Inspirational ideas: Amazing Grazing- going back to the roots
Animal husbandry and welfare
People typically associate milk with green meadows scattered with Friesian cows peacefully grazing. However, current trends of dairy production intensification often mean that cows are stabled and fed on imported fodder. Intensive production may simplify farm management and increase productivity, but it raises dependency on foreign markets, increases the transport involved in producing milk and causes the loss of meadow landscapes.
Amazing Grazing is a project which aims to reverse this cattle housing trend in the dairy sector. It has been set up by Wageningen University in cooperation with Courage- an organisation which funds agriculture innovation projects in the Netherlands. The project brings together international experts and a group of farmers to develop and share knowledge on how grazing can increase grass production, improve animal welfare and performance, reduce environmental impact and lead to better economic results. To achieve these objectives, the project is trying to answer several questions:
Graze to cash - How to increase pasture yield with direct grazing?
Grass dinner - How to increase the quantity that cows eat?
Plants to graze - Which are the best plants to graze?
Relaxing grazing - How to reduce working hours of farmers in direct grazing systems?
Weatherproof - How to reduce the effect of weather conditions in direct grazing?