Growing lucerne in France: Bright future for green forage

With farming’s carbon footprint under scrutiny, one way forward for livestock producers is to source locally grown feed and reduce their dependence on imports. Dried lucerne now accounts for 7.5% of French vegetable protein production, and grower organization the Coop de France Deshydration (French crop dryers association) suggests that the crop can make a significant contribution to the demand for locally grown proteins in the future

by Jane Carley

30 Apr 2020

France is a major producer of lucerne (also referred to as alfalfa), growing approximately 300,000ha, of which 67,000ha is destined to be dehydrated (dried). While the crop is grown across France, 80% of cultivating areas for lucerne intended for drying are located in the Champagne-Ardenne region where it is a significant commodity representing about 8% of the rotation and generates 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. There are also large growing areas in the Dordogne and western France.