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

Objective

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.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Address
Gogerddan
SY23 3EB Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

FEDERAL RESEARCH CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURE
Germany
Address
Bundesallee 50
38116 Braunschweig
TEAGASC - AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Ireland
Address
19,Grange, Dunsany 19
93 County Meath
THE NORWEGIAN CROP RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Norway
Address

7500 Stjoerdal
THE SWEDISH UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
Sweden
Address
Undervisningsplan 6D
750 07 Uppsala