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Main research question/goal
The goals of this EU project, in which ILVO researches the situation in Flanders, is to develop, evaluate and promote sustainable animal production systems based on the use of grassland. The focus is grassland with a great multifunctionality, maintenance of diversity and deliverance of green services in accordance with the economically efficient production of quality products. ILVO researchers are involved in 3 work packages (WP): (1) what is the situation of multifunctional grassland in Europe today (importance, use and expectations)? (2) which innovations in grassland use have a potential to combine the competitiveness of animal  production and a more environmentally friendly output? (3) dissemination of knowledge to different stakeholders and services.

Research approach
We make an overview of the European grassland area, the dispersion, production capacity and use. We also make an overview of the different functions of grassland at the farm and landscape levels. For WP 2 we execute a study about the effect of grassland management on residual nitrate in the soil after the growing season. We observe 9 parcels starting on the 1st of September and we enclose some strips for cutting on the grazed pastures. For WP3 we contribute to a book entitled “ Grasslands and herbivore production in Europe and the effect on common policies”.

We expect that this project will draw attention to the enormous importance of the many diverse functions of grassland in Europe. We hope that grassland will be more correctly valued via new EU regulations. This is possible through the application of various production systems and use of biologically diverse grassland on the farm and in the landscape.
Effective start/end date1/03/101/03/14

ID: 4162890