Case study 2: United Kingdom: Herbal or diverse leys use as service crops and valorised through grazing

Cluster 1: Service crops

This case study is at a very early stage. It was initiated by the Organic Research Centre ORC to support some emerging dynamics from groups of farmers questioning the sustainability of their practices in terms of soil fertility improvement. The focus will be on farmers producing cash crops and wanting to introduce short terms leys as service crops. Finding ways to valorize these service crops with herbivores is one major part of the challenge for specialist arable farmers.

What are the main problems underlying the emergence of the case study?
This case study is at a very early stage initiated by the Organic Research Centre ORC to support some emerging dynamics from groups of farmers questioning the sustainability of their practices in terms of soil fertility improvement.

How is the problem addressed and which actors are involved?
The actors that will be involved in the case study remain to be identified together with
1) their interactions mode and frequencies and
2) their expectations towards DiverIMPACTS.
The farmers that will be approached participate in the “Pasture Fed Livestock Association” or in the “National Sheep Association”. The focus will be on farmers producing cash crops and wanting to introduce short-term leys as service crops. Finding ways to valorize these service crops with herbivores is one major part of the challenge for specialist arable farmers.

Solution investigated
Service crops not only would increase the fertility of their soils and the global sustainability of their systems but also would diversify rotations mainly based on grain production.

Expected outcome
These service crops would support the generation of income through the marketing of meat, using the “Pasture Fed Livestock Association” label, for example.

Relevance to the DiverIMPACTS goals
The case study will focus on ways to diversify cropping systems by incorporating livestock for sustainability and soil fertility, and look at opportunities and challenges in ensuring profitability of both the arable and livestock aspects of the rotations.

Contact

  • Susanne Padel, ORC, case study leader
  • Anna Sellars, ORC, case study monitor