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Potential economic gains from using forage legumes in organic livestock systems in northern Europe

Doyle, Chris J and Topp, Cairistiona F E (2002) Potential economic gains from using forage legumes in organic livestock systems in northern Europe. In: Powell, Jane and et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of the UK Organic Research 2002 Conference, Organic Centre Wales, Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth, pp. 195-196.

[thumbnail of doyle_topp_Forage_livestock_systems.pdf] PDF - English


This report was presented at the UK Organic Research 2002 Conference of the Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR).
Forage legumes, with their ability to fix nitrogen biologically, seem especially attractive for organic livestock production. In an attempt to assess their true potential, this study draws on a four-year trial conducted at 12 sites in northern Europe with four different forage legumes. One third of the sites were managed as organic systems, with the harvested forage being fed as silage to dairy cows. Based on the trial results, an economic assessment has been made of the potential of forage legumes to improve the competitive edge of organic dairy systems, relative to conventional grass-based ones. Although the results suggest that the organic milk price premium plays a major role in determining the comparative profitability of organic dairy systems, the use of forage legumes also gives a significant cost advantage to organic production.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Colloquium of Organic Researchers; COR; forage legumes, economics, northern Europe, field trials, dairy
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Pasture and forage crops
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Animal husbandry
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2002
UK > Scottish Rural Colleges (SRUC - previously SAC)
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:8298
Deposited On:28 Apr 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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