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Managing grassland systems to optimise livestock production

Code: 9781838796976
J. L. Peyraud, L. Delaby and R. Delagarde, INRA-Agrocampus Ouest, France

Chapter synopsis: High prices of milk have encouraged intensive dairying systems using high inputs of chemical fertilisers, indoor feeding with high amounts of concentrate and imported protein at the expense of grazing. Consequently grassland acreage decreased considerably over the last 30 years, and the European dairy systems have become highly dependent on imported fossil energy and proteins. However, the various roles of grassland in providing regulating and supporting services are now widely recognised and grazing ruminants are highly appreciated by the public. This chapter reviews existing knowledge and tools for developing productive, efficient and environmentally friendly dairying systems based on grazing and grassland utilisation. The chapter will consider successively the expected characteristics for the right animal for grassland based systems, the grazing management practises, the supplementation, the more systematic use of legumes in multi species swards and the development of DSS which help farmers to design more efficient grazing management and to find the optimum between the twin objective of high performance by the herd and high rate of herbage utilisation. The chapter concludes by examining the considerable scope for improving animal and grassland performances within grassland-based systems.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0024.17
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Appropriate cows for successful temperate-grassland-based systems 3 Appropriate grazing management for successful temperate-grassland-based systems 4 Appropriate forage production for successful temperate-grassland-based systems 5 Decision support systems (DSSs) to develop efficient grassland-based dairy systems 6 Future trends 7 Where to look for further information 8 References

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