Some grazing systems used in Europe are of grass swards heavily fertilised with nitrogen. The purpose of this project is to investigate legume-based swards as an alternative. Integrated investigations will take place in four countries and the consortium's five partners have complementary skills and facilities in the areas of agronomy, animal production, soil nutrient dynamics, socio-economics, covering a range of contrasting environments. The results will be widely disseminated to the farming community encouraging the rapid uptake of the technology.
The overall objective is to provide a sound scientific basis for the use of legume-based swards in low-input, environmentally sustainable grazing systems.
This will be achieved by:
1) compiling a European database of research on legume-based grazing systems including studies on agronomy, animal performance, environmental impact and economic sustainability
2) comparing agronomic, animal performance and environmental impact responses of grass/legume swards under a range of environmental conditions
3) evaluating novel legume species for use in grazing systems
4) quantifying nutrient losses to the environment from legume-based systems
5) evaluating the socio-economic impact of legume based grazing systems in the European Union.
Progress to Date
The results already achieved by the end of the first reporting period are listed below:
1. The project website (www.univ-perp.fr/leggraze) became publicly available.
2. A web-resident database of publications on legume-based grazing systems was placed in the public domain.
3. A review paper covering the agronomy, animal performance, nutrient losses through soil profile and economics of grazed legumes was prepared and submitted for publication.
4. Experimental plots were established at both the northern and Mediterranean sites.
5. Staff training has been completed at all sites with standardisation of field and laboratory methodologies.
6. First year field experimentation has been completed at the northern experimental sites (Germany and United Kingdom).
GRASSLAND, ARABLE CROPS, SOIL
Scientist responsible for the project
Dr GIOVANNI MOLLE
Str.Sassari-Fertilia km 18.6
Italy - IT
Phone: +39 079 387233
Fax: +39 079 389450
||ISTITUTO ZOOTECNICO E CASEARIO PER LA SARDEGNA
||01 November 2001
||1 729 904 €
|Total EC contribution
||1 193 504 €
|Web address of the project