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Grassland Productivity And Water Quality: A 21st Century Issue, David M. Nash, P. M. Haygarth 2023 Department of Primary Industries, Australia

Grassland Productivity And Water Quality: A 21st Century Issue, David M. Nash, P. M. Haygarth

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Irrigation and other changes to the hydrological cycle can increase soil and water salinity.
  2. Primary salinisation is a natural process that affects much of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia. Secondary salinisation is caused by human activities such as irrigation and land clearing that mobilise salt stored in the soil.
  3. The critical water contaminants exported from grasslands are nitrogen, phosphorus, potential pathogens and sediment.
  4. The mechanisms responsible for diffuse pollution from grasslands and mitigation strategies are most effectively investigated using a ‘source-mobilisation-transport’ framework.
  5. There is a lack of coherent interaction across discipline boundaries that links pollutant sources to impact. …


Water Resources, Agriculture And Pasture: Implications Of Growing Demand And Increasing Scarcity, M. W. Rosegrant, R. A. Valmonte-Santos, S. A. Cline, C. Ringler, W. Li 2023 International Food Policy Research Institute

Water Resources, Agriculture And Pasture: Implications Of Growing Demand And Increasing Scarcity, M. W. Rosegrant, R. A. Valmonte-Santos, S. A. Cline, C. Ringler, W. Li

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Water availability for irrigation is threatened in many regions by rapidly increasing demand for nonagricultural water uses in industry, households, and the environment. The scarcity of irrigation water will not only impact crop production, but also meat production, as much of the pasture used to feed livestock is irrigated.
  2. Grassland is caught between two countervailing forces: a requirement for increasing meat demand that boosts the need for additional pasture to support livestock production, and rapidly increasing water scarcity that makes pasture irrigation uneconomical.
  3. The most effective means of dealing with water scarcity is likely to be conserving water in existing …


Soil Quality Assessment And Management, M. G. Kibblewhite 2023 Cranfield University, UK

Soil Quality Assessment And Management, M. G. Kibblewhite

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Soil quality is related to the capacity of soil to deliver ecosystem services on a sustainable basis.
  2. Effective management of soil within grasslands can deliver many benefits to mankind but poor management may cause loss of soil quality from erosion, loss of organic matter, physical deterioration etc.
  3. Services are delivered from soil by biological processes. Soil quality depends on the form and condition of the soil habitat. Fixed factors (e.g. texture) are useful for assigning soil to types. Variable factors (e.g. organic carbon) can then be used to assess quality within soil types, by reference to percentiles of the distribution …


Soil Microbial Community: Understanding The Belowground Network For Sustainable Grassland Management, Y. G. Zhu, W. D. Kong, B. D. Chen, Z. B. Nan, P. Christie 2023 Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Soil Microbial Community: Understanding The Belowground Network For Sustainable Grassland Management, Y. G. Zhu, W. D. Kong, B. D. Chen, Z. B. Nan, P. Christie

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. In addition to the use of conventional methodologies in soil microbial research, molecular techniques are now being applied to gain insights into the soil microbial community;
  2. Plant diversity can exert impacts on soil microbial diversity (through root activities and plant litter etc.), but may in itself be significantly altered by soil properties;
  3. Soil microbial diversity largely determines the stability of soil ecosystems under biotic and abiotic perturbations.
  4. Management of soil microbial diversity can only be achieved through better understanding their structures and functions.


Grasslands1 For Production And The Environment, David R. Kemp, David L. Michalk 2023 University of Sydney, Australia

Grasslands1 For Production And The Environment, David R. Kemp, David L. Michalk

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. To manage grasslands for production and enhanced environmental values requires a redefinition of the frameworks within which management decisions are made, and a tailoring of practices to suit the ways that farmers operate.
  2. Improving the perenniality and permanence of grasslands usually leads to better environmental and production outcomes.
  3. There is a case for a more conservative approach to utilising grasslands in order to sustain the functioning of local ecosystems and to improve water quality, nutrient and energy cycling and biodiversity.
  4. A landscape rather than paddock focus is more appropriate for meeting current grassland management objectives. Grasslands can be triaged to …


The Potential Of Grassland And Associated Forages To Produce Fibre, Biomass, Energy Or Other Feedstocks For Non-Food And Other Sectors: New Uses For A Global Resource, M. F. Askew 2023 Central Science Laboratory, UK

The Potential Of Grassland And Associated Forages To Produce Fibre, Biomass, Energy Or Other Feedstocks For Non-Food And Other Sectors: New Uses For A Global Resource, M. F. Askew

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. In developed countries increased areas of land will become available for non-food production. Recent reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy will further intensify this trend in Europe.
  2. There is potential for grassland and associated species to contribute to large tonnage markets of energy and bulk fibres, to the supply of fermentation products and to speciality markets, but processes and approaches to the market are not as yet developed.
  3. There is potential for the establishment of Graminaceous species - specifically for non- food use. For European conditions particular attention is being given to Miscanthus sinensis (Miscanthus), Arundo donax (Giant Reed), Phalaris …


Grasses As Biofactories: Scoping Out The Opportunities, Nick Roberts, K. Richardson, G. Bryan, Christine R. Voisey, W. McNabb, T. Conner, M. Christey, R. Johnson 2023 AgResearch, New Zealand

Grasses As Biofactories: Scoping Out The Opportunities, Nick Roberts, K. Richardson, G. Bryan, Christine R. Voisey, W. Mcnabb, T. Conner, M. Christey, R. Johnson

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Plant biopharming is set to dominate commercial recombinant protein expression for specific proteins.
  2. The choice of plant species depends on a multitude of factors and is determined on a case- by-case basis.
  3. As a leaf based expression system grasses would have to compete predominantly with tobacco and alfalfa.
  4. The grass-endophyte symbiosis offers a number of unique possibilities for biopharming.


Adoption Of Tropical Legume Technology Around The World: Analysis Of Success, H. M. Shelton, Steven Franzel, M. Peters 2023 The University of Queensland, Australia

Adoption Of Tropical Legume Technology Around The World: Analysis Of Success, H. M. Shelton, Steven Franzel, M. Peters

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Examples of successful adoption of forage legumes are reported from all continents, where they delivered profitability and often provided multipurpose benefits to farmers.
  2. Factors vital to successful adoption were: meeting the needs of farmers; building relevant partnerships; understanding the socio-economic context and skills of farmers; participatory involvement with rural communities; and long-term involvement of champions.
  3. Organisation of seed supply, achieving scale-up and forming partnerships to implement adoption are key features.
  4. Legumes remain an important but under-exploited resource for tropical farming systems. The alternative to legumes will be greater and more costly use of N-fertilisers and purchased protein concentrates.
  5. The R&D …


Evolution Of Integrated Crop-Livestock Production Systems, Martin H. Entz, William D. Bellotti, J. M. Powell, S. V. Angadi, W. Chen, K. H. Ominski, B. Boelt 2023 University of Manitoba, Canada

Evolution Of Integrated Crop-Livestock Production Systems, Martin H. Entz, William D. Bellotti, J. M. Powell, S. V. Angadi, W. Chen, K. H. Ominski, B. Boelt

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Many factors contribute to changes in the crop-livestock systems, but no logical end-point in the evolution process exists.
  2. While benefits of integrated crop-livestock systems over specialised crop and livestock systems are well documented, there has been a move to specialised crop and livestock production.
  3. Sustainability issues (manure nutrient concentration, soil quality maintenance, salinity, herbicide resistance, economic instability) have created a renewed interest in integrated crop-livestock systems.
  4. Farmer adaptability is as an important link in the evolution between ‘states of integration’.


Overcoming Seasonality Of Production: Opportunities Offered By Forage Conservation Technologies, P. O'Kiely, A. G. Kaiser 2023 Teagasc, Ireland

Overcoming Seasonality Of Production: Opportunities Offered By Forage Conservation Technologies, P. O'Kiely, A. G. Kaiser

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Seasonality of forage supply is a key contributor to the seasonality of meat and milk production.
  2. Conserving forages as silage or hay can help reduce the seasonality of feed supply.
  3. Forage conservation technologies make this contribution mainly through increases in the yield or quality of suitable crops, through an improved efficiency of the conservation process or by allowing a reduction in costs.
  4. Future research needs differ considerably among regions of the world.


Strategies To Mitigate Seasonality Of Production In Grassland-Based Systems, Claudio Porqueddu, S. Maltoni, J. G. McIvor 2023 CNR-ISPAAM, Italy

Strategies To Mitigate Seasonality Of Production In Grassland-Based Systems, Claudio Porqueddu, S. Maltoni, J. G. Mcivor

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Fertilisation use and manipulation can cost-effectively alter species composition, increase seasonal herbage production and improve herbage quality.
  2. Choice of suitable grassland species, varieties and mixtures offers opportunity to mitigate limitations of seasonal grassland production.
  3. Special purpose fodder crops, cereals, shrubs and trees offer alternative or supplementary feed sources.
  4. Manipulation of stocking rates, grazing systems, transhumance and pasture management at various times of the season are significant advantageous options.
  5. Integration of different strategies is essential to mitigate seasonality in systems of animal production that must be inherently more sustainable over a longer time frame.


Interactions Between Foraging Behaviour Of Herbivores And Grassland Resources In The Eastern Eurasian Steppes, Deli Wang, Guodong Han, Yuguang Bai 2023 Northeast Normal University, China

Interactions Between Foraging Behaviour Of Herbivores And Grassland Resources In The Eastern Eurasian Steppes, Deli Wang, Guodong Han, Yuguang Bai

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. In rangeland areas such as the eastern Eurasian steppes (Mongolia and China), foraging behaviour is influenced by plant or vegetation properties with high heterogeneity.
  2. Until recently foraging theory has not accounted for the foraging process or ingestive behaviour. Existing theories on foraging behaviour need to evolve and begin to coalesce, and combine with observations or manipulative experiments.
  3. Plant and patch properties such as diversity and height influence animal foraging behaviour (related to foraging process or diet selection) in heterogeneous steppes.
  4. Stocking rate is the most important management factor for grazing or vegetation management, and determining the optimal stocking rate in …


Foraging Behaviour And Herbage Intake In The Favourable Tropics/Sub-Tropics, S. C. Da Silva, Paulo C. de F. Carvalho 2023 Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Foraging Behaviour And Herbage Intake In The Favourable Tropics/Sub-Tropics, S. C. Da Silva, Paulo C. De F. Carvalho

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Herbage intake by animals grazing tropical/sub-tropical pastures is directly related to bite mass, as it is for those grazing temperate pastures.
  2. Where these swards have low proportions of stem and dead material (controlled swards), herbage intake follows a similar pattern to that of temperate pasture species, but leaf characteristics, such as lamina length play an important role and influence the short-term rate of intake.
  3. Sward structural characteristics and behavioural factors are relatively more important than nutritional factors in terms of herbage intake regulation. The feeding value of the herbage produced is potentially adequate to sustain high levels of beef cattle …


Improving The Quality Of Products From Grassland, Nigel D. Scollan, R. J. Dewhurst, A. P. Moloney, J. J. Murphy 2023 Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, UK

Improving The Quality Of Products From Grassland, Nigel D. Scollan, R. J. Dewhurst, A. P. Moloney, J. J. Murphy

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Consumers are increasingly aware of the links between diet and health, and place increasing emphasis on nutritional quality as a component of product quality.
  2. Meat and milk products are rich sources of nutrients such as omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, which offer health benefits to consumers.
  3. Green plants are the primary source of n-3 fatty acids in the food chain.
  4. Grassland production systems have the potential to enhance the content of beneficial fatty acids, improve stability (from higher antioxidant content) and alter sensory attributes of meat and milk.
  5. Grassland offers considerable scope to help …


Grass And Forage Improvement: Temperate Forages, Chris J. Pollock, M. T. Abberton, M. O. Humphreys 2023 Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, UK

Grass And Forage Improvement: Temperate Forages, Chris J. Pollock, M. T. Abberton, M. O. Humphreys

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Plant breeding has contributed significantly to the development of effective grassland production systems.
  2. New technologies offer enhanced precision in breeding and access to wider genetic variation.
  3. The requirement for more sustainable production systems will require genetic improvements in complex traits where the use of new technology will be vital.


Rising Demand For Meat And Milk In Developing Countries: Implications For Grasslands-Based Livestock Production2, C. L. Delgado 2023 International Food Policy Research Institute

Rising Demand For Meat And Milk In Developing Countries: Implications For Grasslands-Based Livestock Production2, C. L. Delgado

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Meat and milk consumption in developing countries has grown three times as fast as in developed countries over the past 30 years.
  2. By 2020, developing countries will consume 72 million metric tons (mmt) more meat and 152 mmt more milk compared to 2002/3, dwarfing developed-country increases of 9 mmt for meat and 18 mmt for milk.
  3. Ruminant livestock will account for 27% of the increase in global meat consumption between 2003 and 2020, up from 23% over the previous two decades.
  4. The inflation-adjusted prices of livestock and feed grains are expected to fall only marginally by 2020, compared to precipitous …


Grassland In Ireland And The Uk, Myles Rath, S. Peel 2023 University College Dublin, Ireland

Grassland In Ireland And The Uk, Myles Rath, S. Peel

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

  1. Grassland is the dominant land use option in Ireland and the UK, and is characterised by a long growing season.
  2. Dynamic, interactive systems of grassland management have been developed which combine high grass dry matter intakes with good sward quality. In the better grassland areas milk yields in excess of 7000 kg/cow are attainable with low levels of concentrate supplementation. In the times to come, measures to protect the environment will constrain stocking rates, and fertiliser and manure use on intensive grassland enterprises.
  3. A high proportion of beef and sheep farms participate in voluntary, EU-funded agri- environmental schemes that promote …


How Herbivores Optimise Diet Quality And Intake In Heterogeneous Pastures, And The Consequences For Vegetation Dynamics, R. Baumont, Cécile Ginane, F. Garcia, P. Carrère 2023 Institut National de la Recherche en Agronomique, France

How Herbivores Optimise Diet Quality And Intake In Heterogeneous Pastures, And The Consequences For Vegetation Dynamics, R. Baumont, Cécile Ginane, F. Garcia, P. Carrère

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

Understanding the interplay between foraging behaviour and vegetation dynamics in heterogeneous pasture is an essential requirement for evaluating the value of the resource for large herbivores and for managing that resource. The orientation of selective grazing behaviour between intake and diet quality depends on the spatial and temporal scales considered. In the short-term scale of a grazing sequence, there is evidence that large herbivores tend to optimise the intake rate of digestible materials by adaptation of their biting behaviour and by patch choice. On a day-to-day scale, there is evidence that large herbivores tend to prioritise the quality of the …


Land Use History And The Build-Up And Decline Of Species Richness In Scandinavian Semi-Natural Grasslands, O. Eriksson, S. A. O. Cousins, R. Lindborg 2023 Stockholm University, Sweden

Land Use History And The Build-Up And Decline Of Species Richness In Scandinavian Semi-Natural Grasslands, O. Eriksson, S. A. O. Cousins, R. Lindborg

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

Scandinavian semi-natural grasslands have an exceptionally high small-scale species richness. In the past, these grasslands covered extensive areas but they have declined drastically during the last century. How species richness of semi-natural grasslands was built up during history, and how species respond to land use change, are discussed. The agricultural expansion from the late Iron Age was associated with increasing grassland extent and spatial predictability, resulting in accumulation of species at small spatial scales. Although few species directly depend on management, the specific composition of these grasslands is a product of haymaking and grazing. Grassland fragmentation initially has small effects …


Recreating Pastoralist Futures, T. J. P. Lynam 2023 University of Zimbabwe

Recreating Pastoralist Futures, T. J. P. Lynam

International Grassland Congress Proceedings

Research experience in southern Africa is used to reflect on key determinants of pastoral futures and how they might need to be addressed. The paper begins with a brief review of what we mean by marginality. A set of observations on key issues defining the option sets for pastoralism in the future is then presented. The first of these is that only a small number of structures or processes actually control the behaviour of social-ecological systems such as pastoralist systems. A second observation is that the future is so uncertain that there is a need to learn to design for …


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