Theme 3: Livestock--Oral Sessions

Description

In those days, livestock production heavily depends on feed grown on arable land. Pork production needs most of arable land to gain one kilogram of human-edible protein, followed by chicken, beef production and the dairy sector. In many European countries there is a sharp decline in livestock grazing. Many dairy farms are under pressure to maximize the total annual milk output per cow resulting in increased herd sizes by occupying a minimum of land and feeding of conserved forage of silage and concentrates. Such practices reinforce the competition for arable land for animal feeding as well as grassland intensification by heavily fertilization and frequent cutting to feed the non-grazing cows. This intensification results in unfavourable changes in species composition, loss of biodiversity and important ecosystem services. Moreover, development and widespread adoption of precision farming technologies for grazing systems has been stagnated for many years. The shift towards well-balanced, sustainable grazing systems, that produces more and impacts less, is not easily feasible. Indeed, achieving such grazing systems implies several scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges. These challenges need to be solved in a holistic way in order to facilitate systems integration and transformation into practise. Moreover, the transition requires disruptive innovations for improved pasture utilization by precisely timed grazing pressure for optimizing plant recovery, reducing emissions and maintaining or even recreating structural, biological and functional richness.Thus, an integrated framework combing innovative technologies and concepts is required. The inter-disciplinary project GreenGrass focuses on the development of innovative grazing systems by using novel technologies such as virtual fences and remote sensing in order to bring cows back to pasture and to use the grasslands potential in an efficient and sustainable manner.

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Where Is the Livestock Future – Plate- or Land-Based? The Potential of Knowledge-Based, Holistic Grazing Concepts for Altering Grazing Livestock Systems

In those days, livestock production heavily depends on feed grown on arable land. Pork production needs most of arable land to gain one kilogram of human-edible protein, followed by chicken, beef production and the dairy sector. In many European countries there is a sharp decline in livestock grazing. Many dairy farms are under pressure to maximize the total annual milk output per cow resulting in increased herd sizes by occupying a minimum of land and feeding of conserved forage of silage and concentrates. Such practices reinforce the competition for arable land for animal feeding as well as grassland intensification by heavily fertilization and frequent cutting to feed the non-grazing cows. This intensification results in unfavourable changes in species composition, loss of biodiversity and important ecosystem services. Moreover, development and widespread adoption of precision farming technologies for grazing systems has been stagnated for many years. The shift towards well-balanced, sustainable grazing systems, that produces more and impacts less, is not easily feasible. Indeed, achieving such grazing systems implies several scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges. These challenges need to be solved in a holistic way in order to facilitate systems integration and transformation into practise. Moreover, the transition requires disruptive innovations for improved pasture utilization by precisely timed grazing pressure for optimizing plant recovery, reducing emissions and maintaining or even recreating structural, biological and functional richness.Thus, an integrated framework combing innovative technologies and concepts is required. The inter-disciplinary project GreenGrass focuses on the development of innovative grazing systems by using novel technologies such as virtual fences and remote sensing in order to bring cows back to pasture and to use the grasslands potential in an efficient and sustainable manner.