Excellent feed value

The Barenbrug lucerne varieties are selected in our breeding program. Continuous screening for parameters such as digestibility, crude protein and effective fibre (NDF and dNDF) has resulted in varieties with an exceptionally high nutritional value. These unique properties of Barenbrug's products have been confirmed by many official studies and independent research around the world.

Effective fibre and protein with a high dry matter intake

Well-ensiled lucerne is very palatable to cattle and provides excellent rumen stimulation. The stems stimulate the rumen, improving digestion. The saliva produced by animals during rumination results in stabilisation of the rumen pH. The main advantage of lucerne is the fast digestion of the crop. The rumen remains full of feed without the risk of congestion. As a result, lucerne offers a lot of effective fibre and protein in combination with a high dry matter intake.

Nutritious forage for dairy cattle

Lucerne is also a highly nutritious forage for dairy cattle. It combines good digestibility with high protein. For dairy cattle, the most suitable feed type of lucerne is silage, whereas lucerne hay will be more suitable for feeding young stock or horses. Lucerne provides excellent milk yield despite the fact that lucerne silage has lower energy per kg dry matter compared to grass silage. However, farmers can enhance the feeding qualities of lucerne by cutting it earlier, just before flowering. This results in more energy and protein per kg dry matter.


The table below gives an example of the differences in forage qualities which can result from early cutting compared to late cutting.


Harvest stage Pre bloom Early bloom Mid bloom
Crude Protein %



ADF % 30,2 33,0 38,0
NDF % 40,5 42,0 52,5
Dry matter intake (kg/day) 14,2 13,7 13,3




Sugar (g/kg TM) 20 15 80
Starch (g/kg TM) 0 320 0
NDF (g/kg TM) 400 370 440
NDF-Digestibility % 58% 55% 75%

Crude protein (g/kg TM)

210 80 170
Energy for milk (MJ NEL) 800 950 930

Dig. Protein (DVE)

55 58 75


In a diet lucerne brings protein and fibres (structure). Therefor it’s ideally combined with maize (for starch) and grasses (for sugars and digestible cell walls) as forage components. As an example, average quality of lucerne, maize and grass silage is shown above.

European climate zones

Depending on the climate zones, Barenbrug offers various Lucerne products. Every product has its own features suitable for different conditions.

Lucerne varieties that score exceptionally on nutrition