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Grass cover management on outdoor pig units - SP0507

Description
The overall objective of the study is to appraise management practices that influence the survival of grass swards on outdoor pig farms and the financial implications of incorporating grass within pig management systems. Objective 1 - Establishing and appraising grassland management practices. A scoping study will be carried out to assess the current management practices used by 20 outdoor producers who stock pigs on grassland and the impact of these practices, and farm factors on grass survival. Information on grass survival, and the factors affecting survival, will be obtained via observation and assessment of the outdoor sites, interviews with the owners/managers, and supporting climatic and physical data. The results of the scoping study will be summarised in report form detailing the range of practices used, together with inter-related land and climatic factors, and their potential for improving the persistence of ground cover. Objective 2 - Financial implications of incorporating grass into pig management systems. The range of management practices identified in the scoping study will be used to establish a number of alternative ‘models’ which differ in terms of the method of establishment of the grass cover and the time of introduction of the pigs. The implications of these alternative systems on profitability will be appraised. The management of each ‘model’ will then be modified to explore the implications of refinements to the system (e.g. annual versus bi-annual moves; rotational paddock management; nose ringing etc.) on profitability. For each of the key systems (models), and the refinements, an assessment of the potential implications for welfare and the environment (e.g. soil erosion and nitrate leaching) will be made. The results of this assessment will feed into future research. The work addresses MAFF’s policy objectives of minimising the environmental impact of agricultural management practices on long term soil fertility, sediment losses to surface water systems and nitrate leaching losses from agricultural land as part of a sustainable farming system.
Objective
The overall objective of the study is to appraise management practices that influence the survival of grass swards used on outdoor pig farms and the financial implications of incorporating grass within outdoor pig management system. In more detail the objectives are: Objective 1 To complete a scoping study to establish the management practices used by outdoor farmers who introduce pigs onto grassland, together with the inter-related land and climatic factors, and appraise their potential for maintaining grass cover. Objective 2 To establish the financial implications of incorporating grass into the rotation via selected management practices and the implications of these practices for pig welfare and the environment.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Grass cover management on outdoor pig units   (373k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2000

Cost: £41,983
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Soil Protection