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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 402666
Title Producing milk from grazing to reconcile economic and environmental performances
Author(s) Peyraud, J.L.; Pol, A. van den; Dillon, P.; Delaby, L.
Source In: 23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Kiel, Germany, 29 august - 02 September, 2010. - Zürich, Switzerland : European Grassland Federation EGF - ISBN 9783869440200 - p. 163 - 164.
Event Zürich, Switzerland : European Grassland Federation EGF - ISBN 9783869440200 23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 2010-08-29/2010-09-02
Department(s) LR - Backoffice
LR - Environment
Publication type Contribution in proceedings
Publication year 2010
Abstract Several reports, directives, regulations and initiatives challenge high-input dairy systems at the environmental level. At the same time the dairy sector has to adapt to a greater volatility of prices and to the projected increase in energy and fertiliser prices. In this new context, it should be considered whether the model of development based on intensification, often in connection with the reduction in the use of grazing, is always well adapted. Dairy systems that maximise grass utilisation appear to be highly competitive and the various roles of grassland in providing regulating and supporting services are now widely recognized. Thus grassland should form the basis of more sustainable dairy systems in the future, provided technical innovations are produced to improve the efficiency of grassland-based dairy systems. Innovations in forage production, innovations in characteristics of the cows and management of lactations, as well as innovations in the management of the system have potential for increasing economic and environmental performances of grassland-based systems. The more systematic use of legume forages in multi-species swards makes it possible to reduce the consumption of mineral N, to reduce the carbon footprint of the dairy system, to regularize the forage production over the year and to increase the nutritional quality of the forages. It clearly appears that intensive selection for milk based on high concentrate diets has generally resulted in genotypes that are not well suited for systems maximising forage utilisation. In these systems there needs to be a special focus to address fertility, survival and other functional traits such as mastitis resistance, although high genetic merit for milk should be maintained to produce efficient responses to concentrate supply. Finally, extending the grazing season with early turnout or late grazing, and tactical use of grazing in association with conserved forages in large herds, offers many opportunities to reduce the requirement of expensive conserved forage and to reduce the utilisation of purchased feeds. All these potential sources of progress are discussed.
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