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Merko Vaga

Merko Vaga


I am a Researcher at the Department of Applied Animal Science and Welfare. My work has mainly focused on improving feed and protein utilisation in ruminant production. My experimental work has involved using isotope techniques in in vitro metabolic studies and small-scale forage and silage trials with red clover and tropical forages. I have also researched house cricket production based on forages, and have lead project analysing large datasets for finding genotypic and phenotypic factors affecting twinning rate in dairy cattle and effect of twinning on cattle performance. 

Selected publications

Cholleti, H., Vaga, M., Jansson, A., Blomström, A. L. and Berg, M. (2022). House crickets (Othroptera: Gryllidae: Acheta domesticus) reared in small-scale laboratory conditions harbour limited viral flora. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. 8(10), 1149-1155. Doi:

Fernandez-Cassi, X., Söderqvist, K., Bakeeva, A., Vaga, M., Dicksved, J., Vägsholm, I., Jansson, A. and Boqvist, S. (2020). Microbial communities and food safety aspects of crickets (Acheta domesticus) reared under controlled conditions. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. 6(4), 429-440. Doi: 

Vaga, M., Berggren, Å., Pauly, T. and Jansson, A. (2020). Effect of harvesting time and conservation strategy of red clover on growth performance of house crickets (Acheta domesticus). Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. 6(2), 179-189. Doi: 

Fernandez-Cassi, X., Supeanu, A., Vaga, M., Jansson, A., Boqvist S. and Vagsholm, I. (2019). The house cricket (Acheta domesticus) as a novel food: a risk profile. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 5, 137-157. Doi: 

Vaga, M. and Huhtanen, P. (2018). In vitro investigation of the ruminal digestion kinetics of different nitrogen fractions of 15N-labelled timothy forage. PLoS ONE, 13(9), e0203385. Doi:

Krizsan, S. J., Mateos-Rivera, A., Bertilsson, S., Felton, A. M., Anttila, A., Ramin, M., Vaga, M., Gidlund, H. and Huhtanen P. (2018). An in vitro evaluation of browser and grazer fermentation efficiency and microbiota using European moose spring and summer foods. Ecology and Evolution, 8, 4183–4196. Doi: 

Gidlund, H., Vaga, M., Ahvenjärvi, S., Rinne, M., Ramin, M. and Huhtanen, P. (2018). Predicting omasal flow of nonammonia N and milk protein yield from in vitro-determined utilizable crude protein at the duodenum. Journal of Dairy Science, 101, 1164-1176. Doi: 

Ahvenjärvi, S., Vaga, M., Vanhatalo, A. and Huhtanen, P. (2018). Ruminal metabolism of grass silage soluble N fractions. Journal of Dairy Science, 101, 279-294. Doi: 

Vaga, M., Hetta, M. and Huhtanen, P. (2017). Effects of heat treatment on protein feeds evaluated in vitro by the method of estimating utilisable crude protein at the duodenum. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr. 101, 1259-1272. Doi: 

Bakken, A. K., Vaga, M., Hetta, M., Randby, Å. T. and Steinshamn, H. (2016). Protein characteristics in grass–clover silages according to wilting rate and fermentation pattern. Grass Forage Sci. 72, 626–639. Doi: 



Researcher at the Department of Applied Animal Science and Welfare; Forage utilisation
Telephone: +46725575939
Postal address:
SLU Institutionen för tillämpad djurvälfärd och välfärd
901 83 Umeå
Visiting address: Skogsmarksgränd, våning 5, Uppsala