Staff Publications

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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Grazing for carbon
Pol, A. van den; Chabbi, A. ; Cordovil, C.M.D.S. ; Vliegher, A. de; Die Dean, M. ; Hennessy, D. - \ 2018
In: Sustainable meat and milk production from grasslands Cork : European Grassland Federation EGF (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9781841706436 - p. 682 - 684.
The potential of grasslands as a carbon (C) sink in Europe is large despite the number of uncertainties related to the effect of grazing systems on C sequestration. The EIP-AGRI Focus Group (FG) ‘Grazing for Carbon’, a temporary group of 20 selected European experts from research and practice, shared knowledge and experience from different disciplines on the relationship between grazing and soil C. The FG explored grazing management strategies, drivers and barriers for different grazing systems, as well as tools and business models to support them successfully. The overall aim was to identify how to increase the soil C content in grazing systems. Six priorities were addressed: the effects and trade-offs associated with approaches to sequestering C in different grazing systems, the effect of grazing on C and soil nutrients, the role of plant mixtures and native species, general guidelines for optimal grazing, effective monitoring of soil C as a tool for soil quality evaluation and incentives to promote the adoption of grazing systems to optimise soil C content.
Grazing for Carbon : End report. EIP-AGRI
Pol, A. van den; Chabbi, A. ; Vliegher, A. de; Hennessy, D. ; Hutchings, N. ; Klumpp, Katja - \ 2018
Brussels : EIP-AGRI - 32 p.
National approaches to reduce antimicrobial usage in dairy herds – Lessons learned in five European countries
Borne, Bart van den; Reyher, Kirsten ; Persson, Y. ; Vliegher, S. de; Farre, M. ; Scherpenzeel, C. ; Lam, T. ; Koops, W. ; Hogeveen, H. - \ 2018
- 1 p.
Weed suppression greatly increased by plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands: a continental-scale experiment
Connolly, J. ; Sebastià, M.T. ; Kirwan, L. ; Finn, John A. ; Llurba, Rosa ; Suter, M. ; Collins, Rosemary P. ; Porqueddu, C. ; Helgadóttir, A. ; Baadshaug, Ole H. ; Bélanger, Gilles ; Black, A. ; Brophy, C. ; Čop, Jure ; Dalmannsdóttir, S. ; Delgado, I. ; Elgersma, A. ; Fothergill, M. ; Frankow-Lindberg, Bodil E. ; Ghesquiere, A. ; Golinski, P. ; Grieu, P. ; Gustavsson, A.M. ; Höglind, M. ; Huguenin-Elie, O. ; Jørgensen, M. ; Kadziuliene, Z. ; Lunnan, T. ; Nykanen-Kurki, P. ; Ribas, A. ; Taube, F. ; Thumm, U. ; Vliegher, A. de; Lüscher, A. - \ 2018
Journal of Applied Ecology 55 (2018)2. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 852 - 862.
1.Grassland diversity can support sustainable intensification of grassland production through increased yields, reduced inputs and limited weed invasion. We report the effects of diversity on weed suppression from three years of a 31-site continental-scale field experiment.

2.At each site, fifteen grassland communities comprising four monocultures and 11 4-species mixtures based on a wide range of species’ proportions were sown at two densities and managed by cutting. Forage species were selected according to two crossed functional traits, ‘method-of-nitrogen-acquisition’ and ‘pattern-of-temporal- development’.

3.Across sites, years, and sown densities, annual weed biomass in mixtures and monocultures was 0.5 and 2.0 t DM ha−1 (7% and 33% of total biomass respectively). Over 95% of mixtures had weed biomass lower than the average of monocultures, and, in two thirds of cases, lower than in the most suppressive monoculture (transgressive suppression). Suppression was significantly transgressive for 58% of site-years. Transgressive suppression by mixtures was maintained across years, independent of site productivity.

4.Based on models, average weed biomass in mixture over the whole experiment was 52% less (95% confidence interval 30% to 75%) than in the most suppressive monoculture. Transgressive suppression of weed biomass was significant at each year across all mixtures and for each mixture.

5.Weed biomass was consistently low across all mixtures and years and was in some cases significantly but not largely different from that in the equiproportional mixture. The average variability (standard deviation) of annual weed biomass within a site was much lower for mixtures (0.42) than for monocultures (1.77).

6.Synthesis and applications. Weed invasion can be diminished through a combination of forage species selected for complementarity and persistence traits in systems designed to reduce reliance on fertilizer nitrogen. In this study, effects of diversity on weed suppression were consistently strong across mixtures varying widely in species proportions and over time. The level of weed biomass did not vary greatly across mixtures varying widely in proportions of sown species. These diversity benefits in intensively managed grasslands are relevant for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and, importantly, are achievable through practical farm-scale actions.
Het celgetal en andere mastitisindicatoren
Lam, T. ; Sandman-Berends, I. ; Kamphuis, C. ; Schukken, Y. ; Vliegher, S. de - \ 2017
In: Handboek Uiergezondheid Rund / Lam, Theo, De Vliegher, Sarne, Nijmegen : Communication In Practice - ISBN 9789082232127 - p. 71 - 86.
Grazing in a high-tech world : Proceedings 5th meeting EGF Working Group "Grazing" in Trondheim
Pol-van Dasselaar, A. van den; Vliegher, A. de; Hennessy, D. ; Isselstein, J. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Livestock Research (Wageningen Livestock Research report 1079) - 29
This report presents the main outcomes of the fifth meeting of the EGF Working Group “Grazing” which was held in Trondheim, Norway on 4 September 2016. The aim of the Working Group “Grazing” is to exchange knowledge on all aspects of grazing research and to provide a forum for networking. The theme of the meeting in Trondheim was “Grazing in a high-tech world”
De Droogstand
Knegsel, A.T.M. van; Hoeij, R.J. van; Lam, T.J.G.M. - \ 2017
In: Handboek Uiergezondheid Rund / Lam, Theo, De Vliegher, Sarne, Nijmegen : Communication In Practice - ISBN 9789082232127 - p. 197 - 206.
Sustainable intensification in the production of grass and forage crops in the Low Countries of north-west Europe
Reheul, D. ; Cougnon, M. ; Kayser, M. ; Pannecoucque, J. ; Swanckaert, J. ; Cauwer, B. De; Pol-van Dasselaar, A. van den; Vliegher, A. De - \ 2017
Grass and Forage Science 72 (2017)3. - ISSN 0142-5242 - p. 369 - 381.
Cropping systems - Good agricultural practices - Grassland farming - Ley-arable farming - Mechanization - Progress by plant breeding - Yield gap
Production of grass and fodder crops in areas under intensive production systems in the Low Countries of north-west Europe faces a number of threats related to increased regulations, scarcity of land and restricted freedom of use of the land, and from climate change. Grassland-based farmers are pushed to do more with less, i.e., to improve eco-efficiency, and this requires "more knowledge per ha." This article argues that progress in variety breeding, the application of crop rotation instead of monocultures, a proper use of catch crops, ley-arable farming and overall good management offer realistic opportunities to cope with current threats. A large capacity for mechanization also allows improvement of net yields per ha. This article highlights that progress in plant breeding has compensated for yield declines caused by nutrient-input restrictions in forage maize (Zea mays L.). Both forage maize and grass-clover can take advantages of ley-arable farming, and crop rotation provides an insurance against the effects of low-yielding years and a buffer for reduced nutrient inputs.
Shallow non-inversion tillage in organic farming maintains crop yields and increases soil C stocks : a meta-analysis
Cooper, Julia ; Baranski, Marcin ; Stewart, Gavin ; Nobel-de Lange, Majimcha ; Bàrberi, Paolo ; Fließbach, Andreas ; Peigné, Josephine ; Berner, Alfred ; Brock, Christopher ; Casagrande, Marion ; Crowley, Oliver ; David, Christophe ; Vliegher, Alex De; Döring, Thomas F. ; Dupont, Aurélien ; Entz, Martin ; Grosse, Meike ; Haase, Thorsten ; Halde, Caroline ; Hammerl, Verena ; Huiting, Hilfred ; Leithold, Günter ; Messmer, Monika ; Schloter, Michael ; Sukkel, Wijnand ; Heijden, Marcel G.A. van der; Willekens, Koen ; Wittwer, Raphaël ; Mäder, Paul - \ 2016
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 36 (2016)1. - ISSN 1774-0746
Conservation agriculture - Conservation tillage - Crop yield - Meta-analysis - Minimum tillage - No-till - Organic farming - Reduced tillage - Soil C - Weeds

Reduced tillage is increasingly promoted to improve sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems. Nonetheless, adoption of reduced tillage by organic farmers has been slow due to concerns about nutrient supply, soil structure, and weeds that may limit yields. Here, we compiled the results from both published and unpublished research comparing deep or shallow inversion tillage, with various categories of reduced tillage under organic management. Shallow refers to less than 25 cm. We found that (1) division of reduced tillage practices into different classes with varying degrees of intensity allowed us to assess the trade-offs between reductions in tillage intensity, crop yields, weed incidence, and soil C stocks. (2) Reducing tillage intensity in organic systems reduced crop yields by an average of 7.6 % relative to deep inversion tillage with no significant reduction in yield relative to shallow inversion tillage. (3) Among the different classes of reduced tillage practice, shallow non-inversion tillage resulted in non-significant reductions in yield relative to deep inversion; whereas deep non-inversion tillage resulted in the largest yield reduction, of 11.6 %. (4) Using inversion tillage to only a shallow depth resulted in minimal reductions in yield, of 5.5 %, but significantly higher soil C stocks and better weed control. This finding suggests that this is a good option for organic farmers wanting to improve soil quality while minimizing impacts on yields. (5) Weeds were consistently higher, by about 50 %, when tillage intensity was reduced, although this did not always result in reduced yields.

Quantifying the environmental performance of individual dairy farms - the Annual Nutrient Cycling Assessment (ANCA)
Aarts, H.F.M. ; Haan, M.H.A. de; Schroder, J.J. ; Holster, H.C. ; Boer, J.A. de; Reijs, Joan ; Oenema, J. ; Hilhorst, G.J. ; Sebek, L.B. ; Verhoeven, F.P.M. ; Meerkerk, B. - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 377 - 380.
ANCA, nutrient cycling assessment, dairy farming, sustainability standards
Dairy farming is characterised by extensive fluxes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P): large amounts of these elements cycle via feed, manure, soils and crops. Losses and exports in the form of milk, meat and manure are compensated for by purchased feeds and fertilisers. At this moment, farmers lack accurate insight into the impact of their management on the functioning of these cycles. We therefore developed the model ANCA, based on the results of the pilot farm network ‘Cows & Opportunities’ and the experimental farm ‘De Marke’. The ANCA model quantifies the main performance indicator related to the nutrient cycles. The ANCA model is based on verifiable input data that can be collected with little effort, as the model is to be used by commercial farmers whilst being fraud resistant. The model outcomes help dairy farmers to demonstrate towards authorities and the dairy industry that they have produced their milk in accordance with sustainability standards. From 2015 onwards, ANCA will serve as a licence to produce for any dairy farm in The Netherlands with a manure surplus (about 70% of the number of farms).
Economic impact of grazing dairy cows on farms equipped with an automatic milking system
Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Brocard, V. ; Pol, A. van den - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 469 - 471.
Automatic milking Systems (AMS) have been practised for a number of years in Denmark, France and the Netherlands. During these years, combining automatic milking (AM) and pasture access for feeding has remained problematic. Grazing has, however, many benefits, both for farmers, animals, landscape, biodiversity, and for the overall image of dairy farming. In this study we compared the conomic results of dairy farms with AMS (AMS farms) which practice grazing with those of AMS farms without grazing. The economic impact of grazing dairy cows on AMS farms was analysed using accounting data of commercial dairy farms in Denmark, France and the Netherlands. In the Netherlands grazing was economically beneficial but this effect declined with increasing farm size. In France, income tended to be higher on farms that practised grazing, and in Denmark no economic difference of farmer incomes were found. A complicating factor of the analysis was that the actual feed uptake during grazing was not
recorded in the database in any of the three countries. A key recommendation from this study is that the level of grazing and intake from grazing as a proportion of the total diet is recorded in the future.
Possibilities and constraints for grazing in high output dairy systems
Hennessy, D. ; Delaby, L. ; Pol, A. van den; Shalloo, L. - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 151 - 162.
In temperate and oceanic regions, grazed grass is the lowest cost feed available for milk production. In other regions, grazed grass is less important but can contribute to the diet of livestock. Within high output systems the interaction between the animal and sward is challenging for a host of reasons, including
intake and milk production potential, substitution, grass allowance, quality, etc., which often means that grass utilisation and quality are compromised. Adaptation of grazing management and implementation of a range of grazing strategies can provide possibilities to increase the proportion of grazed grass in the diet of dairy cows in high output systems. As Europe transitions to a non-milk quota situation, increasing scale, or herd size, will probably lead to a trend towards a reduction in grazing, and may lead to a loss of the benefits of grazing. Therefore, strategies are required to increase the level of grazed grass in the diet of dairy cows on high output farms through the integration of grassland measurement and budgeting within everyday grassland management practices. There is a growing body of literature describing the benefits of grazing from an economic, environmental, animal welfare and overall social dimension. However,
there are fewer reviews highlighting the constraints and difficulties to maintaining a high level of grass utilisation and good grazing performance in high output systems. The objective of this review is to present a balanced overview of the possibilities and the constraints for grazing in dairy systems in the future.
Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems
Pol, A. van den; Aarts, H.F.M. ; Vliegher, Alex De; Elgersma, A. ; Reheul, D.D. ; Reijneveld, J.A. ; Verloop, J. ; Hopkins, A. - \ 2015
European Grassland Federation EGF (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - 529 p.
The dairy sector within the EU is currently confronted with many challenges as a consequence of political, economic and societal demands. These include price fluctuations, increasing competition in terms of farm inputs and products in the EU and on world markets, and increasing public demands for food product quality and safety, optimal animal welfare and biodiversity. The end of the milk quota system in 2015 represents an additional major change for the European dairy sector. Many countries are already responding to this change by exploring the possibilities and constraints of scaling up and intensification. The 18th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation therefore focuses on grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. The issue of food security is asking for high output from agricultural systems. A major question is the extent to which societal demands, such as animal welfare and grazing, can be met in intensified production systems. Will further optimization of grassland management enhance profitability and reduce the environmental pressure of farming systems? The symposium focuses on high output at farm level (milk
production per ha). Keynote speakers from a number of different regions have been invited to address their regional high output dairy farming systems in their specific context, the problems encountered within those farming systems and, if possible, the solutions found. Secondly, optimal use of grassland and
fodder crops in high output systems is discussed. Finally, sustainable intensification in profitable animal production systems is examined focusing on high output and high (eco)efficiency at the farm level.
Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems in Flanders and the Netherlands
Pol, A. van den; Aarts, H. ; Caesteker, E. De; Vliegher, A. de; Elgersma, A. ; Reheul, D. ; Reijneveld, J.A. ; Vaes, R. - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - European Grassland Federation EGF (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 3 - 11.
The dairy sector in the EU faces many challenges as a consequence of political, economic and societal developments. Many countries are responding to these changes by exploring the possibilities and constraints of scaling up and intensification. This also holds for Flanders and the Netherlands, where
dairy farming systems are already intensive. This paper describes high output dairy farming systems in the Netherlands and Flanders and discusses their problems, solutions and perspectives associated with grassland and forages. The dairy farming systems are generally characterised by high fluxes of nitrogen
and phosphorus through the systems. Research has led to a strong decrease in mineral losses to the environment in practice. The decrease in grazing is another concern of high output systems. Many activities have been initiated with the aim of stabilisation of the number of dairy cows grazing. Further scaling up of farms and intensification is thought to be possible in the Netherlands and Flanders because of high soil fertility, favourable weather conditions, a good infrastructure and well-educated farmers.
Sward quality and yields of grassland in a dairy farm with reduced fertilizer N rates
Verloop, J. ; Oenema, J. ; Geerts, R.H.E.M. - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 337 - 339.
The objective of this study was to explore under farming conditions the effect of reduced fertilizer N application rates on the dynamics of botanical composition and yields of grass-clover-swards. In both temporary and permanent grassland the percentage of highly productive grasses (good grasses) declined at a constant rate of 3.0 to 6.3% points y‑1 during the aging of the sward. Good grasses were replaced by less-productive grasses and herbs. The percentage of clover did not show a significant trend. Reduced N fertilization did not significantly change these dynamics. The percentage of white clover and, in some cases, high-yielding grasses in the sward, enhanced the yields of nitrogen and herbage dry matter, while the percentage of herbs reduced yields.
Reduced tillage for silage maize on sand and clay soils: effect on yield and soil organic matter
Deru, J.G.C. ; Schooten, H.A. van; Huiting, H.F. ; Weide, R.Y. van der - \ 2015
In: Grassland and forages in high output dairy farming systems. - European Grassland Federation EGF (Grassland Science in Europe ) - ISBN 9789090289618 - p. 398 - 400.
Maize (Zea mays) cultivation for silage has negative impacts on soil and water quality: reduced soil organic matter, nitrate leaching, soil-biota decline, etc. These problems can be caused partly by intensive soil tillage, like ploughing. The suitability of less-intensive tillage alternatives for farmers, in terms of
effects on yield and soil quality, is unknown. On three field experiments, two on sandy soils and one on marine clay soil, we compared ‘full-field inversion tillage’ with two reduced tillage systems: ‘full-field non-inversion tillage’ and ‘strip-cutter’. Reducing tillage intensity in silage maize cropping influenced both yields and soil quality: at two locations yields tended to be reduced, and at two locations soil organic matter content was lower in inversion tillage compared to reduced tillage. The possible implications of reduced soil organic matter mineralisation for nitrogen dynamics are discussed
The future of grazing : Proceedings, Third Meeting of the EGF Working Group "Grazing"
Pol, A. van den; Vliegher, A. de; Hennessy, D. ; Isselstein, J. ; Peyraud, J.L. - \ 2015
Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Livestock Research report 906) - 38 p.
grazing - future - forage - grasslands - europe - begrazing - toekomst - ruwvoer (forage) - graslanden - europa
This report presents the main results of the third meeting of the EGF Working Group “Grazing”, held in Aberystwyth, UK on 7 September 2014. The aim of the Working Group “Grazing” is to exchange knowledge on all aspects of grazing research and to provide a forum for networking.
The theme of the meeting in Aberystwyth was “The Future of Grazing”. There were five sessions:
• Welcome session / introduction
• Several forward looking views on the future of grazing in Europe
• Developments in forage production
• Current and future economics of grazing
• Closing session
The participants concluded that there certainly is a future for grazing! However, threats to grazing were also identified which need to be addressed. The EGF Working Group “Grazing” is a valuable platform for addressing these issues and exchanging knowledge on corresponding solutions
Regional animal feed centra as an intermediary between fodder farming and milk production
Galama, P. ; Walsum, P.E.V. van; Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D. ; Cormont, A. ; Roelsma, J. - \ 2015
In: Proceedings of the 18th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. - - p. 413 - 415.
Economic and environmental viability of regionally growing feed concentrate replacers
Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D. ; Cormont, A. ; Roelsma, J. ; Galama, P. ; Walsum, P.E.V. van - \ 2015
In: Proceedings of the 18th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. - - p. 428 - 430.
Roles and utility of grasslands in Europe
Vliegher, A. de; Gils, B. ; Pol - Van Dasselaar, A. Van Den - \ 2014
In: Proceedings of the 25th EGF General Meeting on “EGF at 50: The Future of European Grasslands. - Zurich, Switzerland : European Grassland Federation EGF - p. 753 - 755.
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