Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Sustainable Intensification Grant scheme - Achieving sustainable intensification by integrating livestock into arable systems – opportunities and impacts - LM0208

This is one of three research activity projects funded under the Sustainable Intensification Grant scheme.

The integration of livestock, and especially leys, into arable farming systems has been widely proposed as an effective approach to sustainable intensification (SI) by reducing soil degradation; reducing losses of sediment and nutrients; increasing effectiveness of weed control and other environmental and economic benefits. However, a variety of questions have been raised about infrastructure needs, demand for livestock products, marketing opportunities and the impacts of livestock on the arable business’ outputs and overall outcomes.
This project builds on the network of research and demonstration farms, and the associated inter-disciplinary research community, established under the SIP (2014 – 2017) together with existing farmer networks and multi-stakeholder groups to identify the economic, social and environment impacts of approaches to achieving sustainable intensification by integrating livestock into arable systems; and describe ways to share best-practice that balance increasing farm profitability or productivity with wider sustainability outcomes.
As part of the project the following objectives will be addressed:

• Present the principles, structures and management practices that describe typical examples of the full range of approaches that are practicable for the integration of livestock into arable systems in the predominantly arable areas of the UK
• Present a series of descriptive models that link each arable-livestock farming system and the activities within it to the overall GHG balance and also to the wider range of economic, social and environmental impacts determining sustainability
• Hold a facilitated workshop, working with our existing multi-stakeholder groups and local farmer networks, to review the descriptive models, identify practical and policy constraints on uptake of these approaches to SI, and prioritise future research needs
• Identify potential funding sources and develop outline proposals for collaborative research or development projects to address the knowledge gaps identified
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2019

Cost: £14,978
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Arable Farming              
Sustainable Farming and Food