On the 7th of June, Paul Newell-Price, coordinator of the SUPER-G project, participated in a joint EEAP & FAO-CIHEAM conference themed “Mountains are agroecosystems for people“ where he presented the 1st Session: Farming systems and global change.
On this session Paul introduced a paper on Grassland-based farming systems in Europe, written by Newell-Price P. (ADAS, UK), Ravetto Enri S. (UNITO, IT), Lombardi G. (UNITO, IT), Schils R. (WUR, NL) and Berge H. ten (WUR, NL). This paper considers the importance of permanent grassland (PG) in Europe in terms of its area and extent and the range of ecosystem services (ES) it provides.
According to the authors, they considered what elements determine whether or not any particular grazing livestock farming system is sustainable in the 21st century, within the context of global change and current threats to permanent grassland. They also used farm accountancy data network (FADN) data to characterise how farming systems with PG vary across Europe in terms of the dominant livestock types, stocking rates, the share of PG and the exploitation regime.
Newell-Price et al. concluded that PG are under threat in Europe but are important within many livestock grazing systems. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to assess the sustainability of grassland-based farming systems, and to recognise and value the Ecosystem Services they provide, so that the right policies are put in place to support farming systems that provide net positive environmental services for society.
For the full paper you can click here.