Grazing is a profession
Amazing Grazing has delivered new grazing knowledge and designed concepts for the weekly grass growth forecast and daily tracking of fresh grass uptake in the pasture. The project thus stimulates the application and development of grazing in the Netherlands, as part of modern craftsmanship, now and in the future.
Amazing Grazing focused on the "what and how" of grazing. Basic elements are:
- new knowledge about grass and grassland management,
- new technologies around grazing and grass and
- modern grazing craftsmanship of the dairy farmer.
The focus was on finding and substantiating solutions, for example for large flocks of cows on dairy farms with a small lot at the company. Amazing Grazing has thus contributed to stimulating outdoor grazing in the Netherlands and comparable intensive dairy regions in Europe and the rest of the world.
Three years of grazing research at the Dairy Campus and KTC Zegveld has shown that grazing plots with a high stocking density of 7.5 dairy cow per hectare of grazing grazing land are possible, and that a dairy farmer can choose a grazing system that suits him.
In dairy farming, less than 50% of the total grass production is usually eaten by the cows in the pasture. In the trials on the field, a percentage of 70% was achieved. It is a precondition to start grazing immediately in the spring.
Pilots grass uptake and grass growth forecast
Based on the results of grazing tests, two pilots were set up to test whether it is possible to link data and systems to 1) show the grass intake per couple of cows on a daily basis and 2) to predict grass growth on a weekly basis. The grass uptake pilot produced a working prototype. The development of the Grass Growth Prediction concept will be continued in a project that links to precision agriculture. Both concepts have been assessed as perspective by practice.
New knowledge about grazing
The results of the grazing study over the past four years have been incorporated in an e-book entitled "Building blocks grazing". Amazing Grazing uses six building blocks: grass stock, grass growth, grass uptake, cow behavior, soil and supplementary feeding. In each building block, the researchers developed the best possible knowledge about grazing.
The design of the e-book 'Building blocks Pasture' has been commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the context of a KennisOnline Kennis op Maat project. The content comes from the Amazing Grazing project.