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Multiannual Clover Grass Fields for Pasture

Multiannual Clover Grass

Fields for Pasture

A one-year research project, 80 percent financed by the Fund for Organic Farming (Fonden for Økologisk Landbrug) in 2013 (extended to 2014)


Objective

The project included an analysis of 10 multiannual clover grass fields used for pasture of dairy cows on mineral soil at organic dairy farms. The analysis which included parameters regarding biology, production and labour, should form the basis of a sustainability analysis in which the economical, environmental (climate, nutrients, landscape) and social aspects, such as working hours and the need for consultancy, will be quantified.

The analysis will be presented in a report which can be used for advisory services, education and documentation. The one-year analysis was based on existing fields, which have been established and managed differently and compared to fields at the same location which were newer; thus, it will be suitable to shed light on the diversity and the possibilities. 

By the end of the project period, a few new clover grass fields will be established for multiannual pasture. The establishment will be made in collaboration with practising organic farms and the DLF (DLF Trifolium, Seeds and Science).  For the next many years, the fields will be supervised by the seed company and the advisers - and be a multiannual basis for inspiration and experience.


Partial objectives

  • To identify knowledge gabs and problems, both agronomic and in the management, using registration on multiannual clover grass fields (older than four years) for pasture.
  • To report and communicate the results and the perspectives/consequences by the use of multiannual clover grass fields for pasture and thereby identify the lacks of knowledge revealing  renewed research needs. 
  • To establish multiannual clover grass fields on the basis of the collected experiences. The selection will take place in collaboration with seed companies, consultancy companies and farmers. The fields will lead to a demonstration and evaluation of the opportunities of maintaining the fields for many years with well-chosen sorts/species, good establishment, maintenance and general care during the process.

Project content

  1. Analysis of multiannual clover grass fields on mineral soil on organic dairy farms
  2. Reporting of the analysis and reflection according to state of the art knowledge and research from both Denmark and foreign countries with respect to yield, climate impact and management
  3. Establishment of new multiannual clover grass fields in interaction with companies/consultants/experts and farmers.


Effects

The effects of the project will comprise  improved knowledge of facts and opportunities of potentials for multiannual clover grass fields for pasture and thereby the contribution of productive multiannual clover grass fields for pasture, in the Danish milk production. This will give a renewed focus on opportunities and provide specific measures to establishment, maintenance and management of clover grass fields that can last for periods above four years in the  future.


Results

The results of the registrations and the report with the analysis and recommendations will be made available on this website.

Responsible
Frank Oudshoorn, Department of Engineering (ENG) at Aarhus University is project manager. Orla Nielsen, Department of Agroecology, Erik Fløjgaard Kristensen (ENG) and Henrik Mortensen (ENG) will also work on the project.