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Ensiling and grazing of energy-rich grasses with elevated sugar contents for the sustainable production of ruminant livestock


The project aims to provide a sound scientific basis for using novel grasses, bred for high sugar content using conventional breeding methods, in grassland-based agriculture. At certain times of the year, these grasses contain up to 400 g sugar-1. We propose to use these grasses, both grazed and ensiled, on their own, and in combination with protein-rich legumes, to improve the efficiency of ruminant production in sustainable livestock systems. The regional focus in northern Europe's the less favoured rural, upland and alpine districts where high-energy forages such as forage maize cannot be grown. Preliminary work has shown that throughout the year, grasses bred for elevated sugar content contain more sugar than the conventional varieties currently used in ruminant agriculture and that when fed, significant production responses and environmental benefits are achievable.

Call for proposal

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Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
SY23 3EB Aberystwyth, ceredigion
United Kingdom

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EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (4)