Livestock grazing is central to many important agricultural and dietary issues. However, its use has been declining as both farm size and climate-related variability in forage have increased. Foresight studies examining food security have found that grasslands play an important role in allowing adjustments under different circumstances. Grazing can be used to ensure farm economic performance, address environmental challenges, and respond to consumer expectations. It is drawing ever increasing attention from the dairy industry and product distributors, as well as from legislators in certain countries. However, we currently lack a proper method for quantifying grazing practices (here, we describe a potential way to estimate the maximum contribution made by grazing to livestock production). We also need to establish shared European-level standards (in Germany and the Netherlands, to be considered grass fed, livestock must graze at least 6 h/day and 120 days/year).
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2017|