In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Nederlandse Vereniging voor Weide- en Voederbouw - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 443 - 445.
Wageningen : Nederlandse Vereniging voor Weide- en Voederbouw - ISBN 9789090289618 18th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems, 2015-06-15/2015-06-17
During the past decade trials have shown the value of species-rich grasslands for farmland biodiversity. On four highly productive dairy farms, where farming was combined with management of species-rich grasslands and habitat creation for meadow birds, we analysed the value of these species-diverse swards with respect to grass production and quality, farm management and biodiversity. Compared with grass, herbs and legumes generally contained higher levels of minerals and their herbage offered more structure in the cattle diet. Speeding up the creation of species-diverse swards is possible by reseeding with speciesrich mixtures. On these farms a species richness of 17-30 species per 100 m-2 was obtained. Previous research showed that replacement of 25-30% Lolium perenne silage by silage from comparable speciesrich swards is possible without a decline in milk production. When highly productive dairy farms create species-diverse swards on part of their acreage, it will be possible to produce healthy forage while also providing a good habitat for meadow birds.
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