumer.
- It allows for simpler food safety checks.
- It is compatible with ISO 9002, ISO environmental standards and the HACCP system.
- It allows for dioxins and heavy metals to be monitored.