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Results from the Spring Days of the AFPF (French Association for Forage Production): Sheep grazing on cover crops

Based on discussions at the "Spring Days" event held by the AFPF (French Association for Forage Production), DiverIMPACTS partners produced a poster and article (in French) about the benefits of sheep grazing on cover crops.

Sheep grazing, Belgium. Photo: Jean Marot

The theme of the Spring Days of the AFPF this year was ‘secure your breeding system with complementary forage: mixture of protein crops, cover crops, cruciferae…'. The event took place in Paris on March 21st and 22nd, 2018.

Breeders have to adapt their forage production according to their context, needs and system of production. The increase of extreme climate episodes these last years has impacted forage stocks on farms. The security of the forage system is therefore a permanent concern.

During the event, several questions were addressed, including:

  • Which complementary forage can secure your forage system (mixture of protein crops, fodder beet, forage rape, forage kale, sorghum, moha, etc.)?
  • What are the interests and limitations of these forages?
  • When should forage be planted in the rotation?
  • How are these cultures managed?
  • How can we feed animals?

In this context, we produced a poster and an article about the use of cover crops by grazing sheep. It shows the opportunities for sheep breeders and cash crop producers to make an innovative win-win contract.

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Zenodo.org: Poster - Valorisation des couverts d'intercultures par les ovins
Zenodo.org: Article - Valorisation des couverts d'intercultures par les ovins