Amazing grazing: A public and private partnership to stimulate grazing practices in intensive dairy systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen as an unwanted trend by many stakeholders and is, thus, under debate amongst dairy farmers, the dairy chain, and society. Therefore, a public-private partnership was initiated to encourage grazing by providing farmers with usable means of improving their grazing systems. The partnership involved stakeholders from the dairy farming community, dairy and feed industry, agrotechnical industries, advisory services, and research. The objective of this partnership was to develop and stimulate technological innovations and management measures that increase fresh grass intake at pasture. The innovation network combined an integrated research approach with farmer working groups and broader stakeholder interactive meetings. The project started with a comprehensive grass intake framework, which was the foundation for exploration of innovations. The framework consisted of six interlinked components: soil, grass growth, grass supply, grass intake, feed supplementation, and cow behavior. In a continuous interactive cycle, strategic choices were made to focus on potentially effective innovations. The use of a public-private partnership to develop usable innovations that encourage grazing practices proven to be a good approach to develop a shared vision among stakeholders. It provided a basis to work together toward innovative practices and to disseminate the outcomes to the foreseen users. The approach succeeded in design concepts for two specific innovations, i.e., weekly grass growth predictions and daily fresh grass intake tracking. We demonstrated that meaningful grazing and fresh grass intake are possible in intensive dairy systems with high stocking rates and high levels of supplementary feeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5868
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019

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Dairies
grazing
grass
innovation
Innovation
stakeholder
farmer
public private partnership
public-private partnership
dairy farming
industry
working group
pasture
technical innovation
research approach
Netherlands
public
supply
Industry
trend

Keywords

  • Agricultural innovation system
  • Dairy sector
  • Grassland
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Stakeholders

Cite this

@article{495787cb2a3b4c88b9bb18f2ba37e30c,
title = "Amazing grazing: A public and private partnership to stimulate grazing practices in intensive dairy systems",
abstract = "In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen as an unwanted trend by many stakeholders and is, thus, under debate amongst dairy farmers, the dairy chain, and society. Therefore, a public-private partnership was initiated to encourage grazing by providing farmers with usable means of improving their grazing systems. The partnership involved stakeholders from the dairy farming community, dairy and feed industry, agrotechnical industries, advisory services, and research. The objective of this partnership was to develop and stimulate technological innovations and management measures that increase fresh grass intake at pasture. The innovation network combined an integrated research approach with farmer working groups and broader stakeholder interactive meetings. The project started with a comprehensive grass intake framework, which was the foundation for exploration of innovations. The framework consisted of six interlinked components: soil, grass growth, grass supply, grass intake, feed supplementation, and cow behavior. In a continuous interactive cycle, strategic choices were made to focus on potentially effective innovations. The use of a public-private partnership to develop usable innovations that encourage grazing practices proven to be a good approach to develop a shared vision among stakeholders. It provided a basis to work together toward innovative practices and to disseminate the outcomes to the foreseen users. The approach succeeded in design concepts for two specific innovations, i.e., weekly grass growth predictions and daily fresh grass intake tracking. We demonstrated that meaningful grazing and fresh grass intake are possible in intensive dairy systems with high stocking rates and high levels of supplementary feeding.",
keywords = "Agricultural innovation system, Dairy sector, Grassland, Interdisciplinary research, Stakeholders",
author = "Ren{\'e} Schils and Bert Philipsen and Nyncke Hoekstra and Gertjan Holshof and Ronald Zom and Idse Hoving and {van Reenen}, Kees and Marcia Stienezen and Cindy Klootwijk and {van der Werf}, Joop and L{\'e}on Sebek and {van Eekeren}, Nick and {van Dixhoorn}, Ingrid and {van den Pol-van Dasselaar}, Agnes",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "22",
doi = "10.3390/su11205868",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
journal = "Sustainability",
issn = "2071-1050",
publisher = "MDPI",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Amazing grazing: A public and private partnership to stimulate grazing practices in intensive dairy systems

AU - Schils, René

AU - Philipsen, Bert

AU - Hoekstra, Nyncke

AU - Holshof, Gertjan

AU - Zom, Ronald

AU - Hoving, Idse

AU - van Reenen, Kees

AU - Stienezen, Marcia

AU - Klootwijk, Cindy

AU - van der Werf, Joop

AU - Sebek, Léon

AU - van Eekeren, Nick

AU - van Dixhoorn, Ingrid

AU - van den Pol-van Dasselaar, Agnes

PY - 2019/10/22

Y1 - 2019/10/22

N2 - In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen as an unwanted trend by many stakeholders and is, thus, under debate amongst dairy farmers, the dairy chain, and society. Therefore, a public-private partnership was initiated to encourage grazing by providing farmers with usable means of improving their grazing systems. The partnership involved stakeholders from the dairy farming community, dairy and feed industry, agrotechnical industries, advisory services, and research. The objective of this partnership was to develop and stimulate technological innovations and management measures that increase fresh grass intake at pasture. The innovation network combined an integrated research approach with farmer working groups and broader stakeholder interactive meetings. The project started with a comprehensive grass intake framework, which was the foundation for exploration of innovations. The framework consisted of six interlinked components: soil, grass growth, grass supply, grass intake, feed supplementation, and cow behavior. In a continuous interactive cycle, strategic choices were made to focus on potentially effective innovations. The use of a public-private partnership to develop usable innovations that encourage grazing practices proven to be a good approach to develop a shared vision among stakeholders. It provided a basis to work together toward innovative practices and to disseminate the outcomes to the foreseen users. The approach succeeded in design concepts for two specific innovations, i.e., weekly grass growth predictions and daily fresh grass intake tracking. We demonstrated that meaningful grazing and fresh grass intake are possible in intensive dairy systems with high stocking rates and high levels of supplementary feeding.

AB - In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen as an unwanted trend by many stakeholders and is, thus, under debate amongst dairy farmers, the dairy chain, and society. Therefore, a public-private partnership was initiated to encourage grazing by providing farmers with usable means of improving their grazing systems. The partnership involved stakeholders from the dairy farming community, dairy and feed industry, agrotechnical industries, advisory services, and research. The objective of this partnership was to develop and stimulate technological innovations and management measures that increase fresh grass intake at pasture. The innovation network combined an integrated research approach with farmer working groups and broader stakeholder interactive meetings. The project started with a comprehensive grass intake framework, which was the foundation for exploration of innovations. The framework consisted of six interlinked components: soil, grass growth, grass supply, grass intake, feed supplementation, and cow behavior. In a continuous interactive cycle, strategic choices were made to focus on potentially effective innovations. The use of a public-private partnership to develop usable innovations that encourage grazing practices proven to be a good approach to develop a shared vision among stakeholders. It provided a basis to work together toward innovative practices and to disseminate the outcomes to the foreseen users. The approach succeeded in design concepts for two specific innovations, i.e., weekly grass growth predictions and daily fresh grass intake tracking. We demonstrated that meaningful grazing and fresh grass intake are possible in intensive dairy systems with high stocking rates and high levels of supplementary feeding.

KW - Agricultural innovation system

KW - Dairy sector

KW - Grassland

KW - Interdisciplinary research

KW - Stakeholders

U2 - 10.3390/su11205868

DO - 10.3390/su11205868

M3 - Article

VL - 11

JO - Sustainability

JF - Sustainability

SN - 2071-1050

IS - 20

M1 - 5868

ER -