What to expect: The recent intensification in European dairy production has raised
environmental and sustainability questions around the current housed systems. Pasture is considered to be the cheapest forage, however, its role in continental milk production is declining rapidly. The “Eco-efficient pasture-based milk production” project at Kiel University’s research farm Lindhof in Northern Germany looked at reintroducing grazing. This project looked at a pasture-based milk production system for 80 spring-calving Jerseys as an alternative to the traditional Holstein Friesian herd managed in a housed system. The results demonstrated that a rotational grazing system based on spring calving herd can sustainably produce milk in Germany.
Join Ralf for this webinar which focuses on how they applied the Irish rotational grazing system which is based on spring-calving and strip-grazing to an organic mixed farm in Northern Germany. Ralf will discuss the difficulties they faced due to the shorter vegetation period in comparison to Ireland and how they overcome these challenges. He will explain why ruminant based crop-livestock farming is a potent strategy to enhance sustainability compared to specialised systems.
Speaker Bio: Ralf Loges is a senior scientist at the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences of Kiel University, in the Department Grass and Forage Science and Organic Agriculture. Ralf has 20 years of research experience in the field of forage production and organic agriculture. His interest includes low-cost grazing production systems, the nitrogen cycle especially in the estimation of Nitrogen gas-fixation by legumes, Nitrogen-leaching and Nitrous oxide emissions. Ralf also focuses on the evaluation of organic cropping systems in respect to yield, product quality, sustainability, economic and environmental effects. Previously in his career, Ralf spent two years working in practical agriculture through the German vocational training programme which gave him the opportunity to work on Danish and English dairy farms.
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